6.1/10
597
25 user 27 critic

Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973)

La morte ha sorriso all'assassino (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Romance | 11 July 1973 (Italy)
A man discovers an ancient Incan formula for raising the dead, and uses it for a series of revenge murders.

Director:

(as Aristide Massaccesi)

Writers:

(screenplay) (as C. Bernabei), (screenplay) (as A. Massaccesi) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Le orme (1975)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman is tormented by strange dreams of astronauts on the moon. She visits a deserted seaside town whose inhabitants know her even though she does not know them.

Directors: Luigi Bazzoni, Mario Fanelli
Stars: Florinda Bolkan, Peter McEnery, Klaus Kinski
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Grief-struck after the death of his wife, a young man attempts to keep her with him forever - by gutting her, stuffing her and replacing her eyes with glass eyes, turning her into a doll. But his bouts of insanity are just beginning.

Director: Joe D'Amato
Stars: Kieran Canter, Cinzia Monreale, Franca Stoppi
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A woman recovering from a car accident in which she lost her unborn child finds herself pursued by a coven of devil worshipers.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: George Hilton, Edwige Fenech, Ivan Rassimov
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail begins with the mysterious death of a millionaire and spirals into the murder of his suddenly rich wife, which draws the attention of a dogged investigator, who follows a trail of blood to the bitter end.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Alberto de Mendoza
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young newlywed couple from America returns to Geneva to visit Marcel's home town. Once there he is informed of his former lover's suicide and in turn is subjected to threats that accuse ... See full summary »

Director: Romolo Guerrieri
Stars: Carroll Baker, Jean Sorel, Ida Galli
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sylvia, an industrial scientist, is troubled by strange hallucinations related to the tragic suicide of her mother.

Director: Francesco Barilli
Stars: Mimsy Farmer, Maurizio Bonuglia, Mario Scaccia
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

In World War II, guerrillas kidnap a German general.

Director: Joe D'Amato
Stars: Lars Bloch, George Manes, Rosemarie Lindt
Spasmo (1974)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Christian (Robert Hoffman) and his girlfriend are taking a walk on a deserted beach when they discover a woman's body lying. A closer look proves that she's alive. The next day Christian ... See full summary »

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Robert Hoffmann, Suzy Kendall, Ivan Rassimov
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A love triangle develops between three people who run a high tech chicken farm. It involves Anna (who owns the farm), her husband Marco (who kills prostitutes in his spare time) and ... See full summary »

Director: Giulio Questi
Stars: Gina Lollobrigida, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Ewa Aulin
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A series of murders are committed near the estate of a degenerate author and his wife.

Director: Sergio Martino
Stars: Edwige Fenech, Anita Strindberg, Luigi Pistilli
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The ageing Countess discovers that the blood of a maid can temporarily restore her youth and great beauty. She falls in love with a dashing young soldier but is compelled to kill again and ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Grau
Stars: Lucia Bosé, Espartaco Santoni, Ewa Aulin
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A teacher who is having an affair with one of his students takes her out on a boat. They see a knife killing on shore. Other gruesome murders start occurring shortly thereafter, and the ... See full summary »

Director: Massimo Dallamano
Stars: Fabio Testi, Cristina Galbó, Karin Baal
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Greta von Holstein
...
Dr. Sturges
Angela Bo ...
Eva von Ravensbrück
Sergio Doria ...
Walter von Ravensbrück
Attilio Dottesio ...
Inspector Dannick
Marco Mariani ...
Simeon, the butler
Luciano Rossi ...
Franz, Greta's Brother
...
Dr. von Ravensbrück, Walter's Father
Fernando Cerulli ...
Professor Kempte (as Franco Cerulli)
Carla Mancini ...
Gertrude - the Maid
Giorgio Dolfin ...
Maier - Ballet dancer
Edit

Storyline

A man discovers an ancient Incan formula for raising the dead, and uses it for a series of revenge murders.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1973 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Death Smiles on a Murderer  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 62629 delivered on 27-6-1973. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Synergia (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Classier than most D'Amato trash
7 August 2007 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Death Smiles on a Murderer is not your average Joe D'Amato film. The prolific Italian director made a name for himself by directing cheap, trashy productions; and while this film isn't exactly "high quality" (in the usual sense of the word), it's certainly a lot classier than your average D'Amato sleaze. The film mixes Gothic horror, zombies and Giallo elements into a cocktail of the popular genres of the early seventies. As you might expect considering the heavy fusing of multiple genres, the film isn't always coherent; and despite the fact that it could be considered a classy film, D'Amato has still seen fit to insert some trashy gore sequences. The result is a mixed bag. The somewhat confusing plot focuses on a young woman called Greta. She is involved in a coach accident which leaves the driver dead after he is impaled. Greta is then taken in by a couple who seem to become strangely fascinated by her. Around the same time, there's also a doctor working on a formula to bring the dead back to life, and this somehow connects through flashbacks...

The setting and atmosphere are the key element of the film. Death Smiles on a Murderer is very well photographed and every frame in the film is great to look at. This serves the film well as it ensures that it remains interesting even when the plot starts to dry up. The plot itself takes influence from a range of sources, but most recognisably the great Edgar Allen Poe with several themes from the highly influential "The Black Cat". The head of the cast list is Klaus Kinski

  • but unfortunately, he doesn't appear in the film for long at all and


he isn't given much to do with the screen time he does get, which is a shame. The leading ladies are Ewa Aulin and Angela Bo, and while neither of them stand out for their acting; they both look nice. The special effects don't really suit the film and Joe D'Amato probably would have been better advised to cut down on the bloodshed - but I can't complain too much because the gore does make the film more fun. Overall, I can't say I was overly impressed with Death Smiles on a Murderer - it looks nice and has its moments, but it's not put together well enough to be one of the great Italian horror films.


6 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?