AKA-LíUOMO SENZA MEMORIA
REVIEW BY-STEVE GENIER DIRECTED BY-DUCCIO TESSARI CAST-LUC MERENDA, SENTA BERGER, UMBERTO ORSINI, ANITA STRINDBERG, BRUNO CORAZZARI and ROSARIO BORELLI. SOURCE-ANOTHER WORLD ENTERTAIMENT DVD (PAL REGION 2 / 86MINS / 2006)
PUZZLE is a uniquely rare film that has finally been given a digital upgrading thanks to the new Danish EuroCult cinema company Another World Entertaiment. Itís also the first "giallo" based film in Iím sure many more to come. Though PUZZLE is certainly not you normal "giallo" and in some opinions, not a "giallo" at all. This Duccio Tessari film plays out more like a normal dramatic thriller, though does house some "giallo" like aspects. Still, there are not there isnít the traditional "giallo" elements one might come to expect while watching this film. This lucking substance doesnít hinder the film in anyway, itís rather well penned and well acted especially from the likes of the very beautiful Senta Berger.
Who literally steals the entire film away from some Euro-Cult heavy weights no less. Her onscreen presence along with her incredible acting range display a rather stunning draw to her character of Sara. Sara has been through hell and back, or at least the character has. A husband who has simply disappeared and re-appeared with no memory as to who she is, a woman devastated and just beginning to recover, having it relapse at the site of him once again. Senta Berger simply gives a performance that is all out in every little scene throughout PUZZLE.
Opposite to her is the ever popular Luc Merenda, who is either a hit or miss in many rolls. Under Tessariís direction though, Merenda does show signs of life. Tessariís really knows how to bring out the best in many veteran actors and Merenda is no exception. Stuck between a dual role of Peter, who is a man who struggles to learn about a past that has continued to elude him for 9 months. Tom, that past who Peter is trying to remember, though Merendaís character only has glimpses of Tomís life through quick fast backs, there is no solid evidence indicating the exactly.
Though given the basics of his past being a drug smuggler of grand portions. His past comes back to haunt him in the face of a man named George (Bruno Corrazzari) who lures Peter/Tom away from London in the way of a letter from his wife, Sara. While in Italy and meeting up with his wife, Sara, George continues to hound him into remembering where a loot of heroin is. Not buying Peterís claim of amnesia, making him confess to giving the drugs to his wife.
There is certainly lots of great suspenseful areas in the film, very unnerving for the time period. An element that does give it a giallo feel for sure. Tension is also created quite nicely with the filmís score provided by Gianni Ferrio who has worked with Tessari on several occasions. Like the filmís conspiratorial atmosphere, Ferrioís score often gets stagnate, never really unwinding into a fun onslaught. Working side by side with Terrariís great scene direction with certain perfection indeed. Both unfold at just the right moment. Still though even with the great suspenseful moments here, it doesnít compare to his classic film TONY ARZENTA: BIG GUNS, which I might add should get another DVD presentation other then itís very expensive Japanese disc.
Tessari is able to maintain his usual amounts of action through a series of close up fight scenes involving Merenda. Even with the final scenes where Berger battles with the killer for her life. Which includes a chainsaw no less, look out Leatherface! Close up and very tight to give the viewer a sense of realism. This is one aspect where Tessari is excellent in his choreography, not just in his action films but in his gialli as well. It's also a great way to maintain the suspense throughout the film and as here in PUZZLE.
This release from Another World is decent, though bares some minor glitches such as itís audio. Being muffled and scratchy in areas. Another audio disappointment is the fact that there is just a dubbed English version of this, too bad as it would have been much preferred to see this in itís original Italian audio with English subtitles. Aside from the audio, the picture isnít bad at all. Presented in an anamorphic wide-screen (1.85:1) aspect ratio.
The disc is quite bare in the extras department as well, only offering up the filmís trailer, a photo gallery and some trailer for other Another World DVD releases. So, basically we are lucky period to have a rare film of this nature on DVD in the first. If you seek something better, forget it, for now this is the best and maybe the only chance to own this rare film on DVD with English options.
STORY/FILM-3.5/5 BITCH SLAPS PICTURE-2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS AUDIO-2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS EXTRAS-2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS OVERALL DVD 2.5/5 BITCH SLAPS
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