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Review Obsession: A Taste for Fear a.k.a. Pathos - Segreta inquietudine (1988): Best thing about this giallo is Grace Jones' version of Private Life that is featured!

genre: giallo, thriller, crime

This neo giallo on paper seems to have it all. Beautiful people especially women, sex, murder, an interesting world and setting, an abundance of style plus a very fitting soundtrack. However all of this is a distraction. Obsession: A Taste for Fear lacks one key ingredients for a good giallo.

The one thing this film doesn't have is tension or suspense. The whole murder mystery strangely enough is not the main focus of director Piccio Raffanini. He does very little to build up dread or any sense of tension. He mostly is concerned showing us nudity and beautiful women. There is nothing wrong with that of course.But it gets boring real fast. Because nothing sensible or exciting is done with this. It also doesn't help that main character Diane (Virginia Hey) is such a drag. She is not sympathetic or likeable at all. Her personality is all over the place. She has sex with both men and women. Is loving to people close to her to one minute then next minute she berate them for no good reason at all. I am aware that she is supposed to be a femme fatale. But shouldn't there be something attractive and alluring to her? Virginia Hey is a good actress and she does help give her character some substance. Unfortunately she is let down by poor plot and poor direction choices. It's emphasized that Diane and her friends move around in a world beyond the reach of for example Lt. Arnold (Dario Parisini). How do we know this? Because he says so each time they meet. Instead of telling us it would have been nice if the differences between these worlds would have been shown to us. There is not much explained about the world in this film. It's somewhere in the future and apparently in that world 5000 dollars is a lot of money.

But I must admit that not knowing enough about this world could be part of this film's charm. I did feel compelled to soak in all of the atmosphere and style the film had to offer. Still I only did that out of necessity since the film did not offer the thrills I seek in a giallo. The inclusion of Grace Jones' version of Private Life was a very welcome addition. The song is played in a scene that basically is one of those typical Eighties music videos. Very artistic and beautiful yet very empty and meaningless. I myself can't get enough of anything Eighties. And that is probably why I was able to put up with the randomness and the emptiness. However if you were expecting spectacular murders and brilliant twists and turns you will be disappointed. It takes incredibly long for something truly interesting to happen. By that time you simply won't care about anything.

Obsession: A Taste for Fear is not extremely bad however it does point out why eye candy alone simply won't do. Although I am grateful for this film introducing me to the Grace Jones song.  

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