International Horror Review: All the Colors of the Dark (dir by Sergio Martino)

It’s giallo time!

In this 1972 Italian film, Edwidge Fenech plays Jane Harrison.  Jane is haunted by both the murder of her mother and a more recent car accident, one that caused her to miscarry.  Jane has nightmares, featuring violent murders and lots of spilt blood.  Whenever Jane leaves her apartment, a mysterious man with piercing blue and perfect hair (played, of course, by the owner of the best head of hair in Italian cinema, Ivan Rassimov) follows her and threatens her.  Is the man real or is he just a figment of her imagination?  Her sister, Barbara (Susan Scott) insists that Jane see a psychiatrist.  Meanwhile, Jane’s boyfriend, Richard (the ruggedly handsome George Hilton) insists that the two of them can work through it.

However, Jane’s new neighbor, Mary (Marina Malfatti) has a suggestion that involves neither therapy nor love.  Mary suggests that Jane attend a black mass.  Jane agrees and …. wait, what?  A black mass?  Out of all the solutions that have been suggested, Jane decides to go with Satanism?  That seems like a bit of an extreme solution but then again, it was the 70s and it was Italy and maybe things were just different back then.  I’m just saying that I, personally, would not join a cult but obviously, some people do.  Maybe that’s how the Silent Hill cult got started.  Someone tried to be helpful by saying, “Let’s go to a black mass,” everyone said, “Sure!”  Who knows?

Anyway, Jane attends a few rituals, all of which will seem familiar to anyone who has seen Rosemary’s Baby.  She drinks the blood of a dog.  She takes part in an orgy.  Or does she?  The scenes are shot in such a fashion that we’re left to wonder whether they’re real or if they’re just taking place inside of Jane’s mind.  With her paranoia growing, Jane herself isn’t sure what’s really happening either.  All she knows is that it seems as if the members of the cult are everywhere and that the mysterious man still appears to be following her.  When people start dying in various gruesome ways, who is responsible?  Jane or the cult or someone else entirely?

All The Colors of the Dark is a favorite of mine, a stylish giallo with an insane plot, lots of sex and death, and killer performances from giallo regulars like Fenech, Hilton, and Rassimov.  The solution to this film’s mystery is actually pretty clever and — in a rarity for the giallo genre — it actually hold together when you think about it after the movie ends.  Visually, director Sergio Martino does a great job of creating an atmosphere of unease and suspicion and Jane’s dreams and visions are wonderfully executed.  My favorite moment is when Jane suddenly realizes that everyone around her is a member of the cult.  Are they really or is Jane just hallucinating?  Watch the movie to find out!

In October, it’s always nice to make some time for a good giallo, especially ones that feature George Hilton looking handsome and Ivan Rassimov looking dangerously intriguing.  All the Colors of the Dark is definitely one of the better ones.

One response to “International Horror Review: All the Colors of the Dark (dir by Sergio Martino)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/4/21 — 10/10/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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