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Author Topic: Spanish Giallo: La muerte ronda a Mónica (1976)  (Read 33 times)
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« on: October 21, 2017, 09:04:45 PM »


Watched on DVD 8

** This review may contain spoilers ***

Taking part in a ICM poll for the best movies of 1976,I started checking the shelf for the DVD of Ruggero Deodato's Italian Crime epic Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man. Looking down the shelves,I was pleased to find the 1976 duo of Nico Mastorakis's debut Death Has Blue Eyes,and an enticing-sounding Giallo,which led to me meeting Mónica.

The plot:

Getting married to heiress Mónica, Federico uses her money to set-up a successful company called Eurozona. Dominating boardroom meetings, Federico starts an affair with Eva, (who is a lesbian,and deeply in love with Elena)Unknown to Federico,Elena and Eva have made plans to blackmail Eurozona out of Federico's hands. Aware of their marriage being in trouble and feeling uncomfortable around Eurozona's co- CEO/her husbands pal Arturo, Mónica is shaken when a burglar enters her house and she shoots him. Waking up after fainting from fear, Mónica finds the dead body of Federico's former business partner Diego. Dropping Diego's body in the river, Mónica soon finds her sanity to drop with it.

View on the film:

Investigating this psychological "bloodless" Giallo with a Film Noir flavour, director Ramón Fernández & cinematographer Hans Burmann make their three leading ladies appear incredible beautiful,with the extended scenes where they are naked being presented in elegant side-shots that give a playfully casual mood to the double-dealing conversations taking place. Smashing into Mónica's mansion, Fernández burns down her life of luxury with ultra-stylised creeping camera moves slithering round the house,and lingering glimpses in the corner of rooms building on the anxiety of Mónica's crumbling mind.

Laying out all of their possessions, the screenplay by Juan José Alonso Millán superbly agitates the gaps in Federico and Mónica "perfect marriage", where Federico's dangerous liaison with Eva brings out a cold Film Noir fear in Mónica of being surrounded by vipers. Racing to a wonderfully odd mad-dash double-crossing revelation to the mystery, Millán chips into Mónica's doubts over her sight with gripping Giallo sleigh of hand that in this case actually does run like clockwork, and uses the double trouble of Elena and Eva as Femme Fatale sirens who attract Mónica anxiety to their underhanded dealing.

Wrapping tightly round each other,sexy Karin Schubert and Bárbara Rey give terrific performances as Elena and Eva,who are both given an icy vibe that gives their exchanges with Federico and Mónica a venomous snap. Bouncing off Jean Sorel delicately playing the ambiguity of Federico, "Nadiuska" sizzles as Mónica,whose ruptures in paranoia Nadiuska pushes Mónica deep into the Giallo black gloves.

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