As they say (or at least they should), there's always room for giallo. No, it's not a gelatinous dessert, but an Italian film genre generally identified by its use of gory murders, mystery/police procedural elements and strong sexuality. "Giallo" is Italian for yellow, and the genre draws its name from a series of lurid murder mystery novels that sported yellow covers. Delirium (Delirio caldo), which was recently released by Blue Underground, is a modestly interesting example of the form made downright fascinating by presenting the drastically different Italian and U.S. cuts on the same disk.
Starting with the Italian version, this 1972 film stars Mickey Hargitay, former Mr. Universe, ex-husband of Jayne Mansfield and father of actress Mariska Hargitay. Hargitay plays Professor Herbert Lyutak, a psychologist aiding the police in their investigation of a serial killer who has strangled several women, or that's what Lyutak wants people to think. In reality he is the killer, with his violence against women serving as an outlet for his rage and frustration over his sexual impotence. His wife Marcia is played by the stunning Rita Calderoni, an actress I've seen in a handful of films, though I'm just now noticing a striking resemblance to a slightly older Anne Hathaway. Marcia still loves her husband despite his sexual inadequacies. She offers to let him strangle her as a form of gratification and she is given to graphic sexual dreams/fantasies involving other women, her husband and a dungeon. Meanwhile, there's a copycat killer on the loose, murdering women in the same fashion as Lyutak.