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Criminal psychologist Dr. Herbert Lyutak (Mickey Hargitay of BLOODY PIT OF HORROR and THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD) is a deranged sex maniac who murders young women. His beautiful wife (the luscious Rita Calderoni of NUDE FOR SATAN and THE REINCARNATION OF ISABEL) is tormented by visions of medieval torture and lesbian orgies. But as their madness grows more twisted, they will descend even deeper into a nightmare of dementia, depravity and most of all, DELIRIUM! You have never seen anything like DELIRIUM. Written and directed by the notorious Renato Polselli (under the pseudonym Ralph Brown), this disc contains both the Italian and U.S. versions of the film, which each feature radically different subplots and endings as well as additional scenes of sleazy sex and extreme violence. Both versions of this astonishing 1972 oddity are now proudly presented together - totally uncut and uncensored - for your viewing pleasure!
The Theorem Of Delirium - Interviews with Writer/Director Renato Polselli and Star Mickey Hargitay
"It Doesn't Get Much Sleazier Than DELIRIUM... Sure To Please Even The Most Jaded Fan Of Cult Cinema!" --Monsters at Play
"WONDERFULLY SICK AND DEMENTED! A Shining Example Of Outrageous Psychosexual Perversity!" --All Movie Guide
"Wallows In Sleaze And Perversion And Is All The Better For It!" --Kinocite
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Gad. Where to start. I can't decide what is the worst aspect.
Horrible music because there was no budget for anything other than a four piece the director heard playing funk in a garage one day.
Actors who run the gamut from mediocre to barely competent - the reliance on exaggerated facial expressions had me thinking this might be better presented as a faux "recovered footage" silent movie at times.
Awful dialog. One segment has the long-suffering wife uttering the exact same lines that the Dueling Cavalier came to regret when recorded for the first time and presented to an audience (in Singin' In The Rain). It would have worked as homage had the movie been an intentional comedy.
Really bad simulated violence - as in so bad a child wouldn't believe it could terrify anyone.
Stupidly bad plotting. The police come a cropper on this again and again, and my suspension of disbelief buckled under this relentless onslaught of dumb.
Continuity is a joke in the "American" version, so bad is the fit between scenes on occasion - Plan 9 bad in places.
What little nudity there is is not really used effectively either. The actresses are pretty, the lead stunningly so, but most of the nudity seemed for no reason whatsoever, storywise, and was filmed as badly as the rest of it all.
I got the feeling from both versions (and the "European" one is the better of the two in every respect) that the director had no clear idea what the finished film would look like and just filmed scenes that occurred to him that day to be stuck together later in a story yet to be written.
I have no idea how in this day and age anyone would refer to either version of the film on this disc as "shocking" or "sick and demented". The situation Poselli came up with had legs in many possible direction he could have taken the idea. The potential for a tense psychological drama was there. The potential for a shocking and demented tour de force of graphic psycho-sexual horror was also there, even in the 1970s. By some trick of fate (or possibly skilled use of irony) the director failed to achieve any of this potential in my opinion.
Even allowing for the difference in aesthetic between the English/American film audiences and the Italian makers the movie fails over and over.
Unless you are a Ralph Brown/Renato Polselli collector I'd give this one a miss.