Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (Italian: Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave) is a 1972 Italian giallo thriller film directed by Sergio Martino (Torso) from a screenplay by Ernesto Gastaldi. The plot uses many elements from Edgar Allan Poe‘s short story The Black Cat and acknowledges this influence in the opening credits.
It was also released as Gently Before She Dies and, in the UK by sexploitation specialists Border Films, rather misleadingly, as Excite Me (censored by the BBFC even for an ‘X’ certificate, of course).
The film stars Edwige Fenech (The Case of the Bloody Iris; Strip Nude for Your Killer), Luigi Pistilli (A Bay of Blood; Spirits of Death; Tragic Ceremony), Anita Strindberg and Ivan Rassimov (Man from Deep River; Last Cannibal World).
Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key was Martino’s fourth giallo film. The title is a reference to his first one, Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh (The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, 1971), in which the killer leaves the phrase as a note to his victim (also Edwige Fenech).
On 12 October 2015, Arrow Video released Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat: Two Adaptations by Sergio Martino and Lucio Fulci on Blu-ray in the UK. Limited Edition Contents:
- Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Newly translated subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
- Brand new interview with director Sergio Martino
- Dolls of Flesh and Blood: The Gialli of Sergio Martino a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring Sergio Martino’s unique contributions to the giallo genre
- Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, on The Black Cat
- Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
- Limited Edition 80-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the films, Poe’s original story and more, illustrated with archive stills and posters
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“All of Martino’s gialli have an a fair amount of naked flesh on display, but Your Vice diverts the most from the staple thriller conventions and into erotica territory – which may be good news to you, depending on what you like to get out of these films, but here it only helps to increasingly dissipate any thrills Martino manages to create” Hysteria Lives
“The films strongest element is its incredible character development and performances by its three leads. Your Vice is highly psychological and wallows in human cruelty. There is also a significant body count and a bit of the red stuff. The films weaker moments occur when it wanders off into territory that isn’t really relevant to the central plot.” Goregirl’s Dungeon
” …this Poe-giallo amalgam is one of Sergio Martino’s most alluring features (even though a motor-cross race is an unwelcome intrusion). Like mondo movies, the film uses its base characters to condemn racism and sexism and yet hypocritically revels in exploiting both. There are also some unfortunate Americanisms (“crummy” and “ball-breaker” being two examples). But these drawbacks can be found in most Italian exploitation movies and they are outweighed by the distinctly decadent ambiance, cruelly calculating characters and perverse twists.” Adrian J Smith, Blood and Black Lace (1999, Darkside)
“Many Giallos from Argento to Fulci operate in an emotionally cold wasteland where the identities and motivations of the killers closely guarded secret until the final, shocking revelation … In Your Vice, however, the horror and loathing of the characters, and the sordid, deadly games these they play, are personal.” Eccentric Cinema
“The final revelation during the last act of the film is a nice series of plot twists which might surprise a viewer or two (the ending is such a cliché I’m surprised Martino and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi used it!), but the preceding 80 minutes are wall-to-wall bitching, moaning, back-stabbing, and anguish involving the three main characters!” DVD-Drive In
On 4 April 2016, Arrow Video released the film on Blu-ray in the UK with the following extras:
- Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
- Original Italian and English soundtracks in DTS-HD mono audio
- English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- Through the Keyhole a brand new interview with director Sergio Martino
- Unveiling the Vice making-of retrospective featuring interviews with Martino, star Edwige
- Fenech and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
- Dolls of Flesh and Blood: The Gialli of Sergio Martino a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the director s unique contributions to the giallo genre
- The Strange Vices of Ms. Fenech film historian Justin Harries on the Your Vice actress prolific career
- Eli Roth on Your Vice and the genius of Martino
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin