Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Red Headed Corpse, Love....Poe Style

Shot in Turkey, this Italian production is heavy on Poe influences.  1972's "The Red Headed Corpse," seems to have taken a plot from a romantic comedy, and altered it to make it a deranged voyage into the taboo and macabre.  What does every pseudo-man want?  A beautiful woman who doesn't speak, fawns all over him, wants sex constantly, and never questions him! Yeah...right!  This always works out.  Not!  Unfortunately for our protagonist, this dream girl develops a voice and some selfish wants. What follows is....well...madness.
John (Farley Granger) is a struggling artist.  One day he comes across some hippies.  These free-spirits smoke a lot of pot and give John a gift....a beat-up, damaged, red-headed, nude mannequin. After John spends some time with a prostitute, Mala (Ivana Novak), he gets an idea.  John returns to his flat and restores the mannequin.  To his mild surprise, the thing comes to life as a subservient sex-toy (Krista Nell).  Now this woman has lots of sex with John, and John uses her as a model for his paintings.  Now his paintings are fetching lots of lira.
Uh oh, our subservient babe turns into something a lot less obedient (Erika Blanc).  Instead of a magnanimous love slave, our red-head now wants every man within 100 kilometers.  She seduces every warm body she sees, and grows cold and antagonistic toward John.  Even men who see her in John's paintings track her down, and she is all too happy to reward them for their efforts.  John, upset that his gal has a will of her own....and a hundred other lovers, hits the bottle.  He created her....and now he has another idea.  Has our red-headed free spirit gone too far?  What has John decided to do to her? Is she even real?
Perhaps a ghost story? Or maybe a murder mystery?  Or a study into the crazed mind of a struggling artist who has fallen into insanity?  Directed by Renzo Russo (I love that name), this is a fine thriller. Erika Blank turns in a most seductive performance, and steals the show.  Like Edgar Allan Poe, our protagonist just can't deal with a beautiful babe who happens to be alive. So, for all of you that got stuck paying money to see "Mannequin" because your girlfriend wanted to see it....see "The Red Headed Corpse," you deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds all too familiar for some inexplicable reason. Maybe, it's simply the common curse of being a beautiful female and a redhead.