FTV:8:The Sweet Body of Deborah (1968) 8
Falling the honeymoon bliss of Deborah and Marcel off a knife edge into a pit of murder and betrayal, director Romolo Guerrieri & cinematographer Marcello Masciocchi wed the couple to the first psychological-driven wave of Gialli with a pristine, corrupt bourgeoisie atmosphere of the couple being wrapped in glistening white surroundings, which Guerrieri merrily spoils with dollops of candle wax blood. One of only two Gialli he made, Guerrieri displays a sharp eye in moving towards the ultra-stylisation which would grip the genre, offering a artful eyeful of topless Deborah, and a groovy nightclub dance with Batman on the wall.
Playing on the notes of paranoia with Nora Orlandi’s dreamy score bringing up Marcel’s suppressed memories, Guerrieri brilliantly uses obscured angles to heighten ambiguity in the Giallo set-pieces over who is getting stabbed in the back. Setting the stage for what Sergio Martino (who worked as a general manager here) would do in the Giallo, Sergio’s brother Luciano joins Ernesto Gastaldi for a female-led, doubtful couple Giallo terror screenplay, as the writers tighten the screws on fears that Deborah and Marcel might both be losing their minds.
Dipping into the death of Marcel’s past partner with fractured flashbacks, the writers raise doubts between the couple by each of them hearing music and phones ringing that appear to be coming from a unseen place. Working on both Gialli made by Guerrieri, Jean Sorel gives a terrific turn as Marcel, whose sorrow Sorel carries with a heaviness which remains even as the Giallo twist ending wraps around him, whilst George Hilton tugs at flamboyant ambiguity as Robert Simack (get the ref?) Initially holding hands with Marcel in a cheerful state, alluring Carroll Baker gives a excellent performance as Deborah, thanks to Baker taking the loved-up state of Deborah and peeling it away to raw, calculating mistrusts which covers the sweet body of Deborah.