Autopsy AKA. The Victim, Macchie solari (Sun Spots), Tension, Tarot
Directed by Armando Crispino
1973, Italy

Ennio Morricone's score is the prime driving force in this Italian giallo. Morricone's music creates an eerie atmosphere which in turn gives the film a disturbing quality as we see hopeless individuals doing away with themselves at the opening of the movie. Autopsy is a mystery more so than a conventional gore film, something which the title which might lead individuals to misjudge it.

It opens with a string of unexplained suicides which are occurring in Rome. Meanwhile, a young pathologist played by Mimsy Farmer is experiencing strange hallucinations of the dead coming back to life and on top of this her fathers American lover turns up dead and suspected to have committed suicide, it seems an unexplained suicide epidemic has rocked Rome. Is Farmer going crazy or is her father in some sort of trouble? Soon, an American priest (Barry Primus) with a haunting past shows up on the scene and is more than interested in Farmer's fathers affairs.

Autopsy is a strange choice of film for Anchor Bay to re-release but it seems they released Autopsy with another film in the same vein entitled Torso as sort of a giallo double bill. Autopsy is a practically unheard of film lost in the shuffle amongst all the more noted Fulci's, D'amato, Argento's and Deodato's. Once again its great to see the company giving rarities a high quality re-release.

Autopsy is entertaining but its not a fast paced film, in some ways its confusing, its not about zombies or the dead coming back to life or gory operations and Farmer's hallucinations of the dead are never fully explained. In general the film could be said to be misleading. Inside the sleeve of the Anchor Bay re-release there are some nice tid-bits of information such as the Italian word giallo meaning yellow and being derived from yellow books which were a series of mysteries written in Italy. If your interested in the giallo genre be sure to check this out along with such works as Tenebrae, Deep Red and others by maestro Dario Argento as well as work by Lenzi such as Eyeball, Fulci's A Lizard In Woman's Skin and Don't Torture The Duckling. If you like these then look for even rarer offerings.

Richard J.Taylor




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