• In The Eye Of The Hurricane



    In The Eye Of The Hurricane
    Released by: 88 Films
    Released on: November 6th, 2017.
    Director: José María Forqué
    Cast: Analía Gadé, Jean Sorel, Rosanna Yanni, Tony Kendall, Maurizio Bonuglia, Julio Peña
    Year: 1971

    The Movie:

    This 1971 Italian/Spanish directed and co-written by José María Forqué opens with a scene in which a wealthy man named Michel (Tony Kendall) tries to instigate some romance with his lovely wife Ruth (Analía Gadé) to no success. She’s not interested in him anymore. Their marriage is, for all accounts and purposes, dead. Ruth is far more interested in another man named Paul (Jean Sorel), a dashing, handsome and younger man who she spends almost all of her free time with.

    When Ruth and Paul head off to the coast to spend some quality time together at her summer home, things get off to a great start but soon take a darker turn when the brakes on their car stop working. Shortly after that, Ruth almost drowns. Around the same time that these strange events occur, Michel shows up at the home, uninvited and unexpected. Ruth assumes that he’s the one behind the events and eventually they question him about all of this – and from there, things start to twist and turn in interesting and unexpected ways. Poking around at the same time is Paul’s old army friend Roland (Maurizio Bonuglia), a man whose chest scars come not from this time in the military, but from a lion! Adding to the cast of characters is the presence of Danielle (Rossana Yanni), the beautiful young woman who has moved in next door that Paul can’t help but notice.

    Although this film could be considered tame compared to some of the more explicit or exploitative gialli out there, The Fox With A Velvet Tail (or, if you prefer, In The Eye Of The Hurricane) remains a film worth seeking out for those who appreciate the genre. While there’s very little bloodshed to discuss, the film does offer up some kinky set pieces to provide a few mild thrills but more important than that, it tells an engaging story. The characters are fairly well developed and intriguing enough in their own individual ways and if the story takes a bit of time to hit its stride, the forward momentum present in the second half of the picture more than makes up for a slow start.

    The film also benefits from a strong cast. Analía Gadé makes for a compelling lead. She’s attractive enough that you can see why both Michel and Paul would lust after her, but not impossibly so. She handles the role quite well and has decent chemistry with her co-stars. Tony Kendall, no stranger to Eurocult fans what with his fairly extensive genre-heavy filmography, is rock solid as Michel and handsome French leading man Jean Sorel, probably best known for appearing in Belle de Jour and The Day Of The Jackal, is as dashing as can be, making him a great choice to play the man who lures Ruth away from her husband. Throw in a supporting role from beautiful Jess Franco and Paul Naschy regular Rosanna Yanni and an extra quirky turn from The Perfume Of The Lady In Black’s Maurizio Bonuglia and things shape up quite nicely with the talent assembled in front of the camera.

    Shot on location in the French Riviera with some absolutely gorgeous cinematography from Alejandro Ulloa, this is a beautiful looking film. Nicely lit and quirky in how it uses some unorthodox camera angles and shot setups, it’s hard to imagine anyone taking issue with how the movie looks. Even some of the obvious strategic placement of objects in the foreground of an early scene intended to obscure Gadé’s topless nudity is done well (yes, it’s obvious that it’s meant to obscure but it is at least handled with some aesthetic prowess). Add to this an excellent score from Piero Piccioni and it’s easy to see why this one would appeal to giallo fans and Eurocult aficionados.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The Fox With A Velvet Tail arrives on Blu-ray from 88 Films in a transfer that appears to be identical to the one that Mondo Macabro used for their North American Blu-ray earlier this year reviewed here (though the 88 Films release does have a slightly higher bit rate). The film is presented in a gorgeous 1.78.1 widescreen transfer in AVC encoded 1080p high definition taken from a new 4k scan of the original 35mm negative. Fine detail is consistently impressive and the image shows nice depth and texture as well. Color reproduction looks nice and natural, and some scenes in particular really pop (the discotheque scene with its red and green lighting is a great example of this). Black levels are nice and solid, and the darker scenes are thankfully devoid of crush or obvious compression artifacts. Skin tones appear lifelike and natural and the image is almost pristine, showing virtually no print damage at all. Additionally the picture appears free of obvious edge enhancement and noise reduction, resulting in a pleasantly filmic presentation.

    Audio options are provided in both Italian and English language LPCM Mono tracks with optional subtitles translating the Italian track (there are some differences between the two). No issues here – both tracks sound clean, clear and nicely balanced. The score has nice range and presence to it while the dialogue is easy to understand. There are no noticeable problems with any hiss or distortion to note.

    Extras on the disc include a lengthy four minute trailer for the film, alternate English language opening credits, a single deleted scene, menus and chapter selection.

    Inside the keepcase is an insert leaflet containing a three page essay on the film written by Francesco Massaccesi that offers some welcome critical insight into the film and some interesting observations about its place in the giallo cycle. Reversible cover art is also included. The commentary and featurette from the Mondo Macabro disc have not been carried over.

    It’s also worth noting that the first 500 copies ordered from 88 Films’ website will include a limited edition slipcover.

    The Final Word:

    The Fox With A Velvet Tail eschews some of the sleazier elements often associated with gialli and instead opts for a slick, sophisticated slow burn style – but it works, and it works well. Benefiting from a strong cast and some absolutely gorgeous visuals, this one definitely entertains. The Blu-ray release from 88 Films looks and sounds fantastic, making this a great choice for Region B giallo fans!

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!





























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    Mark Tolch

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