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THE FIFTH CORD
(Blue Underground) 1971. 93 Minutes. Giallo film. Not Rated. An alcoholic reporter (Franco Nero) is intrigued by a series of murders of four trendy socialites. He keeps on the trail determined to discover the motive behind the killings.  However, the closer he gets the more obvious it becomes he may become the fifth victim.
     The Fifth Cord is a magnificent example of twisted Giallo. From cinematographer Vittorio Storaro’s (Apocalypse Now) amazing and lush camerawork to a haunting score by master Ennio Morricone, this is a fantastic film.  The use of a distorted fish eye lens giving us a killer’s point of view is genius, lending itself to the insanity of the killer. And as for the motive behind the killings? As is true Giallo fashion, you really won’t believe it until it’s revealed at the end. Franco plays his drunken alcoholic reporter to perfection, chewing up the screen in pursuit of clues that will lead him to the killer. An interesting fact that makes the film more creepy than usual is the total lack of music when the killer strikes; a bizarre directorial choice considering who is doing the music. The gore is non-existent, but the murder set pieces still play well.  Truly, the only reasons to watch this film are for the dizzying camerawork and Nero’s performance.  Blue Underground has once again done a great service for true fans of the Giallo genre. In addition to the film, there is an interview with Vittorio Storaro and Franco Nero that is required viewing. -Douglas A. Waltz

 

 

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