4/27/11

A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971) Review

Biting, gnawing terror claws at your brain!

A Lizard in a Woman's Skin
A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, also known as the slightly edited Schizoid in the United States, is one of my favorite Lucio Fulci films.  In fact I have an original one-sheet of that poster art hanging on my wall. I'm not exactly sure what I like so much about this film but perhaps it's the ample amount of boobage, blood, psychedelia and sideburns. Everything just seems to come together for me.  It's a giallo so basically the story revolves around a murder investigation with some crazy Fulci elements thrown in.  It can be slow sometimes but never so slow that one loses interest in the mystery.

A somewhat repressed and sexually timid woman (Florinda Bolkan) dreams each night of explicit encounters with the sexually liberated woman who lives in the flat next door.  After lengthy psychoanalysis she is unsure what to make of these dreams.  One night she dreams that she stabs this drugged up hippie chick to death with a letter opener only to wake up to the fact that this woman really has been murdered and that she is the prime suspect.  Did she do it or was it a dream?  That's not the only thing going on in this film.  There's blackmail, a philandering husband, a rich politician/lawyer who smokes a pipe, LSD, bats and of course, the infamous "dog scene."

"Damn this astigmatism."
From IMDB:
The scene in which Carol encounters the disemboweled dogs in the clinic became quite controversial because of the startlingly realistic (and graphic) appearance of the fake prop dogs. Director Lucio Fulci was nearly sent to prison because it was believed that the dogs were real and Fulci had allowed animal cruelty on the film. However crew members were able to testify in court that the "dogs" were indeed fake and no animals had ever been harmed. Special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi even presented the dog props in court to convince the jury. This was the first time that an effects artist had to testify in court that their work were fake.
A similar incident happened with the Italian gore-fest Cannibal Holocaust.  Also from IMDB:
The film caused some scandal in Italy at the time of its release. Ten days after premiering in Milan, the film was seized by the courts, and the director, Ruggero Deodato, was arrested and charged with obscenity. He was later charged with murder and faced life in prison on the belief that several of the actors were murdered for the camera. Deodato contacted Luca Barbareschi and told him to contact the three other actors who played the missing film team. He presented the actors, alive and well, to the courts, and thus, the murder charges were dropped. The film remained banned in Italy for another three years.

So there you go.  All of you guys who like movies like Saw and Hostel owe more than a little to the Italian directors of the 1970s who pushed the envelope of gore and nudity, and even had to go to court to defend their films.

Violence Index: 3.5 out of 5
Booby Index: 3.5 out of 5  - Click here to see the nude scenes.



24 comments:

ed said...

damn lizards, bats too

Poker Ed said...

don't think this is really my thing , might check it out one day though :P

The Angry Lurker said...

Always liked a bit of controversy in a movie, nice one.

ZedWord said...

Interesting bit of trivia. Didn't know about the court bit.

Draven Ames said...

Wow, that is a crazy story. See, these kinds of stories are why I read blogs. I love it.

I still can't believe they thought everything was real. That is awesome,


Draven Ames
http://dravenames.blogspot.com/

Astronomy Pirate said...

Silly lizards, no you can't be peoples.

Matthew said...

music is kinda funky. They should have a tv channel dedicated to these types of films or at least a few seasons. We get alot of the same thing here in the U.K

Wayward Disposition said...

Lol that is pretty intense.

GADAFINY said...

love it

D4 said...

Damn that must be a killer scene. I'm gonna see it. And also, you know a movie is worth it when someone smokes a pipe.

G said...

3.5 - I think I'll be getting this on the weekend

Jay said...

interesting bit about those props. :D

Kicking Rocks said...

lol he has astigmatism! oh there other day i saw hobo with a shot gun. fuunny flick.

Malkavian said...

Wow what a compliment for the Special effects guy

Alphalpha said...

Lol, I love your captions! Also, does anyone know where I could find the movie Shotgun mentioned in an earlier post?

Obi-wan Mikenobi said...

It's gotta feel good to be taken to court and threatened with prison because you're just so damn good at your job.

'My props are so realistic the police arrested me' would look good on a C.V and also makes a pretty nifty chat-up line.

For the record, the correct combination of sideburns to movie ratio makes everything better.

Good read as always.

zepdragon said...

Looks pretty cool

Colin Biano said...

"you aren't being unfaithful to carol, are you?"
CUE THE DRAMATIC MUSIC

Bart said...

get some oil on that skin!

thenitefalls said...

It looks brutal, I'll have to see this film!

hoaks2 said...

That's crazy about the dogs. I must watch this now.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Nice choice, this is one of my favorite Fulci films too.

BTN Hip Hop said...

haha i love the trailer.

Solsby Kid said...

I've always wanted to watch this!

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