Last year I wrote about the cult genre of Italian film called giallo which is a stylistic genre of horror film that was especially prolific in the 70s and 80s but its often referenced through stylized touches in movies today. Giallo is probably the most Shrimpton-esque genre of film I’ve come across—there’s no such thing as a giallo film that isn’t pumped full of glamour (this also goes for badly dubbed English and excessively melodramatic acting, which is the appeal for giallo fans). Giallo by its definition must be stylish and of all the giallo I’ve seen “Psychout for Murder” from 1969 takes the cake and then some.
Every film genre has its “Citizen Kane,” its “The Godfather” and giallo is no different. “Psychout for Murder” (also known as “Salvare la faccia” in Italian) is far from being “The Godfather” of giallo; actually it’s pretty far removed from the mainstay films of the giallo canon and quite hard to find a physical copy of (thank god for YouTube!). I can’t come up with an explanation as to why this is the case because it is a 100%, grade A giallo flick in every sense. A giallo could not be a giallo without a well-dressed beauty that’s out for blood as its lead. “Psychout for Murder” has Licia, the daughter of a wealthy Italian industrialist who institutionalizes her after being caught bouncing around a brothel with her blackmailing boyfriend (the day her father’s new factory is opened, no less!). Licia doesn’t take well to being a pawn in her family’s PR maneuvering or her boyfriend’s greed and exacts her revenger in the manipulation and murder of everyone around her. She’s something like a female Denis the Menace but with murder on the mind and her homicidal antics are cleverly executed pranks intended to kill. All this done in a perfectly executed wardrobe of late sixties glossiness, 60’s fits like miniskirts and tight ribbed sweaters with a touch of psychedellic, Pucci-esque prints and nods to the forthcoming muted tones of the 70s.
P.S. The full movie is posted at the bottom of this post - Grab some popcorn, scroll down and enjoy!