Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 16th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, May 2nd, 1970
Director: Sergio Bergonzelli
Writers: Sergio Bergonzelli, Fabio De Agostini
Cast: Eleonora Rossi Drago, Pier Angeli, Fernando Sancho, Alfredo Mayo, Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, María Rosa Sclauzero, Víctor Alcázar, Giancarlo Sisti, Gaetano Imbró, Luciano Catenacci, Bruno Ciangola
DVD released: October 28th, 2008
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: A young woman is traumatized after witnessing the death of her father as child. This tragic event has turned her into a praying mantis who quickly disposes of her lovers. One day a blackmailer shows up and threatens to reveal the truth behind her fathers’ death.
In the Folds of the Flesh quickly establishes itself as a film that is more about the psychological damage that can occur as a result of a tragic event. Then it is a murder by numbers thriller. From the film’s opening moments were we are witnesses to a woman burying a body who crime is viewed by a wanted man on the run from the law. This event sets up his later attempt at blackmailing her. The film’s numerous flashback sequences give us in fragments glimpses of the truth. One minor drawback with the plot is its over reliance on Freudian psycho Babel. The violence in the film is not that graphic or shocking. The deaths are quick and relatively bloodless. This doesn’t mean that they have lost their effectiveness. All the killings’ in the film are committed for the purpose of covering up a previous crime.
In the Folds of the Flesh was directed by Sergio Bergonzelli who also co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Visually Sergio Bergonzelli’s direction is very effective especially the aforementioned flashback sequences. Eleonora Rossi Drago plays the mother Lucille who besides covering up of her husband’s death has more to do with her trying to divert attention from the truth than protecting her daughter. In the Folds of Flesh would mark the final screen appearance for Eleonora Rossi Drago whose film credits include Violent Summer, The Facts of Murder and Assassination in Rome. Despite her lesser role María Rosa Sclauzero in the role of Phyllis gives the film’s most memorable performance. Playing the dual role of Ester/Phyllis is an actress named Pier Angeli. The three female leads all give exceptional performances that help put this muddled plot into focus. Ultimately In the Folds of the Flesh is a lurid exploitation film trying to pass itself off as an a thriller.
Severin Film’s presents In the Folds of the Flesh in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The back of the DVD box mentions how this transfer was made form original vault elements and this progressive flagged transfer lives up to that claim. Colors are rich and nicely saturated. The black and white sequences have solid Grey levels and shadow detail. There is some very minor print damage during the black and white sequences. Outside of this the transfer looks immaculate. Those who have only seen this film via Redemption’s UK VHS release or via grey market releases with be astonished just how good this transfer from Severin Film’s looks.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. This stereo mix does a good job balancing out the dialog, music and effects. There are no issues with distortion or any other audio defects.
This release comes with one extra a English language trailer for In the Folds of the Flesh. While the lack of extra content is disappointing the fact that this film even got released on DVD is a cause for celebration. Overall In the Folds of the Flesh makes its DVD debut via a first rate audio/video presentation from Severin Film’s.