A Lizard in Woman's Skin

A Lizard In Woman's Skin

"They stabbed her three times... each one of the stabs fatal!"

Carol Hammond (Florina Bolkan) is a respectable wife and stepmother... who just happens to have frequent lesbian sex dreams about her nymphomaniac hippie neighbor, Julia (Anita Strinberg). One night, however, Carol dreams of stabbing Julia to death and later discovers that Julia was indeed murdered that very night, exactly like in the dream. Does Carol have a psychic link to the killer? Or is she schizophrenic? Is her cheating husband Frank (Jean Sorel) framing her for the murder? And are the two glassy-eyed hippies who witnessed the murder real or just part of the dream? With her senses betraying her, Carol must decide what's real and what's in her mind, before it's too late!

Lucio Fulci is best known for his visceral gore films, but his handful of gialli are some of his best work. This one is a fun, sleazy, acid-soaked psychedelic trip featuring naked orgies, lots of blood, and some fantastic surreal dream sequences. The use of forensic science in the investigation was probably inspired by Dario Argento's The Bird With the Crystal Plumage and the bat attack, when Carol hides out in a church attic, is an obvious shot-for-shot homage to Hitchcock's The Birds.

  • Here's another great score by Ennio Moricone, in turns funky, wild, and haunting.
  • The five animal deaths include one bat in the church attic scene and four dogs in the hospital.
  • If you suffer from vertigo, be warned that there are a ton of camera zooms in this movie. You'll find a few in just about any giallo, but Fulci was never known for restraint.
  • Let's hear it for giallo mainstay George Rigaud, who appears here as Dr. Kerr, Carol's psychiatrist.
What the Hell Am I Watching?

More about that dog scene: Running from an attacker in a hospital, Carol stumbles upon a room where four live dogs are strung up with their bellies slit open (we can see their beating hearts), and their blood is being drained through tubes. There's no indication what scientific benefit this serves, but it's still a very upsetting sight. In fact, Fulci was nearly charged with animal cruelty for that scene, until members of his crew testified that the dogs were all puppets and that no animals were harmed. This scene is omitted in some versions of the movie.

The dream sequences are absolutely crazy in this film. Naked limbs writhing around, a dinner party of bleeding corpses, and angry swans attacking from the clouds. Many of these images relate to artwork in the Hammond home... which is sort of ingenious in a Kaiser Soze way, if you're aware of the twist ending.

Fashion Moment

Miss Carol is working it in her wardrobe from the Carmen Sandiego collection. Check out those monochromatic wide-brimmed hats and cape coats in three different colors.