Inspector Gianni Di Salvo is called in to investigate the discovery of a wrapped in plastic nude body of a young girl, located and waterlogged at the base of a dam. Her death was ruled a homicide after the coroner discovers her insides ripped apart from the blunt trauma of an extremely large dildo. The case leads the detective to an all-girl private school that aims to keep it’s pristine reputation, but with many suspects at hand, Inspector Di Salvo has no choice but to play the wildcard in tracking down a killer and breaking all the rules handed down to him by his superior, Chief Inspector Louis Roccaglio. The deeper he digs into the case, his long list of suspects shortens when they turn up murdered themselves, but the inspector’s key to solving this case lies with the young girl’s inseparable friends, Franca, Paola, and Virginia, whom frantically try to keep their secret under a tight lip.
“Someone with a cock this big raped Angela Russo and threw her in the river!” Trust me, thats not a line from a porn, but spoken by popular lead actor Fabio Tetsi is the ultimate hook. The long, hard, veiny lure that sucks you deep into this 1978 giallo known as “Enigma Rosso,” the first feature film by television director Alberto Negrin. Also known as “Red Rings of Fear” or just simply “Rings of Fear,” a plethora of screenwriters penned the uber-sleazy murder mystery, including Marcello Coscia (“The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue”), Massimo Dallamano (“What Have They Done to Your Daughters?”), Franco Ferrini (“Demons 2”), Peter Berling, Stefano Ubezio, and, the director as well, Alberto Negrin. “Enigma Rosso” completes the “school girl in peril” trilogy, following director Massimo Dallamano’s two films, “What Have You Done to Solange?” and “What Have They Done to Your Daughters?”, that don’t connect via a storyline but the reigns were unfortunately handed to Negrin to finish the task after tragedy struck Dallamano that rendered him deceased before production.
Lucio Fulci’s “Contraband” star Fabio Tetsi sizes up as the determined Inspector Gianni Di Salvo with a penchant for his kleptomaniac girlfriend. Tetsi’s a handsome, rugged actor with a defined jawline, dark and thick features, and a dimpled chin when he’s not sporting a beard or a goatee, such as in “Enigma Rosso.” Di Salvo goes from suspect-to-suspect with his equally eager assistant Bruno Allessandra. The two cops report to the off hands Chief Inspector played by a very worldly Ivan Desny and Desny’s casual style is polar opposite of the act first, look later of Tetsi. The officers go through a slew of suspects, including one played by American actor Jack Taylor (“Pieces”) as a very wealthy and scandalous shop owner who likes young women and three lovelies, Silvia Aguilar, Taida Urruzola, and Carolin Ohrner as “The Inseparables” form a forbidden click of girls who know what has transpired but are too scared to say a word. Tony Isbert (“Tragic Ceremony”) also has a role of a German teacher whose too involved with one female student in particular. Rounding out the cast is Helga Liné, from the sexploitation “Madame Olga’s Pupils,” María Asquerino, and Christine Kaufman as the Inspector’s love interest with a insatiable habit for stealing, but that romance fizzles in a matter of two scenes that don’t quite build up the tension between them.
“Enigma Rosso” puts the school girl in obscene peril, for sure. And, also, puts the school girl full frontal in various scenes ranging from desire to showers and in such scenes that exhibit the exploits of a large dildo being used during a sex party to pave the way for a crime, giving the film a perverseness air about it that glorifies the giallo that it embodies and embraces. Complete with the killer’s first person point of view, ominous gloved murderous hands, and the mysterious allure of an elaborate reason behind the murder, “Enigma Rosso” has everything a thirsty giallo drinker would gulp down. However, with the long list of writers, Negrin’s film partakes in a nonconformist pattern from intriguing and intricate mystery to wild hair hunches and scattered brain antics that jive about as a well as grape jam on a hot dog. the finale also wraps up too easily that Inspect Di Salvo doesn’t even break a sweat figuring out the whodunit aspect and more goes in line with a talking head scene that’s an exposition of events rendering a lackluster finale. However, the ending does wrap up the story nicely, leaving no unanswered or unsolved enigmas about the crime.
Scorpion Releasing and Doppelgänger Releasing present “Enigma Rosso,” also known as “Trauma” or “Virgin Terror,” onto a not rated 1080p High-Definition Blu-ray in a widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. From brand new scans of the original negatives with extensive color correction, noted as done in The States, this is, and will ever be, the best version of the Negrin’s giallo. For instance, the coloring vastly outscores any other version with natural skin tones and in the brilliancy of conventional giallo color palettes. Some issue still surface to rear the unfortunate blemishes from the original negatives, such as vertical (blue) scratches that poison a couple of scenes. Also, there’s also a color correctness issue far right of the screen through the entire 85 minute duration, showing an fault in the scan with the unintentional exhibition of the untouched negative. Two audio versions exist on the static menu: an Italian language with English Subtitles and an English dubbed. The mono track has no real serious issues other than a slight static during more high frequency effects. “Don’t Torture a Duckling’s” Riz Ortolani furnished score has a robust quality that highlights the upbeat swanky tones of a 1970’s Italian crime film. Only an audio commentary with historian and author of the Mondo Digital website Nathaniel Thompson. Sizzlingly laced with casual nudity, glued together by elaborate criminal coverup, “Enigma Rosso” is one of Alberto Negrin’s most memorable shiplapped pieces of work in the most polished impressions of the original negative.
In the quiet western town of Clifton, Scott is the naive town fool. As a simple bastard of a prostitute, Scott grew up without a place in Clifton and without knowing who fathered him and is belittled. Scott is only good for is taking up sweeping outside homes, taking care of the horses, and collecting the residential human waste for disposal in order to earn a better living for himself. But That all changed when Frank Talby rode into town. The infamous gunslinger takes the adoring Scott under his wing and turns the town fool into Talby’s right hand gun for hire, making Scott a fast drawing force in Clifton. When Talby takes the reigns over the town of Clifton, Scott doesn’t pity those who mistreated him as Talby turns the disrespectful rich into the town fools, but the one man that cared for Scott is the one man Talby hates the most from his past and Scott must choose between his long time mentor or his newly found idol when the two showdown.
This is a first; a spaghetti western review on Its Bloggin’ Evil! But I just love the genre with the rich story lines and colorful dialogues and dynamics between characters. The genre never becomes dull, the desert stricken west never looks unbearable on screen, and, just like that Seth MacFarlane movie, there are certainly are a million ways to die in the west. Director Tonino Valerli’s “Day of Anger” fits the bill for the Italian Western genre. Also entitled “Gunlaw” or “I giorni dell’ira,” Rome born Giuliana Gemma stars as Scott Mary to make this an authentic spaghetti western and genre veteran, and overall on screen bad guy, Lee Van Cleef, who you may recognize form “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” as the downright mean snake Frank Talby.
The story directly sets up Scott as this blundering idiot, but if you watch closely during the progression of the character, Scott is written with easter eggs showcasing him as being quick, agile, and strong. With Talby schooling him on how to be a gritty gunslinger, Scott is well on his way to being what he always idolized and instead of being the town joke, the town fears him. This is also where the script becomes a bit of enigma because you want Scott, the fool, to be respected by the people of Clifton. Yet, the people still don’t respect Scott and only fear him because he’s becoming like the ruthless Talby who the town folk despise. Giuliana Gemma does a fine job at portraying the nitwit part of Scott, but not so much the quick draw, new and improved Scott. Gemma made the character growth too easy and didn’t sell it properly to have Scott earn the right to be tough.
Lee Van Cleef, on the other hand, is damn nasty. The natural look of undermining and deceptiveness with power and brutality just can’t be undone in any project Cleef undertakes. The character Talby is formidable, cutthroat, and smart and Cleef plays those qualities to the exact tune. Scott is severely overshadowed by Talby making Cleef more of the stud as the “Day of Anger” headlining actor than Giuliana. Giuliana had some success in the niche genre under the pseudo name Montgomery Wood, maybe because it sounded more American or more Hollywood, but when death came for the genre, so did it for Gemma’s lucrative Italian career. Overall, both male leads are not hindered by a female love interest. “Day of Anger,” from start to finish, only contains a handful of scenes were women become prevalent.
The Arrow Film’s Blu-ray released from MVDVisual is quite awe-inspiring sharp with a beautifully brilliant picture that is presented in it’s original aspect ratio 2.35:1 format from the transfer of the original negative. The long range shots of the desert are unbelievable with the 1080p transfer. The contrasting colors amongst the town of Clifton organically bring the town to life, constructing a seemingly realistic town rather than a stage or a set. The audio comes in three soundtrack options: English (longer cut of the film), Italian (longer cut of the film), or English (shorter international version). The Riz Ortolani soundtrack really stands out clearly and firmly but not in annoying overbearing style that doesn’t sync with the film or with the characters’ dialogues. There are a few high frequency pops during a couple of transitional scenes, but these won’t distract from the amazing film. This Region A and B Blu-ray is absolutely stunning with loads of extras just waiting to be experienced. MVD and Arrow Film’s Blu-ray version of “Day of Anger,” the first time on Blu-ray anywhere in the world, would be a fine piece for anybody’s western collection.