Autopsy (1974)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Giallo, Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Jan 1, 1977 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - Italy   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Donald Guarisco

This creepy whodunit, better known on these shores as Autopsy, offers a few chills but is ultimately unsatisfying. On the plus side, Macchie Solari has a high level of technical polish: Carlo Carlini's photography uses the beautiful vistas of Rome as an effectively ironic contrast to story's often grisly events and Ennio Morricone's stylish score effectively mixes dreamy, lyrical themes and stark, atonal suspense music. Director Armando Crispino also manages to create a few memorably intense moments of suspense, the best being a scene where the heroine is stalked by the killer through a museum exhibit full of gruesome death-scene photos and a moment where she hallucinates about a series of corpses returning to life in the morgue. Unfortunately, Macchie Solari falls short in the storytelling department due to a weak script: an intriguing subplot about sunspot activity influencing suicidal behavior is briefly introduced then forgotten, the revelation of the killer isn't terribly surprising since there are so few suspects and the finale is rather abrupt and anti-climactic. The actor struggle gamely with the material (Barry Primus gives a particularly vivid performance as troubled priest Paul Lenox) but they are saddled with thin, often grating characterizations make it virtually impossible for the viewer to become involved in the story. As a result, Macchie Solari can only be recommended to Euro-horror addicts.