Oct 19, 2008

In the Folds of the Flesh

Based around a Freud excerpt of his interpretation of flesh (brain flesh), In the Folds of the Flesh is a proclaimed "gialli" exploitation film. When not focusing on a mother/whore dichotomy, this film manages to top any impulsive genre organizing you may have had. Any dysfunction that you thought was absurd or any mind game that was too taboo is broken in this onslaught of emotional pain. In the Folds of the Flesh is truly a film that captures the essence of physical beauty only to distort it with maligned madness.

On the sunny beach side of an old Castle structured building, horrific events unfold that I couldn't dare begin to try explaining without ruining the plot completely. A very disturbed family lures men into their home in order to kill them inexplicably to prevent a truth to be known. In this spider webbed plot you will encounter pet vultures, early 70s psychedelics, and enough perversions to leave a lasting imprint on you.

Pier Angeli was the true shining ray of this film. A film of classic sleaze needed that Polaris to its empty sky. Angeli had dated James Dean during the filming of East of Eden. They reportedly broke up after complications with her parents. A year after her role in Nelle pieghe della carne (In the Folds of the Flesh), she died of a barbiturate overdose. Explosive controversy ensued over whether it was accidental or not. The National Enquirer supposedly posted lines from her alleged suicide note but it appears to be just sensationalism. It's a shame that a star of such beauty fell victim to pulling a Heath Ledger.

In spite of the departed star, much of my dislike comes from the Nazi exploitation used in this film. Random plot points are set up intended to shock and offend. A character has reoccurring flashbacks of a Nazi death camp flashback in which many naked women are gassed to death including her mother. While not meant to be titillatingly, I couldn't help but laugh at the "Jewish" victims jumping around with their breasts jumping every which way. Not only a mood killer, but arousing in a perplexing sense.

In the Folds of the Flesh is a film that starts out rough but smooths itself out by the end. In media res is how it begins, so the confusion is necessary for the spool to unwind, so to speak. While not being a masterpiece, In the Folds of the Flesh satisfies me in many ways - materialistic and not. A must-see for any fan of bizarre head-trips and Pier Angeli admirers.


1 comment:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

The problem is that it was made in 1970 when she 38 and there-fore, by definition, 20 years past the absolute pinnacle and peak of her physical attractiveness and desirability, if it had been made in 1950 when that incredible bird was 18 it would have been much more worthy of our attention.