It's hard to really say an official opinion on "La Decima Vittima"; on one hand, it doesn't work very well, with dated fashions and a genre that seems undefined, yet on the other, it feels like a sci-fi film years ahead of its time, and honestly, thought-provoking. Though it may not be anyone involved best film, there's something artistic and intriguing about "La Decima Vittima" that makes it all but impossible to ignore.
In the near future, a television show, entitled "The Big Hunt", picks a random "victim" and "hunter" from a computer to trot around the globe-- if the victim remains alive for ten games, he can then retire and win one-million dollars, something important in a society that doesn't make much money. The new participants, Caroline Meredith (Ursula Andress), a long-time hunter, and Marcello Polletti (Marcello Mastroianni), a hunter turned victim, are the one's at stake. Since the game goes without the victim knowing exactly who the hunter is, at first Marcello is suspicious of Caroline: and eventually, it becomes almost too difficult to bear when the twosome begin to fall for each other.
Mastroianni reportedly was angry with the director, Elio Petri, for making the film lighter in tone to please the studio bosses. But in my opinion, any darker and "La Decima Vittima" wouldn't be as entertaining. Petri keeps his tongue firmly in cheek, making Mastroianni bleach is hair, and forcing his characters to wear utterly ridiculous costumes. And yet, the film never stoops low enough to mere camp.
The film works terrifically as a political satire: Petri does an excellent job of playing on the media's obsession with dramatic game shows, and makes us truly wonder if society would ever do something as evil as "The Big Hunt". The fact that the character of Caroline often stops running to advertise a tea that gets her even more money is brilliant, and way ahead of its time. It surprisingly has aged well, because it works as a Godard-ian piece of art and presents ideas that were just as unique in 1965.
"La Decima Vittima" isn't a perfect film, but it often is so smart that it remains fascination 50+ years later.