Your Vice Is A Locked Room and Only I Have The Key

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Main Details

  • Released in 1972
  • Color
  • Running Time: 92 Min.
  • Distributed by Lea Film

Cast and Crew

  • Written by Adriano Bolzoni, Ernesto Gastaldi, Luciano Martino & Sauro Scavolini
  • Starring Edwige Fenech, Anita Strindberg, Luigi Pistilli, Ivan Rassimov, Franco Nebbia, Riccardo Salvino
  • Produced by Luciano Martino
  • Original Music by Bruno Nicolai
  • Cinematography by Giancarlo Ferrando
  • Film Editing by Attilio Vincioni

Film Review

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After making the classic gialli The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh and The Case of The Scorpions Tail, Director Sergio Martino tells another thrilling tale inspired in part by Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat with "Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key".

At an estate, we meet Oliviero Rouvigny (Luigi Pistilli) a burnt out writer who now holds orgies with hippies from a nearby commune. They drink wine, eat food and sing music together in a rather Caligula-esque way. His wife Irene (Anita Strindberg) is a beautiful redheaded woman, but we learn that he constantly abuses her after going on drinking binges. Oliviero has never been the same since the death of his beloved mother. He even has a large portrait of her on the wall. In the painting, she is wearing an elegant gown, which Irene now puts on to entice him. She figures its the only way for her to receive any love from him. Oliviero has a small black cat who is named "Satan", this cat plays a big part in the story as you will see and hear.

Oliviero frequents a bookstore in town where he makes a date with his mistress, who is a cashier. The night she is to meet Oliviero, she sees a dark figure in the distance. She figures its Oliviero, but somethings not excactly right. As she investigates who it was, suddenly, she is startled by the unknown man and chased down, then slashed violently with a large knife. The next day, news gets to Oliviero that she has been killed and since Oliviero has been abusive to his Irene she suspects him as do the police.

One night Oliviero's maid, a young beautiful black woman puts on his mothers elegant gown in an erotic sequence as Oliviero sleeps. Suddenly, she hears a noise in the hall and when she looks to see what it is, she is brutally attacked by the knife wielding killer. When Oliviero finds out that his maid is has been killed in his own home he knows he must hide the body so hes not thrown in jail. Irene helps him put the body in the wall of the wine cellar.

Oliviero's young niece Floriana (the beautiful Edwige Fenech) comes to visit him and Irene and they meet her at the train station. We can see Floriana is a bit of a bad girl, shes sexy as hell too. They all return back to the estate where they have a drink and talk. We can see that Oliviero is attracted to Floriana, after all who wouldnt be? Floriana witnesses the abuse that Oliviero inflicts on Irene and one night, she and Irene have a very erotic sexual liason and Floriana seems to give Irene the love and affection that Oliviero has neglected to show her.

While staying at the estate Floriana meets a local milkman who happens to also be a semi-professional motorcycle racer. She gets to know him, he takes her to one of his races. Oliviero follows them one day and spies on them as they make love in a barn.

Meanwhile in town, a local callgirl gets murdered by the unknown killer (this is a very creepy sequence that gives you chills) he drags the girls dead body down the stairs, but before the killer escapes the scene, the girls aunt catches him and bashes him over the head. They find out that the killer was actually the owner of the bookstore in town (a former mental patient) and this clears Oliviero from any connections to the murder of his mistress. After being constantly annoyed by Oliviero's black cat's ear splitting meowing, Irene snaps and pokes the cats eyes out with a large pair of scissors. She then puts the cat in the wall with the dead maid.

Oliviero seduces Floriana and they make love as Irene overhears them outside the bedroom door. The next day, Irene, Floriana and Oliviero go on a picnic where Floriana instigates Irene into deciding to get rid of Oliviero. After another senseless beating by Oliviero, Irene enters his study while he is passed out drunk and stabs him dead. Floriana discovers Irene covered in blood and is ready to call the police until Irene begs her to help her hide Oliviero's body. Floriana reluctantly agrees and they put Oliviero with the dead maid in the wall and brick it up.

Late at night, Irene hears someone typing in Oliviero's study, when she creeps up to the door she is grabbed by Floriana. They both enter the room and find pages of paper with the word "REVENGE" typed over and over in various styles (an inspiration for The Shining?). Floriana panics and runs out into the night to meet her boyfriend, leaving Irene alone to face her fate...

Reviewed by Popeye Pete - 6/9/07

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