Double Face

Double Face
She's just like her mother... rich, moody, wicked.
Shortly after marrying his wife, Helen (Margaret Lee), John Alexander (Klaus Kinski) discovers that she is having an affair with her friend Liz (Annabella Incontrera), but divorce would mean financial ruin. Despite this, John is distraught after Helen is killed in a car crash and when he finds a strange but flirtatious woman, Christine (Christiane Krüger) in his home, he is in no mood for games. But when Christine shows John a sexy movie featuring herself with a mysterious veiled woman, John becomes obsessed - the other woman is wearing Helen's ring and has the same scar on her neck as John's late wife! If the film was made just a week before, does that mean that Helen faked her death? Or has John's grief made him lose his grip on reality? Either way, his search for answers will lead him on a dangerous path!
Double Face (not to be confused with The Double) treads the same ground as some other, more widely-known gialli and I'd say that while it's more coherent than Spasmo, it's not nearly as well-made as Perversion Story. Even though the body count is low, the mystery is baffling and the nudity is abundant, making this an eminently watchable bad movie. 

  • The script, based on the novel "A Face In the Night" by Edgar Wallace, was co-written by Lucio Fulci (which may explain some resemblance to Perversion Story).
  • Luciano Spadoni, who plays Inspector Gordon, was also the set and costume designer in this production.
  • Two years after this production, Klaus Kinski, Annabella Incontrera and Margaret Lee would reunite on screen in Slaughter Hotel.
  • None of the titles really make sense. "Double Face" would make more sense if there was a Vertigo-esque identity switch and the lesbian affair is a minor sub plot, making "Liz & Helen" just as out of place. The title "Puzzle of Horrors" belongs on a film with more gore and far more murders.
What the Hell Am I Watching?

What Double Face lacks in good writing it makes up for in crazy moments. For example, the wild hippie warehouse party where two motorcyclists have an indoor jousting tournament, ripping off an article of clothing from a dancing girl with each pass.

Then there are the hilariously inept special effect sequences, which cut from footage of real cars and trains to HO-scale models crashing into each other.

Something that confused me from the start: John is trapped in his unhappy marriage with Helen because of financial necessity, but what advantage does Helen gain in staying married to John? Why does she insist that they stay together?

Finally, who handcuffs a suspect without frisking him for weapons first?

Fashion Moment

In the scene preceding Helen's car crash, we see that she's ready to shuffle off this mortal coil in high style, wearing a chic white dress, gold chain belt, go-go boots and a rich oiled leather coat draped over her shoulders.

Later, Liz vamps it up with some Elizabeth Taylor realness in this sexy off-the-shoulder low-cut fringe number.  Perhaps her shredded white dress is worn in memory of her dead lover?

No comments:

Post a Comment