Monday, August 16, 2010

Body Puzzle (1992)

I never made a secret that I think Lamberto Bava is way to generic and... boring, compared to his father. But really, should I compare him to Mario? No, of course not. Lamberto has talent, but he’s way to mainstream to really be one of the Italian masters. I don’t think we should blame Lamberto though, because he mostly worked in television and the limit has always been different in that media. Another detail that probably stopped Lamberto from being really popular is that he’s not fond of graphic violence in movies. Sure, he made Demons and a few others with some strong stuff in – but compared to the rest, he’s always been quite tame.

Body Puzzle is a slick little thriller with Joanna Pacula and Tomas Arana in the leads. Joanna as Tracy, who a serial killer is obsessed with. Tomas as the police Michele, who’s trying to find out why the killer wants to kill her. Our killer, who seem to be the ex-boyfriend of Tracy’s dead husband is slicing of body parts of his victims and has also stolen the body of the husband. So he’s a real freaky guy… but is that all, is there something more behind the crazed killings?

Of course there is. This is a giallo, with a couple of very nice twists and turns. It’s clearly above average and Bava directs with intelligence and manages to hold together the story and characters and still spread around a few red herrings here and there. The script, even if it’s not that original, is still well written and gives the characters some depth. Tracy and Michele is the best developed, but Giovanni Lombardo Radice shows up doing an interesting character on the way. Gianni Garko and Erika Blanc have smaller parts, but still doing some good stuff here.

I admire Body Puzzle for two things: It has misdirection that works, and it surprised me the first time I saw it. It also has a good view on gay’s, which in Italian cinema often can be very exaggerated and on the brink to parody. Here they are written like “normal” humans, and are allowed to be funny, smart, mean, bad or whatever.

Like I wrote above, Lamberto has never been fond of graphic violence – and Body Puzzle is no different from this rule. It has one graphic, gory hand-shopping, but that’s about it. The rest is off-screen or only hinted. I know he can’t make movies like Demons everyday, but I would have liked a little bit more of the red stuff.

Body Puzzle is a good thriller with good actors and some nice twists. Not bad at all.


CiNEZiLLA said...

I never actually bothered checking this one out!
I may have to change my mind on that.


RaroVHS said...

Hi there! Here's the Argentinian VHS sleeve:

I'm linking to your blog already. Would you like to link to my blog too? Thanks in advance!

Ninja Dixon said...

Hi! Of course I will, and thanks for letting me see the VHS-cover! Cooll :)

Alex B. said...

This is a decent enough movie.
A typical thriller, but still with European touch which makes it OK.
Some very fair Lamberto Bava comments in the review!