Foreign Film February: One On Top Of The Other (1969)

one on top of the other poster

While I obviously like horror films, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a super fan of the genre. I’m no horror hound who goes to see every horror film as soon as it is released. I’m not exactly a snob about it either, as there are plenty of really terrible horror films that I love. But for most of my life horror wasn’t necessarily something I set out to watch on a regular basis. I watched new horror films that were getting good reviews, and I tried to watch the classics, but weeks or even months would go by sometimes between my viewing of that genre.

Then sometime in the last few years, I started watching horror movies on Friday nights and that became the Friday Night Horror Movie and now I am seeking horror films on a regular basis. More than ever before I’m actually seeking out new horror films to watch. That’s allowed me to not only watch some of the classics that have been on my list for a while, but to find new films, or to dig deeper into certain directors’ catalogs.

Lucio Fulci is one of the godfathers of Italian horror. I’ve now seen 18 of his films. I wouldn’t consider any of them masterpieces. Some of them aren’t very good at all. They mostly slide into that good, but not great category, with bonus points being given to the great practical effects he uses for the large amounts of gore he likes to add to his films.

One On Top Of The Other is more of a crime film than a horror one. It feels like his attempt to remake Vertigo as a film noir with a copious amount of sleaze and a terrifically wonky jazz score.

A wealthy doctor has a sick wife and a pretty girlfriend. The wife dies and he gets a large insurance settlement. An anonymous tip leads him to a strip club where one of the dancers bears an incredible resemblance to his recently deceased wife. The police have been following him due to the insurance money and when they discover the doppelganger, well, things start to get hairy for our hero.

There are a lot of cool twists and turns in the story and it all looks and sounds good. But Fulci seems more interested in watching the women take off their clothes and get sexy with various men than he is in paying attention to the story. This is too bad because there is a pretty great film hidden underneath all the sleaze.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s