Amuck (1972)

‘m a big fan of the Italian thriller, commonly known as ‘Giallo’, but I’ve found that truly great ones aren’t that common, which makes it all the more sweet when you do find that illusive masterpiece – and that is a term that can definitely be attributed to this film! Amuck isn’t about a ruthless, black-gloved murderer or a police investigation; it’s a film about mystery and the sexual tension between its protagonists. The film is a lot like the brilliant Sergio Martino film, ‘Your Vice is a Locked Door…’ so anyone who’s seen that will almost know what to expect. While Martino’s film is the most polished of the pair; Amadio’s is far sexier. The film features the typical labyrinth plot, although it’s all kept together nicely and despite lots of interfering emotions; Amuck always flows well. The film follow Greta, a young woman who takes a job as a secretary for a successful writer as his house is the last place her former lover; the beautiful Sally (oh yes) was last seen. While there, she is introduced to the stunning Eleanora and it soon becomes evident that all is not as it seems…

This film features a number of standout scenes; from the marshland shooting, to the enacting of the writer’s book, all the way down to the superb ending – but the scene that this film will be best remembered for is without doubt the seduction scene between the two female leads. Lesbian sex is only good in films if it’s done right, otherwise it looks like a silly attempt to sell the movie; so I’m pleased to say that Silvio Amadio’s scene is definitely done right. The two leads are stunning in different ways; we’ve got Barbara Bouchet, the wide-eyed, innocent blonde girl – and Rosalba Neri, the cerebral seductress, and the sequence that sees them pair up is directed with just the right amount of eroticism to ensure that it’s electric on screen. The way that the plot plays out otherwise is very relaxed and nicely fits the beautiful Venetian settings in which the film takes place. The score by Teo Usuelli is haunting and sexy in the right places, and what the film lacks in suspense is made up for by intrigue emanating from the sexual tension of the lead characters. Overall, this might not do much for those who like their Giallo’s tense and ultra-violent, but if you want a seductive, tightly-wound little flick; Amuck is one the best!