A young couple is found dead, the man stabbed to death, and the woman drowned. A detective not only needs to figure out who killed the couple and why, but also figure out the connection between them and the serial killer that's terrorizing Italy.
Figured it was time for another giallo flick, except this time I purposely chose "Giallo a Venezia" instead of just randomly picking one, like I did with "Something Creeping in the Dark". The reason I picked "Giallo a Venezia" is based on the fact that it is considered to be one the nastiest and sleaziest gialli to be made. Now with a claim like that, it is pretty easy to get excited about the movie. I tried not to have any expectations, simply because any movie will disappoint if you go into it expecting too much.
The general outline for "Giallo a Venezia" seems to follow the standard, or the standard I've come to believe with the giallo sub-genre. The bodies of a young couple are found on the shore of a canal, the male, violently stabbed to death, while the female had been drowned. A hard-boiled egg loving detective (Rather than a hard-boiled detective, I guess.) is one the case and trying to figure out who did what and why, while the bodies continue to pile up all who seem to have known the couple. Oy vey. It does change things up a bit though by revealing a killer within the first 30 minutes of the movie. Not really the typical red herring of, "could he be the killer" but rather he is a killer, we just don't know if he is the killer. The reason we know he is a killer is because we get our second kill of the movie, by watching this man stab a hooker repeatedly in the vagina...Yeah. That's one hell of a way to go. While we do know the face and the name of a killer, the mystery is still there since we don't know if he is the one who killed the couple or who is next, if anybody is next. (Yes, there is somebody next, several infact.)
So we've got a madman killing people who may or may not be related to the case of the couple, providing the nasty aspect of the movie. Since none the characters receive a simple death of a shooting or stabbing, we get fires, dismemberment, etc. Basically, the good stuff. For the sleaze part, that is composed from flash-backs told from suspects in the case informing the detective on what kind of people the couple were. Turns out the husband was rather a sexual deviant, who not only enjoyed raveshing his wife, with or without her permission but also enjoyed the company of others. Most of the time it's the dead couple sleazing up the screen, but there are moments where the man forces his wife to perform with other men, and in certain cases several men at once. Which is a little disappointing, the sex scenes are dirty and filthy, but because it's really the same couple each time. It does feel a bit repetative towards the end of the movie. Yes, the sleaze isn't the point of the movie, rather than to add more to the mystery of the case and let the audience understand the characters better. It's just some variety never hurts. Ya know?
The movie as a whole is a good one. The story is very well executed by keeping it incased in this big mystery that remains until the very end of the movie. The big reveal in the end may not be that surprising, and I'm sure plenty of people guessed the ending long before the movie was over. The fact remains though, they did a good job of keeping up a decent level of suspense by not knowing who the killer may have been. The characters do their job of keeping the story going by alluding to who did what, or how they may have been involved. While the detective was a bit hammy at times, especially with those damn eggs of his (How cool can you be when you're walking around with a pocket full of eggs?), the rest of the cast do a reasonable job of trying to pull you into the story.
With all that said though, I admit, I was quite bored with the movie. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a murder/mystery at the time I watched it, but compared to "Tenebre" or "New York Ripper" it all just seemed, rather dull. It is a good movie, I can't deny that, and I stand by the compliments I gave the movie, regardless of how I felt about it. Going back to what I said earlier, the sleaze is provided mostly by the same two people, and while the death scenes were nice and nasty, they felt a bit too spread out and maybe there weren't enough. So I couldn't help but do a bit of clock watching while I the movie played. "Giallo A Venezia" is good for what it is and it's well executed, but it isn't the first giallo that I would recommend to someone looking into the sub-genre, rather reserve it for the seasoned viewers.