Zygosity is the science of determining the difference between identical and fraternal twins or other multiple births. ZYGOSITY also happens to be a Canadian neo-giallo that is the feature film debut of director Graham M. Sheppard, about a twin trying to find out the truth behind her identical sister’s murder.
Nico is called to Toronto, after having a dream that her sister Elsa was stabbed to death. Sadly, her dream was also reality, but even more tragic, she didn’t see who the perpetrator was. After a spat with her dick of a controlling boyfriend, Nico finds herself in an unfamiliar city, trying to piece together the puzzle that was Elsa’s life leading up to her grisly demise.
With an overly friendly detective also on the case, and a photo blogger quietly stalking her, Nico realizes quickly that her sister was involved in a lot more than just acting classes. Facing the dual nature of being a church going call girl, Elsa was leading a life like Laura Palmer from TWIN PEAKS. She was highly sought after, but her dark activities kept her from moving forward with her lifelong dream of acting career.
As in most giallos, we are presented with familiar tropes with ZYGOSITY. We have a few beautiful women murdered in a brutal fashion. There are numerous red herrings throughout, almost complete with a flashing neon sign above them that says “Murder Suspect.” The majority of the male characters are misogynistic and can be prone to lascivious or controlling behavior. And, who can forget, the gloved killer whose identity is protected until the climax.
While this is a new take on the giallo style, and done so with a minimal budget, ZYGOSITY does its best to balance the story over its resources. There are a few scenes early on that feel rushed in the acting choices. It feels hokey at first, but once Nico and the detective start in together on their mystery, the film really takes off. And yes, while the kill scenes are not masterfully pulled off, the stylistic choices made for the last third of the film completely sold me on the whole movie. And the little humor added in by Max Brook’s Robert, helps keep things from going too extreme during those moments.
The soundtrack, employing only five tracks, utilizes a strong synth score that is definitely inspired by a mix of Carpenter meets Goblin. While it is a short list of songs, I do wish that I had easy access to listen to them as it is a true highlight of the film experience.
You can find more information including upcoming screenings at the film’s official Facebook page.
Nico: Amy Force (LITTLE BROTHER, MISSING PIECES)
Detective Marcos: Alexander Caudarella
Robert Flint: Max Brook