Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 10th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1994
Director: Flavio Mogherini
Writers: Flavio Mogherini, Daniele Stroppa
Cast: Serena Grandi, Florinda Bolkan, Fabio Testi, Paul Martignetti, Vesela Dimitrova, Valcho Kamarashev, Anna Maria Petrova, John Armstead, Cesare Barro, Anya Pencheva, Magda Bonifacio, Daniele Stroppa, Susanna Bugatti
DVD released: April 27th, 2010
Approximate running time: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: The murder of a woman who is having an affair puts in motion a series a twists and turns which include another woman who is loosely connected first murder woman also being murdered.
Crime of Passion was co-written and directed by Flavio Mogherini (Lunatics and Lovers), who worked in a wide variety of film production jobs like production designer (Girl with a Suitcase, Accattone) and art director (Hercules, Mamma Roma, Satyricon, Danger: Diabolik). The screenplay for Crime of Passion was co-written by Daniele Stroppa who’s other notable screenwriting credits include The Convent of Sinners, Delirium: Photo of Gioia, Witchery, The House of Clocks, Kreola and Voices from Beyond. The cinematographer on Crime of Passion was Luigi Kuveiller who’s other notable credits include Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, The Five Days of Milan, Deep Red and The New York Ripper. The score for Crime of Passion was composed by Gianni Ferrio, who’s other notable film scores include A Bullet for Sandoval, Death Occurred Last Night and Kreola.
Even though all the elements of what one would expect from a giallo are laid into place. The film starts to lose its focus after the initial murder of the adulteress wife. A lot of the blame should fall on the shoulders of the police detective character named Ivan Zanova who is essential the character who guides the viewer for the bulk of the plot. The character is unconvincing as a police detective and to make matters worse there is another cop character who is a few months away from their retirement who Ivan is constantly leaning on for help with the case.
Having only seen one other film directed by Flavio Mogherini. I was not sure what to expect from him as a director. However having seen numerous film that cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller has worked on. I had high hopes that this film might bear some of the style is evident in the other films he worked on as a cinematographer. To my surprise outside of the two murders and a flashback sequence this film is a visually underwhelming.
Besides the opening murder, there is only one more murder and for a film that clocks in at just over 100 minutes that leaves a lot of time where very little happens. Another area where the film is disappointing is its cast which features a few recognizable faces Serena Grandi (Miranda, Craving Desire), Florinda Bolkan (Flavia the Heretic) and Fabio Testi (The Big Racket, The Heroin Busters), who are all greatly underused. Of the three Serena Grandi gets the most screen time. Unfortunately for those hoping to catch a glimpse of her more than ample breast. She only has one scene where she bares it all. Ultimately Crime of Passion is a forgettable thriller that is virtually devoid of suspense.
Crime of Passion is presented in a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. Judging by the framing of the image this appears to the be the film’s intended aspect ratio. This transfer appears to have come from a VHS source as the image looks soft and black levels range from average to weak. At least colors and flesh tones generally fare well. It should be noted that text appears a few times on screen in Italian and it is not subtitled in English.
This release comes with two options, Dolby Digital Stereo English, and Dolby Digital Stereo Italian (no English subtitles). Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced. There are no major issues with distortion or background noise.
Extras include a gallery with 14 images. Overall Crime of Passion gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.