Puzzle - Lars Weird Wednesday Intro
With its Wait Until Dark nods, underwater sea helmut night lights, chainsaw action, amnesia, bad guys with nonstop colds and a tiny dog named Whisky all in tow, the 1974 Duccio Tessari giallo Puzzle (L' Uomo senza memoria) manages to weave around its budget shortcomings with plenty of offbeat fun. Luc Merenda (Violent Professionals) is the central character with amnesia that has no idea what the hell is going on. He wakes up one day and slowly learns he has a wife and life, but no clue where they are. Suddenly fate kicks in and he finds himself on the run and put back in touch with his wife, played by Senta Berger (Quiller Memorandum). The title comes into play as the layers of the story slowly start peeling back revealing more and more clues, along with numerous red herrings as to why he has amnesia and why the bad guys are circling his every step like frothing vultures. No one can be trusted and no small dog, no matter how cute is safe as the film spirals into one of the more memorable giallo climaxes. For the record this is the film that finally put Senta Berger on the map for me. So much so the effect is retroactive in making you want to seek out her other titles. Duccio Tessari seems to want to give her a more everyday feeling and natural beauty to her character so that the audience can more closely follow her character arc. Duccio Tessari also directed one of the better and lesser seen Italian crime films in the 70's in Tony Arzenta that starred Alain Delon and Richard Conte. He packs in many scenes in Puzzle with his trademark low angle framing and always creative blocking that he likes to use to keep even the most routine of situations interesting.
After the link bump we have Lars from Weird Wednesday introducing Puzzle to a packed Austin audience. Note that the DVD label Another World Entertainment has a video version of this film with an English audio track (the ending in it seems to be longer that the one in the film print).