Starring Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress, The 10th Victim is a wild slice of kitschy 60s sci-spy eye-candy that anticipated reality TV decades before its time.
Based on Robert Sheckley's 1953 short story Seventh Victim, director Elio Petri's film depicts a 21st century in which war has been eradicated but murder has been legitimated in a state-sanctioned, corporate-sponsored gladiatorial contest called The Big Hunt. Andress and Mastroianni are players, hunter and prey, competing to win big bucks. And their lives. Naturally, they fall in love!
With his tongue planted squarely in cheek, Petri (A Quiet Place in the Country, MIFF 2013) targets everything from the battle of the sexes to the society of the spectacle, providing visual and thematic fodder for myriad later works including The Running Man, Series 7: The Contenders, The Hunger Games and even Austin Powers! Exploding with colour, comedy and cool, and propelled by a terrific electro-jazz score by Piero Piccioni (featuring vocals by 60s Italian pop superstar Mina), The 10th Victim offers both high-camp hilarity and spookily prescient, dark social satire.
'It's a film that is ahead of its time … absolutely worth seeing, both as an artifact of the 1960s, and an all-too-accurate vision of the future.' – Senses of Cinema