The final film in the Luciano Martino produced series of Edwige Fenech/George Hilton 1970s horror vehicles, The Case Of The Bloody Iris (released in Italy as What Are Those Strange Drops Of Blood Doing On Jennifer’s Body?) remains a key feature for Italian soundtrack fans and pre-cert VHS enthusiasts alike. Comprising every facet of composer Bruno Nicolai’s versatile musical matrix, this suite of rich oblique paranoia pop makes its vinyl debut via Finders Keepers as an integral part of our dedicated Nicolai/Fenech series. Drawing on a wide experience of cinematic commissions working as Ennio Morricone’s closest collaborator (on scores as varied as The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin) whist also providing the exploitation films of Jess Franco (De Sade/Virgin Amongst The Living Dead) with elaborate integral theme tunes and cues, Nicolai would reveal some of his best uninhibited ideas via the classic horror films featuring on-screen muse Edwige Fenech thus providing the genre with an inimitable benchmark signature sound for decades to follow.
Recorded in just two days in July 1972 at the seminal Ortophonic studio in Rome (birthplace of Goblin’s Roller, Alessandroni’s Cop’s Blood as well as recordings by Morricone, Vangelis and The New Trolls), Nicolai’s entirely instrumental score for The Case Of The Bloody Iris is the result of a composer and his small orchestra free from outside influence. With heavy emphasis on the bass and rhythm led arrangements (mirrored through most of his exploitation soundtracks), this score balances the avant-garde stylings of the Morricone/Macci founded Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza set to an up-tempo beat with awkward saccharine bossa interjections (which hardcore fans of the genre will associate with the work of Giorgio Gaslini, particularly Rivelazioni Di Un Maniaco Sessuale Al Capo Della Squadra Mobile, or Nicolai’s very own De Sade 70). This music, alongside the previously unpressed themes from the Sergio Martino films All The Colours Of The Dark (FKR071) and Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key (FKSP006), present an integral chapter in the development of 70′s Italian film music and the Italian cinematic pop landscape shared by the likes of Claudio Simonetti and Goblin, Frizzi/Bixio/Tempera, Walter Rizzati, the Reverberi brothers and many more.
Unlike many of the aforementioned films the soundtrack to The Case Of The Bloody Iris was never originally manufactured as a dedicated soundtrack album when the film was released in late 1972. These tracks are presented on vinyl here for the first time including two recently uncovered theme variations that didn’t make the final theatrical cut of the film. Although sourced from the original backup master tapes, one of the bonus tracks presented here actually appeared on the rare and sought-after Bruno Nicolai library album Rendez-vous (Gemelli, 1974) which until now remains the only vinyl artifact to harbour a track (retitled as Apprensioni) from this ahead of its time film score putting rumours of an original library LP to rest. Finally vinyl detectives can rest at ease knowing that the case of the bloody soundtrack has finally come to a close.