Illustration for article titled Mutant Chicken Aphrodisiac

Genetic experiments on chickens, the serial murders of prostitutes, and a love triangle. All of these things are contained succinctly somehow in the the title of 1968's Death Laid an Egg (La morte ha fatto l’uovo). A stylish film with beautiful stars, it’s as captivating as it is weird despite a discordant soundtrack and distractingly experimental framing. Sometimes seeming to lose its train of thought in dead end digressions, the film nonetheless seems to be making some kind of point about sex and nature. Sort of.

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The beautiful Anna (Gina Lollobrigida) is the wealthy owner of an egg farm run by her handsome husband, Marco (Jean-Louis Trintignant). When Anna’s young, beautiful cousin, Gabri (Ewa Aulin), visits, the relationship between Anna and Marco is disrupted.

Illustration for article titled Mutant Chicken Aphrodisiac
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It’s not that Marco’s attention seems distracted by Gabri’s beauty. Probably because he’s busy secretly paying for prostitutes in a hotel across town where he role-plays murdering them (many reviews and synopses of the film seem to feel we’re meant to think at first he’s actually murdering them but I never had this impression). Instead, it’s Anna who become fixated on Gabri and tangentially with the idea of Marco having an affair with her. When Anna discovers Marco’s prostitute habit, she and Gabri gleefully initiate a scheme to have Anna pose as a prostitute.

Illustration for article titled Mutant Chicken Aphrodisiac
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The commentary on sex and relationships here seems almost a Vertigoian statement on the role of fantasy and ideal in relationships. With this context, the fact that a scientist is breeding headless, wingless chickens at the egg farm takes on new significance.

Illustration for article titled Mutant Chicken Aphrodisiac
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Anna sees this as a revolutionary development with a promise of increasing profits. Marco, meanwhile, sees only abomination. Is there an implied connexion here between how each one sees relationships? Kind of. Anna is fixated on discussions of wigs and Gabri’s young skin, of dressing up and modifying, the effect of beauty being more important than the process to achieve it. Marco, meanwhile, enacts a relationship that places him in power. How that’s connected I’m not sure unless it’s to say that a body needs a head.

Death Laid an Egg is available on Amazon Prime.

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A horde of hoards were many marching coins.
A walkie talkie took the cell to phones.
Official pants report the legal loins.
Banana banks begin to peel your loans.
A tower leans to shelter little trees.
The acre plate controls the breakfast land.
A bigger thought contained a hive of threes.
A double deck could deal a triple hand.
A walking head connects the footed necks.
Repeated guys redeem the mushy lunch.
Rewards involved bikini cargo wrecks.
The frothy waves advanced to test a hunch.
Extracted words create a second sea.
Vacation hives return a strident bee.

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