Childhood trauma and a miscarriage, as a result of a car accident one year ago, has resulted in Jane’s mental instability. She lately seems to be spending a lot of time at home now, smoking and drinking while waiting around for her lover, Richard (George Hilton), who’s out working most of the time. Our introduction to Jane in the movie sees her waking up from a bewitchingly filmed nightmare, full of symbolic hints to her troubles, and in a daze, she walks into the shower while still in her nightgown.
Is this a symbolic and desperate attempt for Jane to wash away what is grieving her, or is it just a chance for Fenech to get wet? I’d say definitely both, which is part of what makes ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK so pleasurable. It is not just an empty ploy for mindless sex and violence, you see, but the film is just as sexy as it is intelligent, head spinning, macabre, and psychedelic.
Fenech is sort of the main attraction, whose pleasing looks, vulnerability, and pleasant company carries the proceedings rather well, but the movie is also packed with notable Euro-genre actors who contribute to the show, also, such as the frequent Fenech co-stars George Hilton and Ivan Rassimov, and giallo divas Marinna Malfatti and Nieves Navarro, the latter being a fantastic and groundbreaking lead herself in DEATH WALKS AT MIDNIGHT.
|"I'm almost certain that someone is after me, someone from my past, from something that happened in my childhood. Do you believe in this sort of thing?"--Jane/Edwige Fenech|
Taking advice from her sister, Barbara, played by Navarro, Jane sees a psychoanalyst, George Rigaud, about her nightmares and paranoia of being pursued.
Jane’s paranoia is exemplified by an added tension that is prevalent whenever she happens to be alone, which usually follows with an immediate but temporary sense of relief when she is around others. For instance, when Jane leaves her psychoanalyst, she is alone in a subway station while a menacing “laa-laa” chime from Bruno Nicolai creates a disquieting atmosphere. After the subway pulls up, a feeling of comfort and safety prevails, as crowds of people invade the previously lonely and uncomfortable surrounding. It is not long before the tension rises again as she finds herself alone once more on the moving sub and, as dream seemingly becomes reality, the madman from her nightmares appears, Rassimov.
|"Now you are one of us, Jane... It is impossible to denounce us"--Mark/Ivan Rassimov|
A particular scene that has Jane being pursued sees her rushing to get in her car and, sure enough, the engine has trouble starting. This part would seem rather cliché if it weren’t for a particular finesse that Martino brings where certain brief moments and sounds are replayed several times, such as several repetitive loops of the sound of the failed engine start, or Jane’s scream as the killer readies to bear down on her with a knife, in trippy replay mode. Basically, like a lot of Italian directors, full of style.
While on a lovely walk in the park, Jane’s strange friend, Mary, Malfatti in a wicked looking red cloak, offers her advice and a cure for her problems by suggesting that she go to a Sabbath with her and meet her friends; as she says “you’ve only to trust them, and they will do the rest”. With intrigue and without thinking twice, she agrees to attend. Jane’s Sister, Barbara, claims that Jane has never been good at making decisions, which, given the naivety she has just demonstrated, has become most apparent.
|"She was never good with decisions, but now she is yours and you don't give her the security she needs"--Barbara/Nieves Navarro|
The best parts of the film for me are the visits to the Sabbaths, which are brilliantly filmed and enhanced, big time, with an enchanting melodic music score from Bruno Nicolai. The actions of the cultist are horrific, but the stage is beautiful and things take a Gothic turn for the better. Julian Ugárte takes over and easily steals the movie for a couple minutes while acting with full focus and without restraint as the tall and convincingly evil cult leader, exposing bloody teeth and voraciously engaging in an orgy with Jane, as one would expect from a cult leader when such an opportunity presents itself.
Needless to say, the orgies at the Sabbath only temporarily relieve Jane of her problems, and a whole new world of trouble opens up for her.
|"Strange men have been following women since the stone-age"--Mary/Marina Malfatti|
Jane’s psychoanalyst states that due to her emotional shock, it is difficult for her to know what’s real and what isn’t, which is something that can easily be said about the events in the movie and is just another of the numerous charms to this gem of an atypical giallo thriller that constantly disorients the viewer but ties things up rather nicely at the end.
I haven’t seen many of her sex comedies, but I can still say with confidence that this is one of Edwige Fenech’s best movies. Though her other gialli with Martino (THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH and YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY) as well as THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS are highly recommended as well.
|"You are ours now, Jane, and you'll be protected. Don't worry about anybody"--J.P./Julian Ugarte|