An elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes. What ensues is an all-out murder spree as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing ... See full summary »
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
An elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes. What ensues is an all-out murder spree as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing field, complicated by some teenagers who decide to camp out in a dilapidated building on the estate. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Countess' suicide note reads, "February 13th. It is over. I am tired. My life no longer has meaning." See more »
The Count is stabbed repeatedly in his back and then he falls on his back and dies. When the killer is dragging him away, there should be a blood trail leading from The Countess to the door. See more »
I honestly expected a lot more from this movie after reading various reviews, both on IMdB and elsewhere. From what's been said about this film, I was expecting the granddaddy of psycho-slasher films, the forerunner of movies like "Friday the 13th" and the like.
By and large, though, there's nothing outstanding about this movie. That's not to say it was especially bad, either. I come away from it with a feeling of neutrality.
To be sure, there are some gory moments, but nothing that hadn't been done in other films around the same time. If anything, this one is mainly a giallo-influenced murder mystery. Bava sets up a chain of murders, starting with the "suicide" of the heiress and culminating in a completely unexpected (and somewhat anticlimactic) ending. One murder links directly to the next throughout the course of the movie.
There is one scene that does look like it found its way into "Friday the 13th," but that could be coincidental. I probably would have liked this more if the dubbing had been better on the DVD copy I watched (rented from Netflix, the "Twitch of the Death Nerve" version), but as it was, it was often hard to understand what was being said, and I'm sure I missed a few details because of this.
Some of Bava's cinematography is excellent. He has a way of framing shots of the murder victims that often strongly link death to sensuality, which lends a more unnerving effect to these scenes than simply showing a dead, bleeding corpse. In general, the movie has some very artistic camera work that often looks as much like a realist painting as it does like an Italian murder movie.
In the end, I wouldn't particularly recommend this movie, but I can't especially condemn it. It's strengths and shortcoming balance out. It turns into just another horror film.
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