The Designated Victim (1971) Mondo Macabro 11/9/2021
Directed By: Maurizio Lucidi
Starring: Tomas Millian, Pierre Clementi, Katia Christine
Disclaimer: Mondo Macabro has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections.
Mondo Macabro has rolled out three new sleazy, rare titles for genre fans this November. A playboy is caught in a loveless marriage and wanting to cash in on his wife's successful modeling career. He meets a carefree young man named Pierre Clementi (Pierre Clementi). They both want people in their lives dead and plot to swap murders. If this plot seems familiar it is because its the basic set up of Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951). Sadly though, I have to say that this Italian "remake" doesn't really push boundaries.
In Hitchcock's film there is a homo erotic subtext that runs throughout and, I was kind of hoping that this film would be ballsy and daring enough to explore this. This speaks to the biggest issue, the movie never is daring or provoctative as it could have been. It also feels like a slow moving affair. There are however some cool twists and turns though, and the movie is beautifully shot. It does some nice off beat moments that kept things at least interesting. Italian genre films are sleazy, and uncomfortable films but The Designated Victim frankly is tame.
Picture: The Designated Victim looks impressive on 1080p with a new 4k scan. The colors have a nice refreshed and vibrant look to them. For an early '70s film I was impressed that this print is almost entirely free of noise and scratches. Outdoor locales look especially stunning. Grain is a bit on the heavy side but not to the point of being distracting. Overall, a really clean looking transfer.
Sound: The Designated Victim has a DTS 2.0 track. Audio is fairly nice with only a few moments of slight distortion. Dialogue comes through clear, as does the score and sound design.
Extras: Mondo provides a host of cool features included Interview with writer and assistant director Aldo Lado, Interview with Balthazar Clementi, commentary by Fragments of Fest, Alternate Scenes and Trailer, plus Mondo Previews.