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The Case of the Bloody Iris


2014 release. The last in a series of Italian giallo films produced by Luciano Martino and starring Edwige Fenech and George Hilton, Giuliano Carnimeo's 1971 film The Case of the Bloody Iris (also released internationally as What Are Those Strange Drops of Blood Doing On Jennifer's Body?) remains a key feature for Italian soundtrack fans and giallo enthusiasts alike. Containing every facet of composer Bruno Nicolai's versatile musical matrix, this suite of rich, oblique paranoia pop now makes its vinyl debut via Finders Keepers Records. Drawing on a wide experience of cinematic commissions working as Ennio Morricone's closest collaborator (on scores as varied as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)), while also providing the exploitation films of Jesús "Jess" Franco (including Marquis de Sade: Justine (1969) and A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1971)) with elaborate integral theme tunes and cues, Nicolai would reveal some of his best, uninhibited ideas in classic giallo films starring Edwige Fenech. Recorded in just two days in July 1972 at the seminal Ortophonic Studio in Rome (birthplace of Goblin's Roller, Alessandroni's soundtrack to Sangue di sbirro (Cop's Blood) (1976), and recordings by Morricone, Vangelis, and New Trolls), Nicolai's score for The Case of the Bloody Iris presents the composer working with his small orchestra free from outside influence. With heavy emphasis on arrangements led by bass and rhythm, this up-tempo score balances the avant-garde stylings of the Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza with saccharine bossa interjections (which hardcore fans of the genre will associate with Giorgio Gaslini's score to Rivelazioni di un maniaco sessuale al capo della squadra mobile (So Sweet, So Dead) (1972) and Nicolai's own score to Eugenie (De Sade 70) (1970)). This music, alongside the previously unpressed score to Sergio Martino's 1972 film All the Colors of the Dark (FKR 071LP), is an integral chapter in the development of '70s Italian film music and the Italian cinematic pop landscape shared by the likes of Claudio Simonetti and Goblin, Bixio, Frizzi & Tempera, Walter Rizzati, and the Reverberi brothers. The score to The Case of the Bloody Iris was never released as a dedicated soundtrack album when the film appeared in late 1972; these tracks are presented on vinyl here for the first time, and this edition also includes two theme variations that didn't make the final theatrical cut of the film.