Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: La Decima Vittima
Italy/France, 1965. Compagnia Cinematografica Champion, Les Films Concordia. Screenplay by Tonino Guerra, Giorgio Salvioni, Ennio Flaiano, Elio Petri, based on the story The Seventh Victim by Robert Sheckley. Cinematography by Gianni Di Venanzo. Produced by Carlo Ponti. Music by Piero Piccioni. Production Design by Piero Poletto. Costume Design by Giulio Coltellacci. Film Editing by Ruggero Mastroianni.
Hilarious science-fiction spoof by politically controversial filmmaker Elio Petri. Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress are participants in a futuristic cat-and-mouse game where players sign up to kill each other for prizes. Why worry about preventing birth when you can control death is the key philosophy behind the exercise, one which allows a healthy amount of publicity for the skilled survivors. When our two stars end up getting each other’s number, he as victim and she as hunter, they are faced with an extra challenge: they fall in love and have to do something about it. Deliciously campy sets and costumes add to the very smart screenplay and screwy direction, with Andress giving a sexy and intelligent performance in a role that allows her to be a hell of a lot sassier than much of the material she had to work with in America.