Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Dr George Dumurrier (Jean Sorel), a surgeon and head of a clinic who
has come under fire for inventing some miracle surgeries to boost the
profile of his clinic, leaves his asthmatic wife Susan (Marisa Mell) at
home one evening to spend the night with his lover Jane (Elsa Martinelli).
When he returns home the next day, she's dead, and has died under quite
mysterious circumstances. When it's revealed that she has made him
beneficiary of her vast insurance policy, despite the fact that she hated
him, everybody gets suspicious that he might have killed her, and the
insurance company sends a detective (Bill Vanders) after him.
George stumbles upon a stripper, Monica (also Marisa Mell), who apart from
hair and eye colour is the exact splitting image of his deceased wife. He
gets so fascinated by this that he pays (she moonlights as a prostitute)
to spend the night with her. This is enough for the insurance detective to
call in the police, and they soon have Monica arrested and find
incriminating evidence in her apartment. Now Monica confesses she and
George have planned an insurance scam, and enough evidence can be found at
her place to corroborate that. George is arrested and Monica is let go for
having been cooperative - and she simply disappears from the face of the
George is convicted for the murder of his wife and gets the death
sentence, and while already waiting for his execution, his brother Henry
(Alberto de Mendoza) pays him a visit - to tell him what has really been
going on: Point is, Henry was Susan's lover, and she had only chosen
George over him for his money. But Henry figures with him being George's
only relative left, he will inherit all of George's money and the
insurance money, too, so he deviced a plan to get George into the gas
chamber. The beauty of this plan is of course that Susan isn't really
dead, and she and Monica are actually one and the same person - so yes,
Susan has become a stripper just to get her husband out of the way, and
only as a stripper she could have gotten the police onto George's trail,
and the incriminating evidence was of course planted. The corpse she and
Henry have provided to the police was actually that of her nurse (Malisa
Longo), who was actually also a stripper in on the plan. With George out
of the way, Henry and Susan figure on going to Paris to start anew ...
all of this, George tries to move heaven and earth to find evidence that
proves him innocent, and he figures if the dental records of the dead
nurse don't match those of his wife (who's supposed to be the corpse),
that would acquit him - but alas, the dental records do match (Henry had
his hands in this, having exchanged the dental records in George's clinic,
where he had free access to everything).
George is already led into the
gas chamber while Henry and Susan meet at a café in Paris, celebrating
their victory ... when a stripshow customer (Riccardo Cucciolla) who is
obsessed with her but was rejected by her pulls out a gun and shoots her
dead out of frustrationand Henry as well. This of course saves George in
the nick of time.
In 1969, the giallo genre - basically
the Italian version of the murder mystery - was still in its infancy, and
while this film is generally regarded as an early giallo, don't expect all
the genre elements to be firmly in place (especially the horror aspects of
later genre entries are absent here), but Perversion Story is still
a potent precursor of films to come: It's directed with genuine verve and
elegance, it's got an utterly Italian vibe to it (despite being set in San
Francisco), there's quite a bit of nudity as well as quite some sleazy
undercurrents, it features many an unexpected yet unlikely plottwist, and
story is a tad overconvoluted.
So basically, Perversion Story is
by no means a genre classic, but it's still a pretty watchable murder
mystery that's also very easy on the eye.