Synopsis by Robert Firsching
This seamy, atmospheric Italian thriller is a kinky variation on Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat. Luigi Pistilli stars as Oliviero Rouvigny, a racist, alcoholic writer who beats and verbally abuses his wife Irina (Anita Strindberg) in a remote castle. People are having their throats slashed with a curved knife, and Rouvigny is the prime suspect. When a pretty bisexual cousin, Floriana (pin-up queen Edwige Fenech) comes to stay with the unhappy couple, a sinister web of evil, sex, and death result. Pistilli gives an eminently hateful performance, and Ivan Rassimov and Daniela Giordano show up as well. There's also a fairly stylish murder involving a roadside billboard bearing the picture of a heart, a cat has one of its eyes gouged out with a pair of scissors, and a black maid is chopped to death with a meat cleaver and walled up in the cellar. The film's Italian title translates as the evocative Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, a message inscribed on one of the notes sent by Rassimov to Fenech in director Sergio Martino's previous giallo thriller, Lo Strano Vizio della Signora Wardh. He went on to make the popular Torso and other genre efforts for the next quarter-century.