Plot: Inspector Gianni Di Salvo (Fabio Testi) has been called to investigate a brutal murder that left a young woman mutilated in savage ways, so he looks into to the school where she was a student. His direct, no nonsense approach lacks tact however, which puts him at odds with those close to the investigation, including the parents of the murdered girl. He is soon approach by the victim’s younger sister Emily, who seems to be the lone source of cooperation at the school and while she is just a child, she steers him in some valuable directions. Di Salvo learns that the dead girl was part of a social clique and in the wake of the murder, other girls have been getting threats, via notes signed as Nemesis. As strange, violent things begin to happen around the school, can Di Salvo solve the case before more blood is spilled?
Entertainment Value: Enigma Rosso is a brisk, wild giallo that might not be a genre classic, but it a lot of fun, if you appreciate offbeat cinema. The narrative hits the usual giallo beats, with a black gloved killer on the loose and a hardened detective on the case, but is by no means an assembly line genre piece. The movie tends to dial down the blood and violence, opting to focus on sleaze and unsettling atmosphere, not to mention a fair amount of just oddball moments. The film’s wildest sequences are beyond outlandish and while the rest of the movie can’t keep that pace, I never found Enigma Rosso to be slow or dull in the least. Fabio Testi has the lead and is a capable choice, as he is rugged and seems at home within the genre hijinks. No matter what the scene calls for, from abrupt rudeness to erotic presence, Testi is up to the task here. Also of note is Fausta Avelli, who is memorable as young Emily and steals a fair number of scenes, with her eerie, but innocent persona. I think Enigma Rosso entertains, with sleaze, strange lines, and a few gonzo, unforgettable sequences, so for fans of giallo, horror in general, or just off the wall movies, it is well recommended.
This movie dials up the nakedness, including a wild group shower scene that includes a wealth of fully naked young women. The scene never gets graphic, but has a number of women with visible breasts, asses, and bush. There’s some light sleaze involved, as some of the girls share a stall and some saliva. Enigma Rosso has other bursts of sleaze as well, including an over the top sequence where we get a clear look at the murder weapon, a massive dildo. The narrative follows the trail of a murder, but this giallo doesn’t focus as much as the violence as most. So there is some blood, but the nastiness happens off screen for the most part and isn’t emphasized. I love splashy knife wounds, but the level of sleaze and wackiness more than compensates. The dialogue is filled with odd or awkward lines, especially with Testi as the socially ungraceful detective who never holds back or tries to soften his words. Other characters have humorous lines as well, but Testi’s Di Salvo takes the cake. As for craziness, we have a dildo wielding killer, strange dialogue, an eerie little girl, a mind bending finale, and an absolute masterpiece scene of roller coaster fueled interrogation methods.
Overall Insanity: 6/10