Sergio Martino’s ‘All The Colours of The Dark’ (1972) was pretty cool and is a weirdly varied Giallo mash-up of all sorts of colours and hues.
Living in London, Jane (Edwige Fenech) has been having nightmares: her sister advises psychotherapy; her boyfriend Richard (George Hilton) suggests drugs from the pharmaceutical company he works for whilst her sexually flamboyant neighbor tells her that joining in a black mass and having a satanic orgy is the way to rid her of her fears. So quite a range of suggestions but what are the motives behind these pieces of advice?
This is a twist on ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968) as we follow Jane through ever increasingly surreal paranoid dreams where it seems she can trust no-one as well as covering those areas so beloved by Italian thrillers of the time – the films of Hitchcock and Freudian analysis. This allows ‘All The Colours of The Dark’ great latitude for stylistic variation as one moment it’s a straight-ahead thriller before swerving into Dennis Wheatley style Devil-worship conspiracy territory with hints of Kenneth Anger interspersed by bizarre dream-sequences with an almost Jodorowsky-esque surrealism. This gives the film a really nice feeling of variation as there’s always something different and juicy to sink your teeth into every few minutes meaning the best way to describe the film is, at the risk of sounding like Alan Partridge, that it’s like a particularly well-prepared (and maintained) carvery.
The directing is also stylish and exciting with Martino slipping nicely between Jane’s dreams, “reality” and visions leaving us guessing till the end exactly what is going on – as with so many Gialli it’s not so much a case of finding out who the killer is but discovering what the movie is actually all about in the first place.
‘All The Colours of The Dark’ is really worth checking out: Fenech and Hilton are on top form; there’s a typically nice score by Bruno Nicolai and the London setting gives the movie a unique feel and tone, sometimes feeling like ‘An American Werewolf in London’ (1981) or, oddly enough, sometimes ‘Lifeforce’ (1985) and ‘The Omen’ (1976). If you’re a fan of the genre you’ll find a lot to enjoy here.