The Merits of Sin (NSFW): Giallo in Venice (1979) (Italy)

If a film had the ability to pass a venereal disease onto you, this would be that film. So wrap on up and exercise precaution…it’s about to get itchy.

Love making for dummies

The corpses of a young married couple are discovered near a canal in Venice. The man has been repeatedly stabbed and it looks as if the woman had drowned and was then removed from the water. It’s quite a mystery for our dear Inspector De Pol. De Pol is convinced that the crime is somehow sexual in nature, De Pol also munches on hard boiled eggs like they’re about to be banned and resembles a new age musician. He’s got a lot going for him.

These ambient vibes shall provide the proper soundscape

He tracks down a friend of the deceased couple (genre legend and sexy sexpot Mariangela Giordano) who eventually lets out that the husband, Fabio, was a bit of a sexual deviant and was slowly dragging his wife, Flavia, into his boundary pushing world. Marzia seems to be keeping something from the inspector so he makes sure to have his men bug her phone and keep an eye on her. Marzia also has a stalker in her ex lover, so the inspector finally has a suspicious character to look into. Not that he does, he’s a bit too busy trying to piece together Flavia and Fabio’s story to focus on anything else.

Don’t worry, it’s coming

A series of photographs are discovered in Marzia’s apartment and showcase an orgy involving the dead couple. Sure as shit, more bodies begin to pile up and it looks like someone is wiping out everyone involved in the gross fuck party. De Pol begins to discover just how perverse Fabio was and gets closer to figuring out the double homicide that set everything off. As viewers are treated to some nausea inducing sex between the stomach churning Fabio and his poor wife. Fabio goes from voyeur to hands on in a flash and is dragging Flavia into his kinks kicking and screaming. Sadly, as much as she wishes to escape she loves the creepy prick and is holding out for him to finally realize he’s sick and to seek help. We already know that this doesn’t happen.

No. No. I’m good

Peppered between the off putting sexual escapades is some nasty violence. It may be achieved with some cheap ass special effects but it oddly doesn’t take away any of its impact. The burning alive of one scumbag is accompanied by his continuous screaming on the audio track and the vaginal stabbing of a prostitute is filmed in all its scissor penetrating awfulness. It may look like it was pieced together on a severe budget but the brutality sticks with ya.

Crispy classic

If endless sex scenes and a whole bunch of chatter sounds enticing then you should be all over this late seventies piece of sleaze. The camera never really flinches. Even though I was begging for it to thirty seconds into Fabio showing his true colors. The aviator wearing psychopath takes a back seat to the sexual degradation of Flavia and the film doesn’t really benefit from it. Still, like most horrible car accidents, it is difficult to look away. As a lover of sleaze, I can’t help but consider this one a success. Masturbation and mutilation all in one sick little package. 6/10


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