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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)

Four Flies on Grey Velvet

1971 | FranceItaly | 104 min
  • 4 mosche di velluto grigio
  • Watched on Fri Jul 2, 2021 via Blu-ray (2012 | Shameless)
    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Writer-director Dario Argento’s third entry in his “Animal Trilogy” behind The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and The Cat o’ Nine Tails. Michael Brandon plays a drummer in a successful rock band. One night after rehearsal, he confronts a stalker and commits manslaughter. His crime goes undiscovered by police, but another stalker threatens first to expose him, then to kill him.

    Premiering a mere eleven months after The Cat o’ Nine Tails, this needed more time in the oven. Argento proffers some memorable scenes, such as the killer stalking an informant in a dark park, and a terrific slow-motion car crash, but they can’t compensate for his tepid script.

    The plot turns on the ludicrous premise that the human eye retains its last image after death. The left-field finale drowns in exposition. Even the tone proves uneven, with stilted comedy injected via a flamboyant detective and a talky scene set in a coffin exhibition.

    The Shameless Blu-ray is more than watchable, but the source elements pale compared to the high-definition remasters Argento’s prior films received from Arrow and Blue Underground.

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