Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)

SERGIO MARTINO

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

Original title:  Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave

Alternate title:  Gently Before She Dies

Italy, 1972.  Story by , , Screenplay by , , Sauro Scavolini, based on the story The Black Cat by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Luciano Martino.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Loose adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat that combines the demands of giallo mayhem with the needs of exploitative Italian sex films.  An angry writer lives in a giant villa with his miserable wife, both of them haunted by the memory of his mother whose costumed portrait looms over them at all times.  When the man’s mistress turns up dead, followed by their maid and a hooker in town getting viciously murdered, suspicion immediately falls upon him and the cops show up at his door.  His cousin shows up for a visit and frustrates him further with her short skirts and sexy legs, works her way into bed with his wife and becomes girlfriend to a local bloke with a charming smile and a passion for racing his motorbike.  The additions to Poe’s story mainly feel like lazy excuses to indulge in either gross killings or bare breasts (or, often, both), but the ending is a great twist that brings the author’s spirit back to the forefront, and the acting is far better than this kind of movie deserves.

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