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Not to be confused with Orgazmo.
Italian film poster for Orgasmo
Directed by Umberto Lenzi
Produced by Salvatore Alabiso
Written by Umberto Lenzi
Ugo Moretti
Marie Claire Sollenville
Story by Umberto Lenzi
Music by Piero Umiliani
Cinematography Guglielmo Mancori
Edited by Enzo Alabiso
  • Tritone Filmindustria
  • Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie
Release dates
  • February 7, 1969 (1969-02-07) (Italy)
  • August 20, 1969 (1969-08-20) (New York City)
Running time
90 minutes[2]
Country Italy

Orgasmo (also known as Paranoia) is a 1969 Italian-French giallo thriller film starring Carroll Baker and Lou Castel and directed by Umberto Lenzi.[3][2] The plot focuses on a wealthy American widow who is exploited and terrorized by two siblings.


Kathryn West, a glamorous American widow, arrives in Italy several weeks after the death of her older, extremely wealthy husband. With the help of Brian, her lawyer, Kathryn moves into a luxurious villa and proceeds to lead a lonely, uneventful existence until one day, a handsome young man named Peter Donovan shows up at the front gate, looking for tools so he can fix his sports car. Kathryn lets him stay the night, and the next thing she knows, she's madly making love to him in the shower. Peter eventually moves in, and is soon joined by a free spirit he introduces as Eva, his sister. Kathryn enjoys their company and partying with them - until she begins to suspect that Peter and Eva aren't what they seem to be.



Orgasmo was released in Italy on February 7, 1969.[2] The film's title has led to confusion as on its international release, the film was titled Paranoia.[4] Lenzi's next film also with actress Carroll Baker was titled Paranoia in Italy but was given the international title of A Quiet Place to Kill.[4] Like other giallo films, Orgasmo was not popular among the Italian film audiences on its initial theatrical release as the genre never gained popularity in its home country until the releases of Dario Argento's The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971).[5]


The online film database Allmovie gave Orgasmo one star referring to it as less interesting as Paranoia and "there are some interesting moments, but this is clearly the lesser of the two films."[3] Roger Ebert gave the film a negative review stating that "Only the haunting memory of Succubus prevents me from naming [Orgasmo] as the worst movie of the year."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Credits". BFI Film & Television Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Firsching, Robert. "Orgasmo (1968)". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Firsching, Robert. "Orgasmo (1968)". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Shipka 2011, p. 317.
  5. ^ Brizio-Skov 2011, p. 64.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 20, 1969). "Paranoia". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 


  • Shipka, Danny (2011). Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960–1980 (illustrated ed.). McFarland & Company. ISBN 0786448881. 
  • Brizio-Skov, Flavia (2011). Popular Italian Cinema: Culture and Politics in a Postwar Society. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1848855729. 

External links[edit]