Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lizard In A Woman's Skin (1971)

Reviewed by JM

The box for the DVD for Lizard In A Woman’s Skin says this movie is about “…Carol…(who) has been experiencing psychedelic, yet alarmingly real nightmares. Despite assurance from her psychiatrist, these dreams persist, turning both sexual and deadly. When one of her hippy neighbors turns up dead, Carol becomes the prime suspect…”.

I am just going to have to take Shriek Show’s word for it, then. I have watched this film twice and cannot figure out what it going on.

One of the bonus features for this DVD is an interview with Professor Paulo Albiero, who is listed as a “Fulci expert”. He states that various cuts of this film floated around. Explaining that some US cuts have varying amounts of sex and nudity trimmed out and that Italian prints pulled out scenes of excessive violence, Albiero notes that the theatrical version that debuted in 1971 was only been very rarely seen and never released (until now).

Here is where I am going to have to call a little “bullshit”. Having only seen the complete version presented on the Shriek Show DVD and without any evidence to back me up, I feel safe in saying that sex and/or violence had very little to do with the multitude of cuts of this movie that exist. I am positive that being handed over this sprawling, grandiose mess, editors were forced to cut it in order to attempt making it into something somewhat streamlined and cohesive.

And as long as I am calling out the professor, I am going to ask how someone gets the title of “Fulci expert”. Give me a break. I am sure that my brother, Diana Ross expert Billy Hill, would agree: such titles are absurd.

So, how about the movie? It has a lot of 70’s nudity and a scene in which our heroine is attacked by suspiciously puppet-like bats. So, I don’t hate it.

I cannot really recommend it, though, either. As background it is top-notch. For anything else, it is not so good.

Two fingers.


  1. I really love this film -- but, if you've tried it twice, I guess you've every right to say you don't click with it. Strangely enough, I thought it was one of Fulci's more coherent efforts!

    (BTW, isn't it LIZARD in a WOMAN'S skin? ... Or is that a joke about its incoherence?!)

  2. Ross-

    It was no joke... just stupidity on my end. I can't believe that I wrote this review while watching the DVD and had the DVD box right next to the computer screen and still got the title wrong! Oh, well. I think I fixed it throughout the review now.