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one of the greatest of its kind
The movie that preceded three masterpieces (not counting "Le Cinque Giornate") already shows originality, attention for the detail, suspense, and great talent for visuals, qualities that will show up amplified in his movies from 1975 to 1980.
A hidden gem from Argento. Great plot and very well filmed.
The weakest of Argento's Animal trilogy makes little to no sense, but still has some freaky imagery and the magnificent slow motion ending easily ranks as some of his best work
To the end of my days will I praise the cinematography that these Italian directors use! It's seriously a brilliantly shot Giallo film! Is it one of my favourites... No, I can't say it is! The film has all the elements that make a good Giallo including horror, suspense and mystery elements... However, the story was a little bland and the tone of the film didn't reach tense heights that I have come to expect! It is still an entertaining watch however...
Up there with Suspiria, better than Tenebre and Opera. Special effects shots and the POV is worth watching, especially the finale. "While the slight story and gore factor rate low, the Argento style is in full flourish. ... Four Flies on Grey Velvet is worthy of nostalgic buzz." "The film is brilliantly shot and edited, the flashback scenes, while brief, are picturesque and haunting. Four Flies is a worthy experimental effort, a bizarre and slightly whimsical giallo."
The third film by Dario Argento after The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971), and this one completed his unofficial "Animal Trilogy", and here he was lucky enough to get Paramount Pictures to distribute the film worldwide. It should have broken him into the mainstream, but poor distribution made this one unavailable for years. It's a little seen gem, well made and very stylish. Roberto Tobias (Michael Brandon) is a drummer in a rock band based in Rome, but he's noticed someone following him around for the past few days, but he doesn't know who it is. Before long, he confronts the stalker in an abandoned theatre, who reveals himself to be Carlo Marosi (Calisto Calisti). The two men get into an fight, and Roberto ends up accidentally killing Marosi, and someone witnessed him doing so, but he doesn't know who. So, he asks gay private investigator Gianni Arrosio (Jean-Pierre Marielle) and the mysterious Godfrey (Bud Spencer) to help find out who is now trying to blackmail him for the murder. It's one of Argento's weirdest films, (and they got VERY weird with Suspiria (1977)), but it's got some good technical trickery and good effects along the way. It also has a rock score by Ennio Morricone and a young Michael Brandon before he made it big with Dempsey and Makepeace.
It's one of Argento's best films, light on gore with stunning visuals.
The third part of Dario Argento's giallo "animal trilogy", consisting of "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage" and "The Cat O' Nine Tails", the finale, the Italian "4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio" isn't necessarily the best of the three, but it's an exquisite exercise not only in the giallo sub-genre, but in the artistic sensibilities that only Argento can master.
Right off the bat, "4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio" isn't an interesting as any of Argento's best films-- the plot feels rushed and it quickly loses pace. The suspense is too quick and the gore that Argento's known for isn't here-- and with giallo, that's an aspect that you expect. There's a lot of unneeded silliness here too, from the gay PI that aids Robert in his sleuthing to the strange looking mask the killer dons. But the film itself is so well-done and beautifully shot that it's all but impossible to ignore.
Brandon has none of the charisma evident that a "hero" needs for one of these films need. He's not only boring, but he's selfish-- characteristics that just don't work. Thankfully, he's saved by Mimsy Farmer, who not only the only good actress in the film, but she adds in a unique beauty that's different than Edwige Fenech or Suzy Kendall-- yet, she's just as beguiling.
Setting everything aside, though, the star of the show is both the cinematography and the Ennio Morricone score. With "Deep Red" and "Suspiria" both boast color as scare-factors, here, the darkness it what makes the film scary. Scenes, such as the maid's murder in the maze at night, or Robert's mistress getting stalked by the killer in a pitch black room, with just a sliver of light to guide her, show cinematic master. They combine both the horror and beauty that Argento later would effortlessly perfect. Morricone's score too, gives you the uneasy feeling needed to create suspense, and that's why his giallo scores stand among the greatest.
"4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio" isn't nearly one of Argento's best films, but its artistic sensibilities are its saving grace.
4 MOUCHES DE VELOURS GRIS en vf. Entre terreur et comédie, le dernier film de la trilogie animale de Dario emballe presque forcément, même si pour moi il reste le plus faible des 3 films. Peut-être parce qu'il semble être le brouillon de son chef d'oeuvre LES FRISSONS DE L'ANGOISSE...