Friday, April 20, 2007

All the Colors of the Dark (1972)

All the Colors of the Dark is a trippy, hallucinatory film starring the gorgeous Edwige Fenech and is directed by Sergio Martino.

After suffering the loss of her unborn child in a car accident, Jane (Edwige Fenech) has frequent, reoccurring nightmares of a horrifying event from her childhood. Her live-in boyfriend Richard (George Hilton) tries to tell her it’s all in her head, but Jane can’t help but feel that the murderous man in her nightmares is following her in real life. After a visit to the psychiatrist that her sister (Nieves Navarro) suggests, the madman follows her home. Now everywhere she turns, his piercing blue eyes seem to find her. When Jane becomes friends with a neighbor (Marina Malfatti), the neighbor suggests she attend a sabbat to get rid of all the bad energy. When Jane arrives to the ceremony, she is startled and horrified to find a devil-worshipping cult. They make her drink dog’s blood, then proceed to rape her in an initiation that also involves getting a tattoo. Jane is now under the cult's control and they make her do some horrible things. The blue-eyed man is still around, too, and is trying to kill her. Things only get worse from there, as Jane can’t seem to tell between reality and her nightmares. Is the cult controlling her or is everything in her head?

Director Sergio Martino crafts a delirious, nightmarish film with All the Colors of the Dark. The ominous, freaky tone is set straightaway with Jane’s disturbing nightmares and continues throughout the picture with murders, satanic rituals, orgies, creepy stalkers and frightening flashbacks. Giallo and Italian exploitation regulars Fenech, Hilton, Ivan Rassimov, Malfatti and Navarro put on their usual great performances and the rest of the supporting cast do a wonderful job as well. I was especially impressed with the frightfully creepy, dirty and just unpleasant-looking people that made up the satanic cult. Imagining those people touching me (let alone groping and raping!) gave me the willies!!

My favorite part of the film, though, was the direction by Martino. He really created a disorienting atmosphere that made you feel like you were in Jane’s shoes. Just when I thought I had things figured out, I was surprised and left thinking, “What’s going on?!” There are also some very sleazy moments and copious amounts of nudity. Fenech bares all, as usual, and the other lovely ladies of the film won’t disappoint you sleazehounds out their either.

My only complaints were that the film does drag a little bit in parts and the ending left something to be desired. The ending left many unanswered questions as to what actually occurred, but I believe it was done on purpose for the viewer to make up his or her mind. It did bother me a little, because I couldn’t quite figure out what was real and what wasn’t.

Nonetheless, All the Colors of the Dark is a definite must-see for those that appreciate gialli and Italian exploitation.

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