Everybody loves something sweet.
Deadly Sweet is truly a giallo filled with the traditional elements of mystery and crime, also incorporating so many elements of pop art and psychedelia, along with a very addictive rock soundtrack. This film had me in the first 10 minutes.
I primarily know Tinto Brass for his exploits in soft-core erotica, but Cult Epics will be releasing this unrated DVD of Deadly Sweet (aka Heart In His Mouth) by the end of April and I think it’s a must-buy! The film itself is a terrific, newly restored print and is the uncensored Director’s Cut. I love films that are uncensored and include everything as the director intended.
The story starts out with Jane Burroughs (Eva Aulin, ) and her brother Jerome Burroughs (Charles Kohler) viewing their father’s corpse at the morgue with their mother. Next scene, they are all dancing at a night club in London! Daddy is dead but that doesn’t mean one can’t drown out their sorrows while dancing the night away at a nightclub with the sounds of the killer rock score by Armando Trovajoli. The music in the film had some sexual tinge to it that was very seducing, almost to the point of utter relaxation. Then enters Bernard (Jean-Louis Trintignant, ) who immediately zones in on Jane and it was lust at first sight. She notices him and one can tell it is going to amount to nothing but trouble. Bernard is a French actor. When going to see his business partner upstairs to ask why his credit was no longer honored in the club, he finds him laying dead on the floor. Having been struck to the head with a hard object and with only Jane cringing in the corner, our lead actor dashes off with her and flees the crime scene.
One interesting piece of information is that the lead actress, Eva Aulin, was a 17-year old beauty contest winner, hailing from Sweden.
From this point on, it’s a melange of pop art, psychedelia, artistic camera shots, very creative chase scenes bordering on being idyllically playful and artful at the same time, all staying true to the roots of the Italian “yellow” film but incorporating the visuals of erotic cartoonist Guido Crepax, that are sprinkled throughout the film.
The story of the film was loosely adapted from a novel by Sergio Donati that some say was an outrageous attempt to turn the crime genre on its head. I believe that Brass succeeded in that sense. Others say that cinema fumetti (Italian comic-book movies) was invented with this film, being a prior product to the more well-known and . But that may be up for debate. The two lead actors went on to star in a year later.
One scene that I enjoyed and really caught my eye was a scene with Bernard and Jane in which they are in a photo studio of Bernard’s friend’s place. Jane starts stripping her clothes off behind some white long sheets that are almost like transparent paper hanging from the ceiling (like large sheets for photo backdrop). It was a very sexy and sensuous scene and when Bernard tears his clothes off and runs to her, pulling the sheets down and wrapping her and him up in them, it became a scene that totally payed homage to Michelangelo Antonioni’s . Antonioni is also credited in the audio of the actual film.
I have only seen a handful, if even that, of gialli and I really did enjoy them. Though sometimes not as bloody or gore-filled as I am accustomed to and light on the nudity, these films offer something different that is both fascinating and intriguing hardcore art. Many of these films are filled with so much artisitic camera shots, angles, montages and techniques that even if one does not appreciate the film, one has to respect its style.
The dvd includes a lobby card gallery, the trailer, and an exclusive English audio commentary by the director himself, Tinto Brass.
Vomitron’s note: Col Cuore In Gola has received an Italian dvd release prior to this one by Cult Epics. However, the version (also restored) differs as it has certain scenes re-edited. I found a website about the works of Tinto Brass where you can find a detailed comparison between the 2007 dvd release and the older VHS releases (which contain the original edit of the film, albeit unrestored). Here’s the direct link to the Col Cuore In Gola page.
Italian 2007 dvd release:
Pressbook poster art:
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