"Danger brings out the best in a man."
Jean Reynaud (Jean-Louise Trintigant) is bored with his upper-class Parisian life – bored with his job, bored with his wife, Danielle (Erika Blanc), bored with his mistress, and even his hobbies fail to challenge him. So when he hears his beautiful blonde neighbor Nicole (Carroll Baker) getting beaten by her boyfriend, Klaus (Horst Frank) Jean comes to the rescue and runs away with her, thrilled to have some excitement back in his life. But is Nicole the innocent victim she appears to be or is she the bait in a deadly trap? Jean soon finds that his life is in danger but who is it that wants him dead? And who can he trust? It all turns out to be more adventure than he bargained for.
So Sweet... So Perverse (not to be confused with So Sweet, So Dead) isn't your typical giallo in that it doesn't have a mysterious black-coated killer. Instead, the mystery is in unraveling the complicated con game and figuring out who is behind it. It's a sexy (rather than scary) giallo and the script is full of swanning, melodramatic dialogue and overwrought romantic proclamations. Carroll Baker gives the standout performance in a role that is custom-fit for her talents, alternating between demure, innocent victim and cold-blooded vixen.
- Jean-Louis Trintigant is a French acting legend who regained the public's attention just last year when his movie Amour was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
- So Sweet... So Perverse is the second of three Lenzi-Baker collaborations. The trilogy also includes 1969's Paranoia (a.k.a. Orgasmo) and 1970's A Quiet Place To Kill which, technically, is not a giallo due to a lack of mystery in the plot.
- Co-writer Ernesto Gastaldi would go on to become one of the greatest screenwriters in the world of giallo, creating such films as The Case of the Bloody Iris, Death Walks at Midnight, and Torso.
Early in the movie, we're treated to a crazy psychedelic flashback/dream sequence, rendered in bold colors and wild, spinning camera moves. The short segment really stands out in what is otherwise a conservatively-shot film and it presages the more innovative work of both Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento.
Danielle throws a fancy cocktail party for the Paris elite and, for some reason, invites a stripper as the entertainment. She's quick to show off the goods. How was this a good idea?
Apparently in France, mistresses can claim their lovers' inheritances. Seriously? Even though we're talking about the French, I find it a little hard to believe.
As the most dynamic and interesting character, Nicole gets all the best clothes. She wears this dress early in the movie and it really illustrates her fragile emotional state well – agitated, confused, and blue.
Later, at the cocktail party, things turn on their heads as Danielle glams it up, dripping in diamonds and bold red sequins...
... while Nicole shows up in a frumpy pantsuit that looks like bad upholstery.
That's the stripper in the background, by the way, wearing only a pink boa, bikini bottoms, and butterfly pasties.