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Alberto de Mendoza
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Deadly Inheritance is a Giallo based on the classic idea of people being killed for money. The film is one of the largely forgotten Giallo's, and while I personally wouldn't say that it's one in urgent need of rediscovery; it's a well plotted and effective Giallo that features a good story, some interesting characters, nice gore and a few twists and turns along the way. The film takes place in the countryside and while the urban Giallo's tend to be the more interesting ones; the location used here actually works quite well in that it puts the central family somewhat in isolation. The film begins with the death of an old man. It is later revealed that he was the owner of a small fortune, and that fortune has been left to the family; however, nobody gets any money until the dimwit son turns 21. Naturally, the rest of the family are not exactly pleased about this development and it's not long before certain members are scheming and the dimwit son turns up dead. The police begin to investigate, and the bodies soon start to pile up.
The film is very short running at only eighty minutes and director Vittorio Sindoni makes good use of his time and ensures that there's always something going on, which is a definite benefit to the film as it doesn't really have time to get boring. My biggest criticism of the film is that it doesn't manage to be as distinctive as many of the best of the genre; although the Giallo was only really just warming up in 1968 so I'm prepared to cut it some slack on that front. The film does not feature any big stars of the genre, but ensemble cast performs well and everyone is just about believable despite the fact that they're clearly not the most talented group of actors ever to grave the silver screen. There are plenty of red herrings and the film always has enough to keep you guessing, and this kept up right until the end when we are served up a brilliant and totally unexpected conclusion to the mystery. The final twenty minutes or so are by far and away the best of the film. Overall, while I wouldn't say that this is a great Giallo; it is at least a good one and is recommended to Giallo fans.
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