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Case Number 00456

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Autopsy (1975)

Anchor Bay // 1975 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mike Knapp (Retired) // April 14th, 2000

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All Rise...

Editor's Note

Our review of Autopsy (2009), published April 1st, 2009, is also available.

The Charge

Autopsy: complete and uncut

How is that possible?

Opening Statement

"Mama Mia, thatsa spicy cadaver!"

Romans are committing suicide in record numbers, but why? Is it the sun flares we see every 10 minutes in the film? Is it the bad rugs that half the actors are wearing? Why is it? WHY? WHY?!!!

The Evidence

Anchor Bay has done a fine job with this film. The transfer looks as good as I would expect a film of this vintage (1975) and of this caliber. It has an anamorphic transfer though I can't see why, and it is presented in its OAR (Original Aspect Ratio) and OAF (Original Audio Format). This film got better treatment than many of the "A" titles I have seen. It comes with trailers and you can listen to an English dubbed version or the Italian language version. Anchor Bay has successfully done what most believe cannot be done…polish a turd!

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Did someone fart in here? Oh, nope…I just opened the keepcase on this real stinker.

Autopsy opens (I like how that sounds) with some footage of solar flares and credits. Then the opening shot, and they don't mess around, they get right to business…a pair of tig ol' bitties! Unfortunately for us the attached human is about to commit suicide. Others follow suit; a guy puts a plastic bag on his head and jumps in the river. Now what the hell is that about? If he puts the bag on his head he will suffocate anyway, why drown yourself too? A fellow blows up his car with him inside. Another kills some kids and then turns an automatic weapon on himself and somehow manages to send about 50 rounds into his abdomen. After a few more depictions of suicides we wind up in the morgue where our young heroine works as an apprentice. They cut up a few bodies so the film can have a neat name and then the dead folks decide to party! They get up and begin to have sex in front of Simone (Mimsy Farmer). She starts to wig out (remember, I told you about the wigs) and then she snaps back, from an apparently drug induced haze, into reality just in time for the editor to cut away to keep you from seeing a corpses penis!

Now the supporting characters come out of the woodwork lickety split and for no apparent reason. There is a red head (another wig) that is Simone's father's flavor of the month. The father, who is an aging playboy. His brother and business partner. A priest (Barry Primus), brother of the red head, that once was a professional race driver until a horrible racing accident he was the cause of at LeMans killed several spectators and now causes him to have seizures when he thinks about it. Really! (How could I make that one up?) There is a janitor with a game leg and a dog, a sensitive guy (Ray Lovelock) trying to win Simones' affections that lives with his deaf Aunt. I have no clue why this Aunt is in the film at all, unless she is one of the producers' mother.

Let's see did I leave anyone out? OH! There is a woman that wears see through clothing and draws carved up and tortured bodies at the Museum of Criminal Behavior. She was one of the father's trysts. I think that is it.

The characters come and go so quickly that you would think there was a revolving door between the casting office and the sound stage! There is nudity aplenty, with the actors shedding their clothing at least once each…well okay, not the deaf aunt. But Simone makes up for the aunt's shyness. There is blood, guts, more blood and some gruesome pictures that look wayyyyyy too real for my liking. The dialogue is downright silly sometimes but that may well be due to the translation process.

The grand finale is a rooftop fight scene between the two primary male leads and one of them falls off. DUH.

The film tries to tie all of this together but falls short somehow. The solar flares they show throughout do nothing but alert us that someone is going to die soon and really do nothing for the story. The characters are wooden and contrived and we fail to give a hoot about the welfare of any of them. You guess who the killer is early on and wish from then on in that the film would end. But there is no chance my friend.

The score was composed by Ennio Moricone, yes, the same one that did the award winning The Mission. I guess we all have to start somewhere.

I suppose there is a market for this type of film but I can honestly say that I don't know anyone that would enjoy this, and I know some very strange people, which BTW will be the next film I review I Married a Strange Person.

Look for it soon.

Closing Statement

If you like this type of cheap horror, I'm sure Autopsy will please you. It looks great and it has the original mono soundtrack, which is ALWAYS a plus in my book!

Recommended for those that know what they are getting into. Not recommended for those just looking for a good scare, it is NOT scary, just grotesque.

The Verdict

Anchor Bay did an exemplary job with little to work from. The film is weak, but not nearly as bad as others I have seen. I hereby sentence the actors to get a haircut so they won't need to wear the bad rugs, and for the editor to sharpen his scissors a bit. The footage that was left in (no matter which footage it was) should have been cut out!

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Scales of Justice

Video: 95
Audio: 100
Extras: 50
Acting: 50
Story: 25
Judgment: 64

Perp Profile

Studio: Anchor Bay
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Italian)
• None
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 1975
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Bad
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Theatrical Trailer


• IMDb

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