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A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)

Una lucertola con la pelle di donna (original title)
Not Rated | | Mystery, Thriller | 20 March 1973 (USA)
Trailer
0:48 | Trailer
The potentially unhinged daughter of a British politician is accused of killing her hedonistic neighbor after she witnesses the murder in a dream.

Director:

Lucio Fulci

Writers:

Lucio Fulci (story), Roberto Gianviti (story) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Florinda Bolkan ... Carol Hammond
Jean Sorel ... Frank Hammond
Stanley Baker ... Inspector Corvin
Silvia Monti ... Deborah
Alberto de Mendoza ... Sergeant Brandon
Penny Brown ... Jenny
Mike Kennedy ... Hubert
Ely Galleani ... Joan Hammond (as Edy Gall)
George Rigaud ... Dr. Kerr
Ezio Marano Ezio Marano ... Lowell - Scientific Squad
Franco Balducci Franco Balducci ... McKenna
Erzsi Paál Erzsi Paál ... Mrs. Gordon (as Ersi Pond)
Luigi Antonio Guerra Luigi Antonio Guerra ... Policeman
Gaetano Imbró Gaetano Imbró ... Policeman
Leo Genn ... Edmond Brighton
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Storyline

In London, Carol Hammond lives in a fancy building with her husband Frank Hammond and her stepdaughter Joan Hammond. Carol is the beloved daughter of the wealthy and prominent lawyer and politician Edmond Brighton and Frank is his partner in his office and has a love affair with Deborah. Carol's next door neighbor Julia Durer is a depraved woman that promotes parties with drugs and orgies. Carol has psychoanalyze sessions with Dr. Kerr and is intrigued with a nightmare where she stabs Julia to death three times with a couple watching the murder. When Julia is found dead in her apartment, the efficient Inspector Corvin and his partner Sgt. Brandon are assigned to investigate. All the evidences point out to Carol, but was a dream or reality? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Torn to shreds by terror-madness! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which Carol encounters the disemboweled dogs in the clinic became quite controversial because of the startlingly realistic (and graphic) appearance of the fake prop dogs. Director Lucio Fulci was nearly sent to prison because it was believed that the dogs were real and Fulci had allowed animal cruelty on the film. However crew members were able to testify in court that the "dogs" were indeed fake and no animals had ever been harmed. Special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi even presented the dog props in court to convince the jury. This was the first time that an effects artist had to testify in court that their work was fake. See more »

Goofs

Guide wires clearly visible on all three of the knives Jenny throws. See more »

Quotes

Hubert: What do you expect us to do with all that acid inside us, huh?
Jenny: We were filled with acid from our heads to our toes. And you know something? Under the effect of acid, I look at you here and all I see is a red blob. Or a galloping horse.
Inspector Corvin: You don't remember anything at all about that night?
Hubert: Yeah, I remember. Yes, I remember, seeing that night, a lizard - in a woman's skin.
Inspector Corvin: Shit!
Hubert: No, beautiful. Just beautiful.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two DVD releases in America. The first was a 2 disc edition containing a wide screen print of the heavily cut 95 minute US version and a poor quality full screen print of the 98 minute Italian version. The newer 1 disc release has been remastered and is the full 103 minute wide screen version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Suspiria (1977) See more »

User Reviews

 
An acid trip by a much maligned director
5 January 2008 | by chaosrampantSee all my reviews

Even though Lucio Fulci's name is usually uttered in the same breath as those of Mario Bava and Dario Argento in "who's the best Italian horror director?" discussions, he's just as likely to be dismissed as an incompetent hack that couldn't direct traffic. "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin", like the rest of his gialli efforts from the 70's is solid proof of the opposite. Unlike other genre efforts that leave the viewer baffled with ludicrous plot twists and impossible endings, "Lizard...", convoluted as it may be, ranks among the most solid crime mysteries the Italian scene produced.

Of course that doesn't mean the final 20 minutes aren't bound to give you a headache as the plot unfolds its myriad twists and turns. Every character is a suspect. In turns Carrol, her husband, two hippies, Carrol's step daughter and her father. Yet all the loose ends are tied very neatly in the end. Beautifully staged gore, great cinematography and hot European babes shedding their clothes are other genre staples and "Lizard.." doesn't dissappoint, even though it's gore-lite. It certainly doesn't live up to Fulci's rep (a rep not entirely representative of his vast work, spanning many different genres from westerns to crime action and comedies), but I have no problem when the overall quality is so good. Coupled with a languid jazzy score by the maestro, Ennio Morricone, solid performances, intriguing set pieces and delirious dream sequences, Fulci here weaves a beautiful tappestry that will leave no fan of bizarre Italo-horror disappointed. And if anything, it just goes to prove that Fulci was a great director, even if his post New York Ripper catalogue may suggest the opposite.

Apart from the final 20 minutes, where the labyrinthine plot unfolds through remarkable detective work, the first sequence is great. It's Carrol's dream. She's pushing her way through a narrow (train?) corridor full of people, in slo mo, with an anguished look on her face. Suddenly the corridor is full of naked people (also known as hippies). Then she's falling into the void with darkness surrounding her. She lands on a lavish velvet bed, dressed in a grey fur, and makes out with the gorgeous Annita Strindberg. I haven't been thrown off so much by an opening scene since Martino's "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" (another great sleazy psychedelic opening). The rest of the dream scenes, including the murder, are all dizzying and off-beat.

Overall, this is a must see for giallo fans, Fulci fans that want to discover his other side and all the nay sayers. If possible, try and find the uncut Italian version. It might be full-screen but you get 5 minutes of additional gore and nudity.


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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Spain

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

20 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lizard in a Woman's Skin See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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