Another Giallo… what? I wrote, after the traumatic and greasy “The New York Ripper“, that I probably wouldn’t watch one of these again, but the other week I was filling up my Netflix queue, saw the title and synopsis and… well – it called to me. I have to say that this is a TON better than ‘The Ripper’ with a better plot, some seemingly better acting, better dubbing, better (IMO) sweet ass 1970’s furniture and decor, better looking cast and, for real, no one that squawks duck-style. The one thing that holds this back (and I think it’s just the period it came out in) is that I couldn’t stop picturing this as just an episode of Hill Street Blues containing a lot of beautiful Italian ladies with their boobs out. Oh yeah, and a little dab of the bloody violence. This is in no way a let’s-see-how-far-we-can-go as ‘The Ripper’, but it does have a little disturbia in it: stranglings, hangings, clubbings, power drillings and the a big twisty ending that you just may (or may not) have seen coming. In the end, if you take out the boobs (did I mention these actresses are really pretty) and the blood, what we have here is an ordinary, dubbed mystery along the lines of Hill Street Blues or The Rockford Files and if you’re not old like me to get that reference, maybe an R-Rated CSI: Something or Other. Rereading that, except for the power drill scene, this could probably just play out on any CSI or SVU (also except for the nudity) because, from what I’ve seen, those shows seem a little more bloody than this.
In the first fourteen minutes of this, three topless women get offed by, well, a person who only shows his jacketed arm and gloved hand, leaving behind some sort of half-moon-half-zodiac-imagery bracelet. Very, very soon the killer is on a train trying to do in another starlet, but he is denied the opportunity and now the police finally have a lead. Finally! One thing that’s interesting about this time period: they smoke in the police station, the train, the asylum, the newspaper company, the church and everywhere else. Aside from that, the Policia interview the train survivor’s fiance and the hunt is on. From here, the Fiance interviews dozens of people in Italy, showing off a hand drawn picture that resembles a happy face with hair. He hits up a fountain populated with afro sporting, joint and candy begging folks, churches, asylums and eventually a heroin / pot / LSD / Hendrix party where – yep – we get a clue as to what’s going on. Or do we?
I think this was a zillion times better than ‘The Ripper’ but still not something I would watch again unless that’s all there was. I know I have another couple of Giallos in the queue, and I’ll watch them with the same trepidation, but there’s much newer, better, again- better things out there to entertain us. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re a big fan of the genre or unless you’re sitting at home some night and just need to see some mammaries.