The Perfume of the Lady In Black (1974)

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A steady, well told psychodrama stirred into a mid-70s euro slasher that rarely wobbles into the sloppiness so many of these films are prone to. It’s very well told with a brave, authentic performance by Mimsy Farmer at the centre and augmented by a considered aesthetic that is a step above your standard exploitation fare by feeling like an authentic extension of the heroine’s jagged psyche. The film’s last movement is a luscious downward spiral into a very specific kind of feminine madness that you see a lot in these movies, usually as an excuse to get a heavy dose of sex and violence into the mix, but here, rather than being distasteful, it feels like the logical conclusion to all the shit this woman has been through beforehand. As a result, the movie ends with emotional wallop rooted in character and not mere viscera and titillation A rare thing.

Viewed on 88 Films’ blu-ray.

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