The Curator of Schlock #287 by Jeff Shuster
Death Laid an Egg
So did the director.
Week 4 of Giallo Month is here. Are you entertained? Did you know that over 400 gialli were made over there in Italy? Do you think I’m getting through all of them in this lifetime? I don’t think so. And you’d better believe that I’m going to try to watch as many of these through streaming services. But the trouble with services like Amazon Prime is that they giveth and taketh away. I planned to review Torso this month, but it’s no longer available. I planned on reviewing Eye in the Labyrinth this month, but every time I click on it to play, no dice. But never fear, I’ve found a replacement.
Tonight’s movie is 1968’s Death Laid an Eggfrom director Giulio Questi. If you ever wanted to spend ninety minutes in an automated chicken farm, then this is the movie for you!
Oh, man. I’ve got about three hundred and fifty more words to go.
How did I get here?
I am not finding myself in my beautiful house with my beautiful wife. Instead, I find myself watching a late 60s Italian poultry fetish movie at two in the morning. I can get through this. I can do it.
Death Laid an Egg starts out with a man named Marco (Jean-Louis Trintignant) meeting up with a woman in a hotel room. The woman is a prostitute and Marco mustn’t like prostitutes since he starts slicing her up with a straight razor. Later, Marco goes into an office building to figure out the best way to advertise chickens. You see, Marco co-manages a chicken farm with his sexy wife, Anna (Gina Lollobrigida). The chicken farm was recently automated which resulted in the plant workers being let go from their jobs.
Anna and Marco live an idyllic life on the chicken farm. They have a palatial estate, a fancy swimming pool, and separate beds to sleep in so they don’t hog each other’s covers at night. Anna also let her down-on-her luck cousin, Gabri (Ewa Aulin), stay with them. Gabri happens to be a young, pretty blonde woman and attracts the attention of Marco. The two begin having an affair. Marco wants to run away with her, start his life over with her, but Gabri refuses.
Meanwhile, Anna is obsessed with breeding the perfect chicken. She has bioengineers working to achieve this. Eventually, chickens are hatched that have no heads or wings, but are full of meat with few bones. Marco considers them an abomination. Anna thinks they are the chicken of tomorrow and can’t wait to showcase them before the Poultry Commission, but Marco destroys them before she gets the chance. This puts Marco in hot water with the Poultry Commission. You could say his goose is cooked.
What am I watching here? I want to see horrific murders being committed by a psychopath with black gloves, trench coat, and fedora. I don’t want a diatribe on the dehumanizing effects of automation.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have the hankering for some chicken salad.
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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