Interrabang (1969) Faux Giallo With A Twist September 26, 2022 15:54
If you're looking for an artsy Italian thriller that moonlights as a giallo on what would likely be the toiletry budget of a modern Hollywood production then Interrabang is for you.
Ninety eight percent of the film takes place on the beach of a small island and focuses on three women, Valeria, Anna and Margherita. When the carburetor on their boat fails they are left stranded by Fabrizio, the photographer who brought them there for a photo shoot. He hitches a ride on a passing speedboat to seek out a replacement, leaving them to fend for themselves in an area that maybe the refuge for an escaped killer who was recently reported about on a radio broadcast they heard upon their arrival.
With a possible killer loose the girls proceed to disregard the potential danger and spend their time lounging around on the boat and the shore of the island (even after they find a dead body at the bottom of a cliff). Its through this period we get some insight into the personality of the characters. Valeria (Haydée Politoff) is Ana's (Beba Loncar) bratty little sister who despises Ana because she controls her money and in her opinion her life, shes into reading giallo books and wears a necklace with a combination question/exclamation mark which is the symbol for "interrabang".
Ana is Fabrizio's wife, while she appears high maintenance she puts up with her husband's blatant womanizing even when its right in front of her, as is the case with his model Margherita. This is likely because of his success and the money it brings. Margherita (Shoshana Cohen) is the model, and Fabrizio's young play thing, she's sexy, flirty and incredibly naive. None of the women especially like each other, and with a similar stuck up personality it's not too hard to see why. This creates an even larger wedge between them when the dashing Marco shows up and showers attention on both of them.
Marco (Corrado Pani) claims to be a poet, yet in the back of everyone's mind (including the viewers) its more likely Marco is the escaped prisoner. Despite this possible threat the women keep interacting with him, flirting with him, and even pass up a couple opportunities to get off the island when a police boat comes by asking if they've seen any sign of the escapee.
Interrabang is not a film for the impatient viewer, it's quite devoid of dialog, and what there is serves little purpose but to distance you from caring about the fate of the characters due to their complete self involvement and blatant disregard for the potential danger they are in. They allow themselves to be wooed by Marco and at a point actually become jealous of one another, competing for his attention. With that said it does garner some curiosity as to what the ultimate conclusion will be, and an almost sadistic desire to see these narcissistic women have some karma delivered to them.
In the end, if you manage not to call it quits before the hour mark you will be rewarded for your patience when the film finally stops teasing you, the plot starts to progress, and things finally get interesting. Then in the final fifteen minutes a truly surprising series of twists and turns salvage the film from being on the level of an artsy film school project.
Overall, Interrabang does live up to it's cryptic definition. A majority of the time you will question what the point is, and when is something going to happen, with a payoff that actually is exciting and fairly well done. It's simply too bad you have to sit through so much meandering to get to it. A more balanced dosage of the two would have made for a more interesting and well rounded story. But as it stands Interrabang is comparable to a low budget film school interpretation of a giallo without any of the real ingredients.