Riccardo Freda is the sort of name that cult film fans drool over. He has a legend, legacy and a filmography that many would die for. From his stunning THE HORRIBLE DR HICHCOCK to the dripping wet I VAMPIRI, his was an oeuvre most sublime. Along comes DOUBLE FACE from Arrow to settle the debate over his later period of work. Some saw it as being unbalanced ( other unhinged). Murder, sex and manipulation in wide doses are on display. Add to that a touch of insanity and you are there. All of this wouldn’t simply do though. Oh no. You need something else to sweeten the pill. That comes in the lead. Cult favourite and jungle trapezing warrior of iron, Klaus Kinski.
Structured as a mystery thriller. The tale is a simple one. Broken-hearted husband (played with creeping glee by Kinski) has been told his darling wife has died after losing control of her car and it bursting into flames. But the funeral doesn’t bring closure. His grief is killing him. He is suspected of having something to do with her death. As he then finds a woman very similar to his wife on a porno movie, suddenly his fears are crippling. Turning the bereaved in to a cheated husband out for revenge.
For meDOUBLE FACE is a hard Riccardo Freda to start with. It is not his best work, nor is it the easiest to watch. The blurb with the film states it is ‘Psychological, Psychedelic and sometimes plain psychotic.’ Well yes, yes and maybe.Refusing to distance the idea of exploitation and sexual desire, DOUBLE FACE will make modern (read self involved and self congratulatory) viewers squirm. You should not. Its asking you to examine what it is that is driving you watching this. Desiring the sexual, perverse fluids that zing through veins. Yes its clunky and caustic but equally perverse and profound. You can take it as a simple giallo that confuses its narrative but I take it as a joyous proud slash at the ages sexuality, perversion and emotional abandon.
2K hip, hip hurrah! Finally a viewable cut of the film (both in Italian and English). As to the preferred version that up to you but the dire print I saw only 3 years ago on Youtube has been sloshed away.
Not many is the answer. The best is that Tim Lucas commentary. He of Video watchdog fame. Knows the actor, director and film so well as to be saturating you in information and tid bits…
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 2K restoration of the full-length Italian version of the film from the original 35mm camera negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
- Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- New audio commentary by author and critic Tim Lucas
- New video interview with composer Nora Orlandi
- The Many Faces of Nora Orlandi, a new appreciation of the varied career of the film’s composer by musician and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon
- The Terrifying Dr. Freda, a new video essay on Riccardo Freda’s gialli by author and critic Amy Simmons
- Extensive image gallery from the collection of Christian Ostermeier, including the original German pressbook and lobby cards, and the complete Italian cineromanzo adaptation
- Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell