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Review Delirium a.k.a. Le foto di Gioia (1987): Flawed but with a few redeeming elements to make it worth your time!

genre: giallo, horror, mystery, thriller

No doubt the poster will raise a lot of questions. And perhaps gives you the idea you are about to watch a cheap science fiction film where aliens shaped like giant eyeballs are about to take over the world. Rest assured it's nothing like that.

In essence Delirium a.k.a. Le foto di Gioia is an old school giallo full with the typical elements you can expect in the genre. The red herrings for example might not be that strong but they are still quite effective. You will have a swell time deducing the identity of the killer since director Lamberto Bava made sure you won't know until the very end. Amongst them is a young man bound to his wheelchair who keeps stalking Gioia (Gloria in the English version). She clearly is disturbed by him but allows it to happen for reasons you'll find out later in the film. Set aside that reason it still is a pretty sick man if you ask me. The real clever part like in most giallo's the killer could be anyone. Male or female. So you will be looking at any character very critically.

Gioia played by Serena Grandi is a big redeeming element. She is one of the many beautiful and sexy women in this film who offer more than just looks. However she towers above the other ones since her charm is completely magnetic. It has to be said that this film very easily could have been turned in one big sleazefest. But the eroticism is surprisingly moderate and tasteful. You actually are made to care about Gioia and the other models. That is good since it instils the little tension that otherwise would have been lacking.

At the time this was made Sabrina Salerno was popular because of her song " Boys Boys Boys ". The song was catchy but to be frank I doubt it was the actual song that made her a hit. More likely that it had to do with her breasts getting all wet and everything. Good memories. Sabrina who is named Sabrina has a small role in this film and unfortunately is one of the victims. The way she is murdered is quite horrible and sickening. One could argue that it's done for spectacle sake. However it completely rhymes with the mindset of the killer. Last but nor least there is Daria Nicolodi as Evelyn. She is a master in portraying these mysterious characters who could go full psycho or simply is the most endearing. As a veteran in the giallo genre Dario knows how to emphasize both without calling too much suspicion to herself.

Perhaps the most important and best redeeming element is the mindset of the killer. It's a little disappointing that not much background is given on the killer and that the motivation is lacking. However Lamberto Bava still managed to make this killer interesting by having the person see things a certain way which brings me back to the image shown in the poster. It's an example of where style beats substance. With this kind of imagery you don't need that much imagination to know the killer's mind is warped. At the same time a case could be made that all the events in this film aren't real and these could be nightmares a person is having. Although there are no scenes to back up this theory and it would have made this film even more interesting. 

Delirium is a fun giallo that does just enough to make it worth your while. While it might be flawed it's a film made with love and a lot of creativity and you will have a blast because of that.

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