DEADLY SWEET (COL CUORE IN GOLA)
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and Luigi Carpentieri
What's it about
A French actor living in London discovers a dead man and a beautiful young woman who claims she did not kill the man. They team up to undercover the truth, have relations, and stare at a lot of 60s pop culture.
Is it good movie?
Iíve never heard of Deadly Sweet. Iíve never heard of Tinto Brass. Iíve never of a giallo pop art thriller. But thankfully, that doesnít mean Iím incapable of learning, otherwise, you know, I would sorta suck. Briefly, giallo is an Italian crime fiction genre. The word itself means yellow (as in old paperback crime novels) and the way I understand it, itís basically an offshoot of film noir. Just more arty farty and 60s-ish. In fact, throughout Deadly Sweet, comic books dominate the imagery, and according to director Tinto Brass in his commentary, the film more or less is all about style and the inspiration of modern (at the time) pop culture. Itís an interesting thing watching a movie that is an absolute time capsule of an exact time and place. More than any film Iíve seen in a while, Deadly Sweet fully embraces the era, even down to Batman Adam West style Pow! and Bam! inserts when punches and kicks are thrown.
With Deadly Sweet being a snippet of a certain time and place, the film feels extraordinarily dated. Movies from the 30s through the 50s all appear relatively the same. Not just in the black and white photography, but in the style and the mannerisms of all characters. But in the 60s as we all know, filmmakers strived to break new ground (obviously). Some films hold up well while still embracing the period while others, like this film, only work if one understands the context. Thereís so many technical experiments throughout Deadly Sweet that its distracting at times, transitioning from color to black and white without any real reason, split screens, crooked angles. The film speeds up here and there. Oh, and thereís a definite fetish for Tarzan and Jane going on.
Deadly Sweet is a little confusing if you just jump right into it without reading up just a tad first. Itís an Italian thriller about a French guy living in London with an English girl who speaks perfect French. Huh? I must admit a little confusion occurred at first, but one element quickly diverted by attention: female star Ewa Aulin. She, at the time, was a 17-year-old beauty queen, and man was she hot. Like any good 60s flick, sex finds a way into the plot even if theyíre artsy sex sequences, so fanboys can enjoy that. But Aulin exudes sexiness throughout and her French lover Jean-Louis Trintignant effectively plays the noir-ish lead man, even if heís a little goofy and basically a pervert for sleeping with such a young woman. But hey. It was the 60s after all.
Video / Audio
Video: A semi-crisp and clear 16x9 Widescreen presentation. The film often shifts back and forth between black and white and very rich color.
Audio: Presented with the power of 2.0 Digital Surround Sound.
Commentary: Director Tinto Brass provides the track. Heís very old school, something difficult to understand with a thick Italian accent, but for anyone interested in 1960s experimental films, itís definitely worth a listen.
Not for all considering the dated material and thereís more of a flair for camp than any intrigue or mystery, but Deadly Sweet is worth checking out for any fan of the 1960s. Or of barely legal girls.