Perversion Story Blu Ray Review (Mondo Macabro)
Perversion Story (aKa One on Top of the Other & Una sull’altra) is a 1969 giallo film co-written & directed by Lucio Fulci (A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Don’t Torture a Duckling, The Psychic, & The Four of the Apocalypse…). It was filmed on location in multiple United States cities including a scene in San Quentin State Prison’s gas chamber. Before this production Lucio Fulci was mainly known for comedies, this was his first stab at the giallo sub genre. It had a budget of ₤445 million & it made ₤869 million at the box office. It’s considered an inspiration to several American suspense thrillers. George Dumurrier (played by: Jean Sorel from The Day of the Jackal, Short Night of Glass Dolls, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, & Paranoia) is a wealthy doctor who runs a clinic with his younger brother Henry (played by: Alberto de Mendoza from The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, & Horror Express). He leaves care of his asthma stricken wife Susan (played by: Marisa Mell from Danger: Diabolik, Seven Blood-Stained Orchids, Ring of Darkness, & Gang War in Milan) to her sister Marta (played by: Faith Domergue from This Island Earth, Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, & It Came from Beneath the Sea) & a local nurse.
He is having an affair with Jane (played by: Elsa Martinelli from Prisoner of the Volga, The Big Night, Blood and Roses, & Rampage). George receives a phone call from Henry telling him that Susan has died during a violent asthma attack. He is surprised to find out that his wife Susan had a a $1 million insurance policy. This helps him pay off his debt & get back on track. An insurance agent tips Inspector Wald (played by: John Ireland from Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, The Incubus, & Salon Kitty) about his affair & he starts to investigate the situation. George goes to the The Roaring Twenties with Jane & sees a stripper that looks like his late wife named Monica. He is instantly attracted to her & wants to hook up with her. This sets up a deadly love triangle between the three. Benjamin Wormser (played by: Riccardo Cucciolla from Grand Slam, Blood on the Streets, & Rabid Dogs) is an obsessed wealthy client of Monica & starts to be become jealous of her new companionship with George. Evidence is planted, someone goes missing, & George is framed for murder! Can George save himself from this brutal set up? or Will he be let to die in the gas chamber????
Perversion Story is a Lucio Fulci film that doesn’t focus on or need any extreme special effects. Fulci was known for his gore drenched cinema especially in his later years but his very first giallo is all about the actual plot & characters. It really proves that the legendary filmmaker could do anything when given the opportunity. Fulci was very hit or miss when it came to his scripts but this one was one of his better efforts. It was very suspenseful & it had some nice twists to keep your eyes glued to the screen. Jean Sorel & Marisa Mell gave great performances here backed up with a real solid supporting cast! Perversion Story is very under-rated & it honestly deserves more attention so hopefully this new blu ray release from Mondo Macabro will accomplish that. I can definitely see the influence this had on some American suspense thrillers that had success years later. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Lucio Fulci, Giallo, Italian Cinema, & Suspense/Thriller fans!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Mondo Macabro! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is a major improvement from all the previous releases. I own a few from the past & this is the best I’ve ever seen it look on home video. Let’s be honest, Perversion Story has never looked like anything close to reference quality especially how it was shot. The colors are very bright but it does give it an unique feel which works with this type of cinema. Good news, it’s the longer version so it includes everything with no cuts. It has both English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono & Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono tracks. The audio sounds great here, the dialogue is very clean & the music has never sounded better before, I’ve always enjoyed the score for this one (I own it on CD)! It also includes English subtitles. It’s a region free release.
Let’s discuss the special features from Mondo Macabro on this blu ray release. “On Death Row” is an almost 30 minute chat with the lead actor Jean Sorel. He talks about the origins of Perversion Story. He brings up shooting sex scenes in it & the erotic nature of Italian cinema with other films. He mentions working with Lucio Fulci. He chats about the film getting released & it’s reaction to it. He talks about the dubbing process & film industry in late 60s plus early 70s. It’s in French with English subtitles. “The Last Diva” is an almost 10 minute chat with the actress Elsa Martinelli. She talks about how she got the role. She brings up working with the cast. She gives her thoughts on director Lucio Fulci. It’s in Italian with English subtitles. ” Interview with Stephen Thrower” is a little over 38 minute chat with the author & film historian. He talks about director Lucio Fulci’s career. He mentions the genre & material made around the same time. He brings up the production of Perversion Story & shares some interesting facts about it. It’s very detailed & Thrower always supplies some great knowledge when it comes to cinema. It has a “Trailer” for the film. It also has additional Mondo Macabro trailers. I am very happy that this under appreciated feature got proper treatment from Mondo & it’s now available everywhere. CHECK IT OUT!!!!