Roberto, a rock musician, accidently kills a stalker of his one night. But to his surprise, he wasn't alone - a masked person was taking pictures of the accident and starts blackmailing him. But that's not all - one by one, people close to him start to die.
Since I think this is my first Dario Argento review, I'll start with saying something many of you might know already. I'm not a giallo fanatic, or a Dario Argento fanatic. I don't dislike either, but I also haven't found as much pleasure in the films as many seem to have. Giallo as a genre is interesting because it's built around suspense and the mystery of the killer, and Dario Argento is probably the best at it. But honestly, I haven't seen what's so amazing about some of his films. I wasn't over the moon with "Suspiria", "Opera", etc. Meanwhile, I do really enjoy some of them, my favorites probably being "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage", "Sleepless" and "Do You Like Hitchcock?" (yes, I dig those two more than "Suspiria" even though they're newer!). This made me hesitent to reviewing this movie - the lack of enthusiasm in the genre, not having seen too much of his work, and not being exalted by the mere mention of his name. The giallo fans are a bit elitist (I can feel your dirty, judging looks!), but I am giving it my honest shot!
It's about a rock musician who accidently kills a stalker, while another stalker sees it and takes pictures of him to later use for blackmailing. People around him get killed off, and then there's the final reveal. Honestly, a pretty poor effort as far as making us trying to figure out who the killer is. There's just never enough suspense in it to keep us on the edge and I don't feel we got to knew characters well enough outside of the lead. I did however love the part that the movie got its name from - "Four Flies on Grey Velvet". After a girl was murdered they did a test to see what the last thing she saw was, and it shows four flies. I thought the explanation we got for that later was really good.
Even though it carries a bit of an experimental style to it, it's never as stylish or artistic as I had hoped for either. Some cool ideas with the camera work in some murder scenes. Basicly having the camera following the weapons up to the kill. Good idea, but more than half of the times it was poorly executed and ended up looking cheap. Not at all as slick as some of his other films have been overall. But it's fine, even though he has some nice looking films that's never what I specifically look for. Where am I going with this? If only I knew. I just mean that this didn't make me think lesser of the movie. The bad "points" are still in the actual story and lack of suspense.
"Four Flies on Grey Velvet" wasn't very interesting to me, I even had to watch it in three sittings. I've seen worse films in one go, I just had better things to do but had it been great then I would've watched it in one. It's probably the worst out of the Argento films I've seen. Serious giallo fans should check it out, Argento fanatics as well, but I'm sure you have all seen it already. For people like me who doesn't dislike the genre but has no grander interest in it, there are better films to spend time on. Like "The Bird with Crystal Plumage"!