Delirium (1972)

Rating: C-

Dir: Renato Polselli
Star: Mickey Hargitay, Rita Calderoni, Raoul, Christa Barrymore
a.k.a. Delirio caldo

You know you’re watching a giallo when the killer, a psychiatrist who likes to fondle and strangle his victims simultaneously, is about the sanest character in the cast. That’s giving nothing away, however, since there is another murderer on the loose, running interference with our mad doctor. Could it be the suspicious car-park attendant? The maid with a fondness for voyeurism? Or the policeman with a very questionable taste in shirts? [The last is played by “Raoul” – who has clearly forgotten that single names only suit good sportsmen e.g. Ronaldo, Ichiro and crap singers e.g. Sting, Pink, Sade]

Gotta wonder about Anchor Bay’s criteria for picking releases – what justified plucking this obscurity from 30 years ago, and including both the Italian and US versions; the latter hacks out chunks and throws in a Vietnam theme, complete with subtitles off a Danish video copy! There must be “better” – by whatever standard you want – candidates for such careful treatment, since the acting here is limited, the plot ludicrous and the direction pedestrian. However, it has a certain kind of sleazy, surreal fascination to it, even if the most horrific thing is probably those shirts, and while it may be bad, at least it’s entertainingly so. And we’re not sure, but we suspect a dead character gets miraculously resurrected somehow; though checking this would require watching the film again, and really, we’re not that interested.