4 August 2016



This is a rather splendid example of a giallo film, which for those not in the know means an Italian-produced murder mystery flick, most popular during the 1970s, which may also contain elements of slasher horror and eroticism. That's about it in a nutshell, haha, except to say that you could do worse than study up on the works of directors Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento and Mario Bava if you want to see some of the films that made the genre famous.

I love this film. What basically happens in it is that everyone's sleeping with everyone else behind everyone else's back and then someone gets killed. Giallo in a nutshell once more...! All the women are beautiful in that casually sexy Continental way that we Irish women couldn't hope to attain if we lived for a hundred years, and the men are mostly dark and hairy and middle-aged and authoritative and very, very sexy.

The murder victim (this is a murder mystery giallo, not a horror giallo!) is a gorgeous young student called Francoise Pigaut. She's stabbed to death in a wooded local park, which isn't very nice, and her lifeless corpse rolls down a muddy hill and comes to rest with arms and legs akimbo, her pretty face staring sightlessly up at the sky.

The men of the press are only too happy to film her in that ignominious position for the evening news, and there's no shortage of salacious speculation regarding whether or not she was raped. The press do like a nice juicy rape or sex scandal, as we already know all too well...!

The interesting thing is, though, that a man wearing a beige raincoat (do they come in any other colour...?) is seen legging it away from the scene of the crime as if the hounds of hell are chasing him. The cops don't waste any time tracking down their man. At least, they think it's their man. Me, I ain't sayin' nuthin.'

The murder of the pretty young Francoise impacts heavily on the Marchi family. There's Daddy Marchi, or Alessandro, who may or may not be cheating on his stunning wife, Maria. Mammy Marchi has a secret or two of her own, however, and their daughter Sarah Marchi has rather a serious thing for a local musician called Giorgio, played by 'Seventies heart-throb Helmut Berger.

Giorgio has a big fat bee in his bonnet, however, and he seems preoccupied and even tormented by other unknown concerns, even during his intensely passionate sex scene with Sarah, who gets the bum's rush from Giorgio pretty much the instant he pops his cork, if you get me, heh-heh-heh. She's not too happy about this but what can she do? Guy's obviously got summat major on his mind.

So what- or who- is eating the handsome Giorgio? And have the cops put away the wrong guy for the murder of the lovely Francoise? The plot thickens with the addition of a few interesting little red herrings that have the viewer all conflicted about who actually 'dunnit.'

I myself was all of a tizzy trying to figure out who did what to whom and why, and I'm usually pretty on the ball about these things. Welll, actually, that's a lie. I'm hopeless at figuring out 'whodunnit' in murder mysteries like INSPECTOR MORSE, LEWIS or MIDSOMER MURDERS. 

I generally have to have a friend on standby to explain the denouement of too-complicated plots to me. I seem to have the kind of brain that finds that kind of stuff impossible to follow, haha.

The denouement here is quite exciting, unexpected and not hard to follow at all, however (even for me!), and the visuals are stunning and the music terrific, with a lot of well-known classical stuff thrown in for good measure. 

There's one piece in particular that's played a lot in the film. I don't know the name of the piece or even the composer (excuse my ignorance!) but if you heard it yourself, you'd recognise it straightaway, even if you didn't know the name or the composer either. The soundtrack to this movie would be pretty amazing to listen to, now I come to think of it.

The good news for today is that the lovely people at ARROW VIDEO are releasing this excellent giallo movie on DVD and Blu-Ray on August 22nd this year (2016). It comes complete with a ton of brilliant extra features, including an exclusive introduction by Helmut Berger and an interview with the not at all unattractive Mr. Berger as well.

There are interviews with the director's wife and also with the beautiful Evelyn Stewart, who
plays Maria Marchi in the movie, and you can watch the film with Italian audio and English subtitles, which is handy, or you can choose to go with the English audio if you prefer.

Personally, I wouldn't miss out on the chance to hear Italian spoken really fast by real Italian people. It's such a sexy language! I don't know why people always insist on calling French 'the language of love.' Me, I'd rather be wooed in Italian any day of the week. It does more for me than French ever could, haha.

There's a load of other goodies on there as well, so if you buy the film you're in for a rather scrumptious cinematic treat. Plus there's sex and nudity in it and extremely attractive Italian people behaving in a terribly Italian fashion with each other, as indeed only they can, and sure what else do you want? Watch it. It's a brilliant example of the giallo genre and it's got nice naked boobies in it too. Bob's your Uncle, so...!


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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