Any time you get a giallo that takes its title from a Freud quote, you just expect it to be a great movie. Unfortunately, In the Folds of the Flesh is one big fucking mess. The story is all about a smoking hot MILF (Eleonora Rossi Drago) who lives in a chateau with her smoking hot daughter (Pier Angeli) and her whiny son. Mama’s got a secret because back in the day, she killed her husband and buried him in the garden and let some drunk take the wrap. Thirteen years later, the drunk is out of prison and holds the family hostage. Although the family is able to bump off the annoying blackmailer and dispose of his body, things slowly start to unravel for them once dear old dad comes back from the dead trying to make nice with everybody.
In the Folds of the Flesh has a few clever kills (my favorite was the death by cuckoo clock), a fair amount of nudity, and an abundance of severed heads, yet it leaves the viewer wanting more. While the film delivers a handful of lurid shocks, for the most part it feels more like a boring soap opera than a down and dirty giallo. The cardinal sin that leads to the film’s ultimate downfall is it’s over-reliance on plot “twists”. There’s a “shocking” revelation about every ten minutes (and about five revelations during the final reel), that negate most of what’s come before and only helps to confuse things further.
At least the cast is somewhat capable and keeps you watching throughout the more sluggishly paced sections of the film. Drago is quite good in the lead and oozes sensuality from every pore. Angeli is also pretty hot, but wears an incredibly stupid wig throughout most the movie that doesn’t do her any favors. Sadly, Pier (a former flame of James Dean) died the next year of a drug overdose while filming the cult classic, Octaman.