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The Two Faces of Fear (1972)

  Tags: 70's, Giallo, Giallo Flicks, Murder, Mystery

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Tulio Demichelli
88 minutes
George Hilton Fernando Rey Luciana Paluzzi Anita Strindberg Manuel Zarzo

Here we have another somewhat rare Giallo directed by a relatively unknown director but staring many familiar faces. The most familiar being genre vet George Hilton and the good looking Anita Strindberg. They have both been in good and bad flicks so that didn't necessarily draw me in. Nevertheless I hadn't seen or heard anything about this particular film so that is reason enough to check it. Well it was reason enough for me..

The plot of the movie revolves around a clinic and its staff, or more specifically it's hierarchy. There is a main group of focus that consists entirely of prominent surgeons and doctors, led by Dr. Roberto Carli (George Hamilton) and his ailing wife who happens to own the clinic. Those two and the rest of the group are desperately trying to convince Dr. Michele Azzini not to defect to a rival clinic. Generous offers are made but it's becomes evident that Michele won't accept them and is dead set on defecting. As you would suspect this sets up the defiant doctor's demise. Coming by way of an unseen assailant that guns him down in his own home, following the unsuccessful meeting. This sets up everything that follows, including the completely off the wall "I even massaged the birds prostate" comment from a detective.

I must say the shooting death was pretty cool and was a good enough start to the film, things didn't quit hold up though. As the movie slowly unfolds, and I do mean slowly, we get a lot of dialogue. Beyond the back and forth between the doctors there is a stubborn detective determined to solve the murder. This is also fairly uneventful as it only leads to different yet equally boring dialogue. As the movie ticks by that's pretty much all the audience gets, a lot of cheap talk. There is very little to hold your interest and even less in violence department. Gone are the bright red blood stains, violent murders and the trademark suspense. Nothing of any merit is used to fill in these huge gaps, unless you actually enjoy the bland chatter.

Like I said before there is no action after the initial shooting, which is more than disappointing. Nearly everyone is suspect yet you can't manage to care who did it or why. I suppose it should be noted that the movie has a grand total of two, yes two, killings. That in itself pretty much lets you know what you’re in for, if only I would have known that before I decided to watch this flick.. The direction here is average, which is actually better than the tiresome film deserves. Cinematography and editing are also weak points as both are fair to bad, not that they could have saved this snooze fest. Things are nearly as bleak in the musical department, but the score is ok, and one piece is actually quite good. I will also give a nod to the actors, since the cast does their best to keep the tedium from getting completely out of control.

The Two faces of Fear goes unnoticed for a good reason, it's completely forgettable. There is no action and very little of anything else to hold ones interest. While the acting and soundtrack are decent the rest of the film isn't. Not the worst I’ve seen by any stretch, but it's certainly one of the more uneventful outings I can remember.

Posted on June 23, 2009 - 10:43am | steelba