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Peter Lee Lawrence,
A race-car driver whose life, both personal and professional, is in a rapid downfall is invited by her ex-husband's new wife to stay at their plush estate. The two women form a bond, and it's not long before their mutual dislike for the husband culminates into a plan to kill him. As it turns out, though, they're not alone in plotting murder. Written by
A Quiet Place to Kill is not be confused with the earlier Orgasmo, though unfortunately confusing the pair is very easy as they're from the same director, both feature American actress Carroll Baker and they were both released under the title 'Paranoia'! Quite what the reason for both films featuring the same title is anyone's guess: I know that Italian filmmakers were more interested in making money than anything else, but surely releasing two films under the same title would do more harm than good when it came to the box office...but oh well. It's usually Orgasmo that gets most of the fans; but if you ask me, this second version of Paranoia is the better of the two. Like Lenzi's earlier 'So Sweet, So Perverse', it would appear that the plot has been lifted from the French classic 'Les Diaboliques', and focuses on a love triangle. Playboy Maurice is married to Constance, a woman who decides to invite Maurice's ex-wife Helen to stay with them. Helen doesn't question it too much and accepts the invitation, and soon learns that the reason she's there is to help Constance kill Maurice.
The first half of the film is much better than the second, as A Quiet Place to Kill unfortunately looses a bit of steam once it gets the first part of the plot out of the way. In spite of that, however, the film is certainly a very interesting Giallo and definitely delivered many of the things I love about this type of film. Umberto Lenzi manages to ensure that all of the major players are interesting, and Lenzi also ensures that all are guilty in one way or another, which ensures that everyone deserves what they get by the time it finishes. Carroll Baker is not my favourite Giallo heroine, but I liked her in this one. She seems to enjoy acting alongside Jean Sorel, who is as charming as ever. Unknown actresses Anna Proclemer and Marina Coffa round off the cast, along with the experienced Alberto Dalbés - all of which fit into their roles well. The upper class setting does the film a lot of favours, and the locations and fashions are all nice to look at. The plot mostly flows well and while it's usually fairly clear where it's going, A Quiet Place to Kill still manages to be interesting. This is not the best Giallo that Lenzi made (that would be Seven Blood-Stained Orchids), but it's certainly a good one and I recommend it.
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