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Pier Paolo Capponi,
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Unoriginal, but entertaining Giallo from Margheriti!
Unlike many Giallo films, Antonio Marghetiti's Schoolgirl Killer hardly features any of the blood, sex and general sleaze that have made the genre famous, and instead puts its focus on the murder mystery and central set of characters. In fact, it's amazing just how restrained this film is, considering that it is set in an all-girls school and how almost every Giallo film with a similar setting takes full of advantage of this. The director does an exquisite job of presenting his story and his setting, and the film features some stunning camera work, which beautifully captures the well designed sets, and the fashion sense of the girls at the college. The film begins with a murder in which the killer strangles a woman and has the body put into a trunk which is then delivered to an all-girls school. Shortly thereafter; Betty-Ann, a student at the school is murdered in the basement, and when another young girl is killed in the shower, the police, led by Inspector Durant, are called in. And they're not the only ones on the case, as amateur detective Jill is also investigating.
It's true that there is hardly any originality at all in the film, and influences range from the obvious films such as Blood and Black Lace, to a certain American classic. This has lead many to call the film tired and unexciting, but I disagree as the relaxed way that the story is told allows the audience to get involved with the mystery, and the comedy elements of the film bode well with all giggling girls school environment. The main problem with this film is that's barely any blood whatsoever, which leaves the murder scenes feeling rather. There are other subplots going on, however - things such as the tentative romance between a teacher and one of the pupils, and Margheriti does well at presenting a whole range of characters, any of which could be guessed at as the killer before the twist ending is revealed. The ending of the film has been used so many times now that it's a cliché, but that aside; it does come as something of a surprise. The problem with the ending, however, is that it basically admits that most of the film has been rather pointless, as there were only two people that needed to be murdered - but Giallo isn't well known for logic, and while this might be derivative, it's still well worth seeing!
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