Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 23rd, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1969
Director: Lucio Fulci
Cast: Marisa Mell, Jean Sorel, John Ireland, Faith Domergue, Elsa Martinelli
DVD released: February 27th, 2007
Approximate running time: 97 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Italian
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Dr. George Dumurrier (Jean Sorel) clinic is in financial trouble. He is wrongly accused of murdering his wife so that he could collect her life insurance policy to save the clinic from going bankrupt. While on a business trip in San Francisco Dr. Dumurrier sees a woman who looks exactly like his dead wife. He soon finds himself infatuated with his wife’s doppelganger which only further convinces the police that he is guilty of killing his wife. Framed for a murder he did not commit will he be able to prove his innocence before he is executed in the gas chamber.
Lucio Fulci directed five giallo’s that are all unique twists upon this popular genre and unlike most of his contemporaries who made these films in most cases by the book and often mimicked other successful entries with in the giallo genre. What is also surprising about the first four giallo’s directed by Lucio Fulci is how restrained the violence is and in many cases off screen. Perversion Story plays out more like a Alfred Hitchcock thriller and strays far away from the style and clichés that are prevalent through out most giallos made in the 1970’s.
Perversion Story takes place in several memorable locations like Reno, San Francisco and San Quentin. Director Lucio Fulci makes good use of the various locations at his disposal. Fucli at this point in his career was mostly known for directing comedies and Perversion story his first foray into the thriller genre is filled with stylish cinematography and solid performances from the films two leads Marisa Mell and Jean Sorel.
Actress Marisa Mell is the heart and soul of the film with her dual role performances of Susan Dumurrier & Monica Weston. Both characters are like night and day with Marisa Mell looking sickly and very unglamorous as Susan Dumurrier before transforming into the other world stunning beauty known as Monica Weston. The scene that is most memorable in the film is Marisa Mell’s entrance as Monica Weston a night club stripper.
The films plot is one of better giallos you will come across with its many plot twists and surprise ending. This film is blood less and with only a handful of murders that occur on screen which is in direct contrast to Lucio Fucli’s later films that really heavily on his violent set pieces. Overall Prevision Story is one of Lucio Fucli’s most polished and re-watchable films.
Perversion Story is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. This transfer is free of any major print damage. Colors look vivid and details look razor sharp.
This release comes with two audio options English and Italian. Both are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. There are no problems with distortion or any other sound defects. Overall both audio mixes are more then adequate and sounds evenly balanced with dialog clear and easy to follow. Removable English subtitles have been included.
Extras for this release include the English language trailer for the film and Riz Ortolani’s complete score on a separate CD. The inclusion of Riz Ortolani’s spectacular jazzy score is more then welcome addition to this release.
Pervison Story was a multi-country production with each country assembling a different edit of the film which has footage not included in the other versions. Severin Films release of One on Top the Other is the French version of the movie also known as Perversion Story which runs six minutes shorter then the 103 minutes listed on the DVD’s back cover art. The French version is more erotic then the other versions of the film. Despite removing some dialog and other brief moments nothing that is integral to the plot has been removed. While some may be turned off that this cut is not the one they are more familiar with most viewers will be just happy that this is the best looking version of the film currently available anywhere.
Severin Films gives one of Lucio Fucli’s rarely seen thrillers Perversion Story a solid DVD release that is a must have purchase for all Lucio Fucli fans, highly recommended.