"It's all so absurd, meaningless. But what's absurd is dangerous."

When Christian Bauman (Robert Hoffman) and his girlfriend Xenia (Maria Pia Conte) discover an unconscious woman named Barbara (Suzy Kendall) lying on a rocky stretch of beach, it's only the beginning of a bizarre series of events. Christian starts an affair with Barbara at a hotel, but while he's getting ready in the bathroom he's attacked by a thug in a black suit (Dario Argento look-alike Adolfo Lastretti). During the struggle, the attacker's gun goes off, killing him, but upon returning, Christian finds that the body is gone. Christian and Barbara then hide out at a seaside castle, where they encounter an old man named Malcom (Guido Alberti) and a young woman named Clorinda (Monica Monet), who seem strangely familiar to Christian. Soon, the killer returns to stalk the castle's residents. Was he sent by Barbara's jealous boyfriend, Alex (Mario Erpichini)? Or by Christian's brother, Fritz (Ivan Rassimov)? And who is staging murders in the woods with life-sized rubber mannequins? Nothing is as it seems as Christian tries desperately to untangle the mysteries that surround him.

Spasmo (not to be confused with the giallo Orgasmo, which, in turn, is not to be confused with Trey Parker's super hero comedy Orgazmo) is a big sweaty fever dream for its entire first hour.  It follows an incomprehensible, disjointed story line, features absurd, wooden dialogue comprised largely of non-sequiters, and has characters whose actions have no basis in reality. It's like ten different screenwriters each wrote five pages on their own, which were then shuffled up and filmed. Things come together in the last 30 minutes and, though it's never completely coherent, at least it attempts to explain the preceding story elements and draw the film to a reasonable conclusion. This movie is cocoanuts.
  • The title is as meaningless and incomprehensible as the plot and Ennio Morricone's dissonant, chaotic score captures the lunacy well.
  • Ivan Rassimov, who is billed third, doesn't show up until over an hour into this 93-minute movie.
  • After two scenes, Xenia disappears from the movie. This is never explained.
  • I do appreciate how the movie comes full circle, with a body on the beach.
  • Four of the six fake murders are committed on rubber dolls.
What The Hell Am I Watching?

The dialogue in this movie is bonkers.  Before heading to a hotel for their rendezvous, Barbara asks Christian to shave off his beard. He politely offers to rape her in the car instead and she laughs it off like he's just said something charming. WHAT?

Later, when Christian stumbles out of the bathroom with a gun in hand after apparently murdering a random attacker, Barbara reacts by asking "What's the matter?" instead of "OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH A GUN?"

On the lam, late in the movie, Christian hitchhikes with a young woman who tells him "You remind me of a dying chicken." Have I been taking crazy pills? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

For most of her time on screen, it's unclear weather or not Clorinda is a robot.

Fritz has edited together a very specific set of home movies for the end of the film. Why would you want to watch Super-8 footage of your father's funeral? Or document your trip to the insane assylum? Weird!

Here's a Spasmo drinking game: drink every time some exclaims "Look!"

Fashion Moment

The Killer (whose name, we later learn, is Tatum) wears this black suit with a red shirt. It's basically a standard-issue hitman uniform.

Later, once the movie turns a corner, Christian puts on the suit, taking over the tough guy role.

1 comment:

  1. "After two scenes, Xenia disappears from the movie. This is never explained."

    Just saw this film. This is explained in the films 'final reveal'.