IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH
Reviewed by: Jamey Hughton
Eleonara Rossi Drago
What's it about
A family residing in an Italian villa is involved in a series of bizarre sexual encounters and murders. Itís murder mystery sexploitiation, giallo style!
Is it good movie?
Itís not much of a surprise to learn that the title IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH is derived from a quote by Sigmund Freud. Really not much of a surprise at all, once you see where the film is headed. Hereís another gem of ďgialloĒ cinema, an exploitation sub-genre that emerged in the 70s that push sex and violence to extremes (at least they did at the time). Itís really hard to get further into the plot than I already have, because the film is not only tasteless but also totally incoherent. Bear with me.
The movie seems to be about six mysteries rolled into one. An opening prologue shows us some kind of murder at the villa, then we jump ahead to years later, where a woman (Eleonora Rossi Drago) and another man who looks her age but turns out to be her son (creepy) are hosts to a series of visitors one strange night. They are all men who want to have their way with the women at the villa, but instead find themselves murdered and then melted by the family. Thereís another dirty criminal type-dude who shows up and seems to know something that no one else does. From here, things make even less sense than they did already. The story more than happily delves into incest (but you knew that already if you know this Freud guy), there are some silly decapitations, and even a flashback scene in a concentration camp shower room
Aside from the twists that donít make any sense, the overriding feeling that writer-director Sergio Bergonzelli wanted to make a psychedelic, sexed-up, important art house film oozes through every pretentious frame. There are weird, dreamlike directorial flourishes that donít make any sense. The editing is a disaster. All of the acting is 100% over-the-top. This is all called for given the ďstyleĒ of film I guess, but that doesnít make it any more bearable. IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH is also pretty soft in the T&A department, with the kinky sex stuff mostly implied (which is enough), and the violence is poorly handled. If you want good blood n guts (among other things) with your giallo movie night, you should definitely rent something by Dario Argento instead.
Video / Audio
Video Widescreen 1.85:1 - Not a bad transfer for a 1970 film, although the print is damaged at times.
Audio Stereo - It sounds crappy, especially with the poor dubbing.
Just the film's Theatrical Trailer, which makes it look appropriately sleazy.
IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH is artsy-fartsy exploitation filmmaking at its worst. Even if you are interested in the giallo sub-genre I would give it a pass, because it's a frustrating, off-putting piece of film.