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As a thirteen year old, Martha Caldwell witnessed the death of her parents in a terrible railway accident. Barely surviving the tragedy herself, Martha was struck dumb due to the shock. Now an adult, the still mute Martha lives with her uncle Ralph in the Spanish countryside. Martha's cousin Jenny arrives to be with the family but is quickly stabbed to death. It appears that a sex maniac is roaming the countryside; killing pretty young girls. The already traumatized Martha seems likely to be the next victim but the case turns out to be far more complicated than it would first seem. Written by
Acceptable Italian-Spanish Giallo filled with thrills , chills , suspense , twists and turns
¨Il Coltello di Ghiaccio" also titled "Knife of Ice" or "Silent Horror¨ deals with a thirteen year old named Martha Caldwell who witnessed the death of her parents in a deadly railway crash . Barely surviving the tragedy herself, Martha was struck mute due to the shock . Now an adult, the still dumb Martha (Carrol Baker) lives with her uncle Ralph (George Rigaud) at a mansion in Spanish countryside . Later on , Martha's cousin Jenny (Evelyn Stewart or Ida Galli) , a prestigious singer , arrives to be with the family . There appears a sex maniac roaming the countryside and committing several murders . Meanwhile , Inspector Duran (Franco Fantasia) and Vice-commissioner (Lorenzo Robledo) are investigating the killings of pretty young girls but case results out to be far more difficult than it would first seem . In the little town live various usual characters : the doctor (Alan Scott) , the priest (Jose Marco) , the judge (Angel Menendez) , the pharmacist , the local junkie (Mario Pardo) and the chauffeur (Eduardo Fajardo) , all of them seem to be suspicious people . The already traumatized Martha seems likely to be the next victim when take place strange events .
This is a right Giallo where the intrigue, tension , suspense appear threatening and lurking in every room , corridors and luxurious interior and exterior . This suspenseful movie is plenty of thrills, chills , high body-count and well staged murders . This exciting film follows the American wake from classics as ¨The Caracol staircase¨ (Robert Siodmak) , ¨Wait until dark¨ (Terence Young) , ¨Blind Terror¨ (Richard Fleischer) in which a mute or blind girl is stalked or harassed by a series killer . The movie belongs to Italian Giallo genre that was invented by Mario Bava (Mask of demon ,The Evil Eye, A bay of blood) along with Riccardo Freda (Secret of Dr. Hitchcock, The ghost , I Vampiri) , they are the fundamental creators . These Giallo movies are characterized by overblown use of color with shining red blood, usual zooms, originally staged crimes , use of images-shock and a lot of plot twists . Later appears Dario Argento (Deep red, Suspira,Inferno), another essential creator of classic Latin terror films . Umberto Lenzi's so-so direction is well crafted, here he's less cynical and more inclined toward violence and lots of killings . It's a co-production Italian- Spanish for that reason appears Italian actors such as Ida Galli , Franco Fantasia , as Spanish actors such as Lorenzo Robledo , Mario Pardo , Jorge Rigaud , Angel Menendez and Eduardo Fajardo ; most of them usually played in Spaghetti/Paella sub-genre. Colorful and adequate cinematography by Jose Aguayo who photographed splendidly Spanish outdoors . Thrilling and suspenseful score by Marcello Giombini.
The picture was well directed by the prolific filmmaker Umbert Lenzi . Talented and versatile writer/director Umbert Lenzi has made a vast array of often solid and entertaining films in all kind of genres as horror, comedy, Western, and science fiction in a career that spans over 40 years .Umbert Lenzi used the pseudonym Hank Milestone and Humphrey Logan . Umberto made his directorial debut with ¨Queen of the Seas¨ (1961) . Other pirate/sword flicks followed, starting with ¨Pirates of Malaysia¨ (1964) starred by Steeve Reeves, which was part of the height of the career of fictitious tales of historic legendary characters including Robin Hood , Catherine the Great, Zorro , Sandokan and Maciste . He subsequently directed a ¨Fumetti¨ titled The mask of Kriminal (1966) . After directing a war film and two "spaghetti westerns," Lenzi turned to the Giallo genre with ¨Orgasmo¨ (1969). During the 1970s, Lenz filmed a number of Giallo and thrillers , among them : ¨So Sweet, So Perverse¨, ¨Seven Blood-Stained Orchids¨ and ¨Eyeball¨ . Lenzi turned to the police thrillers called ¨Polizieschi¨, which rejuvenated his confidence and his popularity . Titles like ¨Almost Human¨ , ¨Free Hand For a Tough Cop¨ and ¨Brothers Till We Die¨ were the most popular and brutal of the thrillers . Lenzi is an expert on wartime genre such as he proved in ¨Desert commandos¨ , ¨Battle of commandos¨ , ¨From hell to victory¨ , ¨Young Lions¨ and ¨Bridge to hell¨. Prior to the Polizieschi, Lenzi directed ¨Man from Deep River¨ , which was the start of the Italian cannibal sub-genre . Later on , he directed two very gory jungle cannibal features , ¨Eaten Alive¨ and ¨Make Them Die Slowly ¨which was banned in 31 countries, made Lenzi distance himself from the cannibal genre . Then Lenzi directed ¨Nightmare City¨ (1980) , a zombie flick , and ¨Iron Master¨(1983) . In the 90s his films were extremely low-budgeted and failed at box-office .
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