Formula for Murder
A Giallo crime mystery from the gutter of Italy; Formula for Murder is a movie that abides by the genre familiarities of blood soaked yellow rain coat killers, a seemingly helpless protagonist, and religious iconography encompassed by a dark and mysterious multi-layer cake of murder mystery plot. Formula for Murder does it one better and includes people fencing and jousting in wheel chairs and a European version of the Special Olympics. The plot is straight forward enough, a chair bound millionaire heir named Joanna is targeted by a scheming couple (Greg and Ruth) looking to score her McScrouge sized fortune. Greg somehow is able to pose as a physical therapist, eventually winning his way into Joanna’s heart though fencing with her and showing her how to properly throw a javelin. True love is showing someone how to kill a man. Ruth weasels her way into Joanna’s life as her personal nurse and confidant. Because this is the setup right from the beginning we can only assume the greedy couple’s scheme took years to execute, making it all the more fantastic and unbelievable. Joanna firmly believes Ruth to be her best friend, not the kind of trust that’s formed overnight. As Joanna suffers from haunting nightmare and flashbacks involving horny old priests, Greg and Ruth quibble about the best way to finish her off, an argument that eventually ends in Greg viciously stabbing Ruth repeatedly with a razor blade. Somehow Greg knows that Joanna was raped by a priest as a young nubile girl, a tragic event that left her disabled in a wheel chair, so to push her over the edge he dresses as a priest and spooks her repeatedly, making her repeatedly question her already fragile state of mind. At the end Greg reveals himself to be the killer, and Joanna reveals she kind of knew it the whole time!? Through some contrived logic Greg was hoping to cause Joanna to have a fatal wheelchair accident to inherit her fortune, but the tricks on him, all the deadly arrow shooting, fencing, and javelin throwing skills he taught her come back to bite him in the ass at the end.
Formula for Murder is a decent chunk blower, plenty of gooey, splattery Giallo styled slashings to go around. Even though the plot seemingly defied common sense with a flaming middle finger it seems to work on a visceral level. The DVD came with a slick yellow rain parka to play your own sick little psycho stalker games with, ya sick pup. Go outside and play!