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The Curator of Schlock #288 by Jeff Shuster

Delirium

That will be the title of my memoir. 

Week Five of Giallo Month here at The Museum of Schlock. What do you want me to say? I’m all gialloed out this point.

But I will persevere.

It’s usually around this point that I tell myself I will never do another Giallo Month. Of course, this is a lie. All it will take is for The House With the Laughing Windows or The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh to show up on streaming or on Blu-ray and I’ll be putty in Edwige Fenech’s hands again.

In fact, if Severin Films give them the royal treatment like All the Colors of the Dark, I’ll be a very happy man. That one came with a soundtrack CD.

Yes, I listen to Giallo soundtracks. Don’t make fun.

Tonight’s movie, Delirium, features tracks by Simon Boswell. He used to work with The Sex Pistols and Echo and the Bunnymen. Maybe you’ve heard of those bands.

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1987’s Delirium from director Lamberto Bava is interesting to watch since I’m more used to watching Gialli from the 70s, but the Italian movie industry kept moving along until it fell on hard times in the early 90s. Anyway, the movie begins and we’re treated to a barrage of synth rock and photos of naked ladies. The movie stars Serena Grandi as Gloria, a fierce and beautiful young woman who happens to run a very popular men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine called Pussycat. Gloria may have been a prostitute prior to marrying her late husband, the owner of the magazine. I’m assuming he was a Hugh Hefner type whose bum ticker finally tocked itself out.

Gloria would seem to have it all: a talented staff of photographers and models, a big fancy mansion, and a teenage paraplegic neighbor named Mark who makes obscene phone calls.

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But this wouldn’t be a Giallo without a little bit of murder. One night, one of Gloria’s models, Kim, gets stabbed in the stomach with a pitchfork and falls into Gloria’s swimming pool. However, the next morning, no body is found. Turns out the killer dumped Kim’s mutilated body into a dumpster, but not before taking photos of her corpse in front of a blown up photo of Gloria.

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In a later scene, the killer is dressed in a beekeeper’s suit. The killer seals off the doors and windows in this one model’s house, into which he releases a torrent of bees. Hundreds of bees sting the naked model as she’s drying herself off from a shower. To add insult to injury, the killer squirts honey into her hair.

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More murders happen. The killer is obsessed with Gloria. He stalks her in an empty department store, killing her brother and his girlfriend who were giving her an after hours tour. Gloria swears she heard a woman’s voice taunting her, but the police are zeroing in on a male suspect, Tony, the photographer. He gets run over by a car before police can question him, but they consider the case closed after that.

Or is it?

Here’s an interesting tidbit. Serena Grandi is known as the Dolly Parton of Italy. This is odd in that she never sang country music.


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Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.