A few months ago, I blind bought The Lenzi Baker/Giallo Collection. I wanted something new to watch and nothing catches my eye like a pretty boxset. It arrived on a Friday and I ended up watching all four films that weekend. I typically like to spread things out, but these films were addictive sleaze. Umberto Lenzi was then known for his offerings in the Italian cannibal genre and Carroll Baker was a Golden Globe-winning/Academy Award nominee. During the 60s and 70s, these two paired up to create what I consider Giallo classics. The films are not too different from each other, but that doesn’t take away from their entertainment value. They deal with threeways, insurance scams, and murder in the most overdramatic ways possible. Severin has followed up this amazing release with another Baker thriller, THE FOURTH VICTIM.
Michael Craig (Mysterious Island) stars as Arthur, a British playboy whose third wife just passed away, drowning in their pool. The suspicion here is that all his previous wives also died under mysterious circumstances while inheriting substantial life insurance cashouts. He gets off free, but instantly meets a new woman, Julie (Baker), who shows a quick interest in Arthur and the two become married. However, detectives are watching closely as both husband and wife might have something to hide.
THE FOURTH VICTIM amps up the camp with cheesy dialogue and over-the-top acting, but that’s what makes it so great. The impulsive choices of our characters help push the story along with no filler as we reach the end of the 88-minute film. Baker delivers her devilish self, straying away from the helpless damsels she played in her work with Lenzi. Craig is the ultimate sex symbol here with his power trips and unapologetic masculinity. Like most Giallo thrillers of this time, there’s no questioning the misogyny on display, and would have a hard time being financed today. It’s an example of its time and belongs in fans of the genre’s collection.
Severin Films delivers a new scan in 2K from the original negative. The result is a mixed bag, but most likely due to the original source as colors shift in saturation between frames at times. Overall, the transfer was worth the effort as fans now get to watch this 1971 thriller in high definition. The mono tracks, available in both English and Italian, are strong and clear. The dubbing can be off at times, but anyone watching Giallo comes to expect that. The special features are limited to a deleted scene, trailer, and interview with Eugenio Martin biographer Carlos Aguilar.
While THE FOURTH VICTIM isn’t packed with extra features, Severin’s new Blu-ray presentation makes up for it and delivers a sleazy slice of Giallo. You can now purchase the Blu-ray here!