A series of gruesome decapitations, reminiscent of sacrificial rites of the
once native Indians, keeps a provincial Peruvian village in its grip, &
small-town police officer Percy (José Luis Ruiz Barahona) does his best to
solve the murders, soon suspecting the local museum's curator professor Pinto
(Gianfranco Brero), but alasw, he has no proof. So Percy turns to forensic
doctor Marina (Ana Risueno), who not only fills him in with sme of the details
he needs to fortify his case against the professor (like indentifying a ritual
blade only a handful of persons, among them the professor, had access to), but
Percy & Marina soon also become lovers.
Eventually Pinto is arrested,
which becomes big news in the village & Percy becomes a celebrated hero,
but when Marina sees him rather spineless in the presence of the town's pompous
& sleazy mayor Don Fausto (Jorge Rodríguez Paz), she breaks off their
relationship, instead falling for the mayor's arrogant womanizing son Gino
(Diego Bertie). Percy however follows her from a distance, & soon enough
spies on her & Gino having sex.
Devastated, Percy returns to the
precinct, to see the men he left behind passed out on alcohol, & professor
Pinto in his cell having hanged himself ... something Percy decides to use for
his own advantage, as he hides the body & tells everyone Pinto has escaped
- which of course puts the whole village into an uproar ...
he invites Gino to his home ... & shoots him, then buries his &
professor Pinto's bodies somewhere in the prairie, so they would never be found
again ... except for Gino's head, which has to be found to tie in with the
murders Pinto had committed.
The mayor is out of his mind over the death of
his son & blames Percy for letting Pinto escape, but on the other hand,
Marina does come back to Percy, & their relationship now starts to really
Everything seems to be okay until a nosey D.A. comes by &
starts asking questions Percy would rather not answer, & he puts doubt in
everyone else - including Marina - too, & eventually even an eye witness is
found who saw Percy burying something out in the desert, & soon the D.A.,
the mayor, Percy's own assistant Faurra (Gilberto Torres) & even a reporter
drag him out to his makeshift grave & have him excavate it ... & they
find a body too, the dead body of Percy's dog, which Percy had the good sense
to bury above the 2 men's corpses - & with the beast's body, all doubts are
eliminated as everyone but Percy looks a fool.
Soon, Marina is pregnant from
him & everything looks fine for Percy - until somebody would have the idea
to dig up his makeshift grave again, but then again, who would do that.
nice dark thriller with fittingly amoral touches a little reminiscent of Burt
Kennedy's forgotten masterpiece The Killer inside me (1976) in story
& the better Hitchcock films in style.
A point of critique though is that
Bajo la Piel sometimes seems to fail to realize its full potential & goes
for love story & melodram when the plot just cries out for hard-boiled
crime drama - which does not make it a bad mocie though.