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Pier Paolo Capponi
Weekend Murders is one of the more hard to find Giallo films, and I find that rather surprising as the English countryside setting as well as the mystery plot that spoofs Agatha Christie stories means that it's actually one of the more accessible films of the genre. Despite the fact that Weekend Murders is an Italian production, director Michele Lupo has done a great job of creating a distinctly British atmosphere, and this could easily have been a British film were it not for the poor dubbing. Michele Lupo has a great sense of humour and he succeeds several times in lampooning the tradition that the film is spoofing, and Weekend Murders is a very funny film throughout. We open on a golf course where a leisurely game is interrupted by the discovery of a hand sticking out of a sandpit. It soon becomes obvious that the butler didn't do it because, contrary to the norm, he is the first to go! We soon move on to the first real plot building scene, which takes form in a will reading to the members of a wealthy estate. Aside from getting a few laughs, we are also given the knowledge that the owner of the estate's favourite daughter is to inherit everything, much to the dismay of the rest of the house.
Most of the humour in the film comes from the seemingly inept local policeman played by Gastone Moschin. His character soon hooks up with the self proclaimed ace Scotland Yard Superintendent Grey (Lance Percival), and their double act forms the backbone of the movie. The two pair up well actually, and their exchanges work because the two characters are so different. Unfortunately, the rest of the support cast isn't so memorable; and while none of them put in particularly bad performances - there isn't a real standout either. The film also has a few plot problems, as the focus isn't always on the mystery and the exchanges between the members of the house are often redundant and not relevant to the central theme. The mystery itself is rather bare, and although clever at the conclusion - the plot is not the labyrinth that I have come to expect from Giallo's. After spoofing just about every mystery cliché in existence, it is fitting that the common revealing scene at the end is also lampooned by Lupo, and while the identity of the murderer is actually rather obvious; at least the reasons behind it make some sort of sense. Worth tracking down!
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