Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)

Genre: Italian Giallo

I love Italian giaollos!

The film opens with a group of people sitting around enjoying a party. This is the type of party they have in 70’s Italian giallo movies where everyone sits around looking very moody in 70’s designer clothing listening to a groovy Hammond organ jazz record while one girl, who is intoxicated by her drink, does a slow seductive striptease.

The people are all guests of George Stark (Teodoro Corrà) who is a rich industrialist and he has invited them to stay at his home on his own private Mediterranean island. One of the guests is Prof. Gerry Farrell (William Berger) who has discovered a formula that is worth a fortune. George Stark and the others are putting the pressure on Prof. Farrell to sell his formula, but he refuses.

After his refusal, the body count starts to pile up. Someone within the group is a murderer, but no one knows who.

Being directed by Mario Bava (BLOOD AND BLACK LACE, BAY OF BLOOD) you are guaranteed a film of craftsmanship – with beautiful camera work and everything being stylish, but supposedly Bava wasn’t happy with the finished result as he had little control over the project.

As far as plot goes, this was the weak part of the film. I’m used to giallos not necessarily being too logical, but this one has some fairly major flaws in it and I was actually quite confused by the ending. This sadly lets the film down in a big way.

If you are a gore hound, you may be also disappointed as most of the murders take place off screen, but what is great is how each body is hung up in plastic in a giant walk in freezer. The other guests nonchalantly wonder who might be next. If it was me there amongst that group, I would be going berserk with fear, but not so much for this group of cool swingers.

The music is a real treat for late 60’s early 70’s groove with an interesting soundtrack comprised of a mixture of Hammond organ and the occasional sitar all nicely composed and arranged by Piero Umiliani.

The music and stylish visuals are, to me, what makes this film and this is helped in no uncertain terms by some beautiful actresses. Eurobabe fans will not be disappointed as all the actresses are serious eye-candy, especially Italian favourite Edwige Fenech who performs a frenzied dance number in gold lame bell-bottoms and matching brassiere or hanging-out (literally) in various states of undress.

Talking of style, the house the guests are staying in, which belongs to the rich industrialist, is the height of 70’s décor. Wow, this is the sort of pad I would love to have, plus throw in a few eurobabes, too, some Hammond organ groove and a bottle of Cinzano Rosso.

If music and stylish visuals is what you enjoy, then this giallo would be for you, otherwise it’s not the best giallo, nor is it the worse.


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