A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (Una Lucertola con la pelle di donna) (1971)
This cult movie classic, also known as Schizoid, is a psychodrama murder mystery thriller involving LSD, psychoanalysis, lesbianism, and having at least one extremely gory dream sequence which involves eviscerated dogs. The director had to prove in court that the dogs in question were fabricated and not real. Florinda Bolkan stars as the woman with all the clues to murder. Stanley Baker is the unlucky police inspector who has to separate what is fact from fantasy. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
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Critic Reviews for A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (Una Lucertola con la pelle di donna)
The second of [Lucio Fulci's] gialli, and perhaps the most exemplary among the four.
An absolutely astringent vision of a reptilian world, where even reveries function not as escape but as blueprints for murder
Audience Reviews for A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (Una Lucertola con la pelle di donna)
A troubled rich woman Carol Hammond played by Florinda Bolkan is suffering from a series of bizarre sexual dreams where she indulges in lesbian activities with her neighbor Julia Durer(Anita Strindberg).Unfortunately one morning after another perverse sex dream culminating in a gory knifing of Julia,Carol is shocked to find that Julia was murdered in her apartment the stormy night before. When all evidence points to Carol being the culprit she must not only investigate the crime but determine what is dream and what is reality. "Lizard in a Woman's Skin" is perhaps the most bizarre and puzzling Fulci's giallo.The cinematography by Luigi Kuvellier is splendid with some gorgeous visuals and the dream scenes are appropriately psychedelic. The eviscerated dogs sequence still shocks unprepared viewers drawn into the murder mystery aspect of the film. 2 1/2 Stars 7-23-13More
Despite the sex and nudity early on and a couple of moments of bloody violence, this is one of the more classier efforts from Lucio Fulci, a far cry from his sleaze and splatter filled films from the 80s. It's a well plotted and stylish 'whodunnit' murder mystery all set in 70s London. As the list of suspects build towards the end things got a little confusing, but it's reasonably well acted and gripping enough. Shame Fulci doesn't get enough credit for his earlier films.More
When people think of Lucio Fulci, it's always his gorier and largely incoherent efforts that spring to mind. Films like Zombie Flesh-Eaters and The Beyond, which are most definitely good films if you like that sort of thing (as I certainly do!); but they don't adequately portray the man's talent. If you want to see the 'great' Fulci films, you need to go back to his Giallo days with films like Don't Torture a Duckling and indeed this film; A Lizard in Woman's Skin. Fulci's first Giallo is a trippy thriller that excellently captures the laid back style of the swinging sixties and blends it magnificently with the thrilling pace that has gone on to epitomise the Italian thriller. The film follows a young woman (Florinda Bolkan) who dreams that she is having orgies with a hippy woman that lives downstairs. Events take a turn for the worse when the young woman dreams that she's killed the hippy, who then turns up dead; brutally murdered in her apartment, in exactly the way that the woman dreamt...
While this film isn't as brutal as some of the later Giallo efforts, Fulci succeeds in creating a foreboding atmosphere and manages to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. The plot line is rather strange, and Fulci makes best use of this through an excellent Ennio Morricone score, which firmly instills the trippy atmosphere in the viewers mind. The Giallo has come to be synonymous with brutal murders and lots of gore but, ironically, Fulci keeps his murders down a minimum and some of them even happen off screen. This is both a good and a bad thing as I, personally, like seeing brutal murders in Giallo's; but on the other hand it allows Fulci to keep the focus firmly on the central murder and he doesn't get sidetracked with lots of blood and gore, which does the film itself lots of favours. The mystery boils down to an excellent ending, in which the film is tied up nicely and we are treated to a great twist and some first rate detective work from the detective on the case. Highly recommended viewing and a must for Giallo fans!
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