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Review Murder Obsesion a.k.a Murder Syndrome a.k.a. Fear a.k.a. Satan's Altar (1981)

genre: giallo

If there is one thing I never quite understood is certain movies having so many different titles. For one thing it is extremely confusing and can't imagine it would help sell a movie unless the point was to trick you in thinking that they were all different movies. Both posters above are for the same movie. And the first could not be more misleading. The right one at least uses images from the movie itself. Murder Obsession is an interesting giallo as it is one of the worst I have seen. It features Laura Gemser (known from film series Black Emanuelle). Throw in a few other elements like Satanism, mind control, telekinesis and what not and still it would not be enough to describe the mess you will witness on the screen. It takes about 55 minutes for the first murder to occur. And if the movie had been building up on tension or thrills it would have been the next logical step. Logic is completely missing. When it comes to giallo I am always willing to go with the flow as intended for which I know will be rewarded. Here it was impossible to do so. The director tries to put red herrings throughout the story to point the direction towards one specific character right from the introduction. With only a few suspects there seems to be no point at all for doing so. Although it did have me thinking there was this wonderful twist at the end that would make up for the 90 minutes wasted. Well, there was a spin on the whole the butler did it routine. Hardly surprising. Sequences like that make me want to be able to talk with the director if only to find out if he wanted to be clever, ironic or simply was lazy or even stupid. Apart from some gory moments, beautiful women and the silly ending (let's say 6 minutes of solid entertainment) there was nothing that could hold my attention. And that is quite an accomplishment because I am very forgiving when Italian Horror is concerned. So sadly I do have to report that Murder Obsession is a complete waste of time. Titles like these do serve a purpose though. And that is to make me appreciate the better giallo with better directors who do put into an effort to be creative and inventive. Avoid!

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