Shot in Italy and Spain, in a style reminiscent of Argento, today we look at 1978's "Trauma" (aka "Rings of Fear"). This frightening murder mystery almost crosses into the realm of Euro-trash or exploitation, but comes up...probably one gratuitous shower scene short of those genres. Nevertheless, we are treated to gratuitous shower scenes, a sultry shoplifter in a bathtub, lingerie gratuity, sex in a library gratuity, nude French teacher gratuity, and bordello gratuity. These scenes are strewn throughout this film, but we'll concentrate today on a gory tale of homicide.
Beautiful 16 year old Angela is killed. Her nude body is found, wrapped in plastic, in a lake. Enter handsome Detective DiSalvo (Fabio Testi). A good investigator, DiSalvo is able to piece together some cryptic clues. Angela was a student at an exclusive all-girls boarding school, in a clique with some beautiful classmates, and apparently a well-behaved lass. Uh oh...someone is trying to kill off the other girls in the clique. DiSalvo interviews/interrogates the other girls and teachers at the school. His interrogation methods entail him barging in on everyone when they are in states of undress in their bedroom and screaming at them. Surprisingly, this method yields few positive leads. He also uses strangulation as an interviewing technique....with fewer results.
Despite his combative communication strategies, DiSalvo develops some firm suspects. When each good suspect is also murdered, the mystery gets weirder. The clues lead DiSalvo to a bordello which our schoolgirls may have ties to. Also, the girls and the murdered suspects have received lurid notes from someone who goes by the moniker NEMESYS. As the pretty friends of Angela are put in extreme peril, DiSalvo pulls together clues from old cases in order to identify NEMESYS. Are the hormonal friends of Angela involved in her murder? What are the girls' relationship to the bordello?
Angela's friends Interviewed
The conclusion to "Trauma" is multi-faceted. Perhaps a minor murder mystery, but fans of Italian horror and exploitation will enjoy this work. In typical Italian fashion, we have a dangerous pair of scissors and nymphomaniacal characters. The DVD is reasonably priced on Amazon.