The Sister of Ursula centers on two sisters, Dagmar and Ursula. As the film opens, they’re checking into a luxury hotel on the Italian coast. Ursula begs Dagmar to leave, claiming visions of a horrible future. With heavy sighs, Dagmar dismisses Ursula’s pleadings. Ursula pouts. Instead of establishing a forbidding atmosphere, the scene left me cold to Ursula’s petulant behavior.
Dagmar convinces Ursula to accompany her to the hotel nightclub. There we meet the supporting players: the hotel manager, a sultry nightclub singer, and a pretty-boy gigolo. Dagmar feels a connection to the gigolo, but Ursula insists he‘s dangerous. More sighs and dismissals from Dagmar.
As the film goes on, a pattern emerges. A pair of characters have sex. A mysterious black-gloved figure watches the copulating couple from the shadows. After some late-night-cable-grade soft-core erotica, the black-gloved figure kills one or both of the lovers. Aside from a slashed throat, the violence occurs off-screen.
The script proffers few red herrings. Instead, it doles out assorted subplots like the sisters’ search for their estranged mother, the hotel manager‘s struggles with his estranged wife, and the gigolo’s drug habit.
None of these threads held my interest. But the film‘s reputation as a sleazy Giallo convinced me it would veer into crazy territory.
It proved a long wait. During the finale, after an unsurprising reveal of the killer‘s identity, we see the murder weapon. Spoiler—it‘s a giant phallus. The killer advancing, phallus in hand, is just the sort of crazy I’d been hoping for. But this lone scene can’t justify the hour-and-a-half investment.