The Curator of Schlock #129 by Jeff Shuster

The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion

(I don’t know if that’s the greatest movie title ever or the worst)

 We’ve got another Ennio Morricone soundtrack. This man is the unseen hero of the Giallo genre. It’s like these scores are half swinging 60s, half slasher movie fare. Yeah, that’s all you get. I’m not a music critic. I wish I had lived during the Swinging 60s or just Italy in the 70s. I could have been a visiting American writer in Rome who gets caught in a murder investigation of one of the local serial killers. The killer would turn out to be an elderly woman who sold peaches for a living. Her motive would be hatred of the Italian bourgeoisie who imported their peaches from Georgia.

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Tonight’s feature is The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion from director Luciano Ercoli. The Italian title is Le foto proibite di una signora per bene, which sounds even more sophisticated. The movie opens with a woman named Minou (Dagmar Lassander) taking a bath and ruminating via a voiceover on how she’s going to tease her husband by telling him she’s having an affair with another man. Minou also makes the decision to quit smoking and, obviously, taking tranquilizers.

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While Minou is walking the beach during sunset, she has a run in with a sex fiend (Simon Andreu). He’s got some kind cane affectation, but this cane has a spear hidden inside. He uses this to cut open her dress while he licks his lips, but he wants to “beg for my kisses.” He also informs Minou that her husband murdered one of his business partners. The sex fiend scuttles off after this. When Minou meets up with her husband, Peter (Pier Paolo Caponni), he tells the guy was probably just pulling a prank on her and that there’s nothing to worry about.

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Minou decides to go out dancing with her friend, Dominique (Susan Scott), who may or may not be a former lover of her husband, Peter. Dominique invites Minou over to her place to watch her slide projector. Instead of some slides of Dominique’s trip to Branson, MO, we are treated to pornographic photos of Dominique! She knows a photographer in Copenhagen who takes them for her. Minou then notices the sex fiend from earlier in one of Dominique’s photos.

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The sex fiend calls Minou later that night and plays a tape recording of her husband admitting to murdering his business partner. The sex fiend demands that Minou meet him at his hotel room or he’ll send the tape to the police. Minou acquiesces and I’ll leave it to your imagination as what happens next. I think the real mystery of this picture is whether the sex fiend is real or whether Minou is just plain old crazy. You’ll have to watch to find out.

Next week, I’ll be reviewing The Pyjama Girl Case. I’m so glad I only paid ten bucks for this set. You can watch The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion on Amazon Prime.

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Jeffrey Shuster 2

Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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