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D'Amato's confusing, but extremely stylish, horror masterpiece.
Death Smiled at Murder and horror admirers all over the world salute Joe D'Amato for delivering this film, by which he proves that he's not just an insane and untalented adult-filmmaker. Okay, D'Amato made a lot of meaningless, cheap quickies throughout his entire fertile career but he does know how to tell a creepy and unsettling horror tale. Just look at 'Beyond the Darkness' or this 'Death smiled at Murder', which is an even better example. The plot doesn't always make sense, but it's beautiful to look at and it's very stylishly elaborated. The settings and photography are mesmerizing and the delightful musical score is almost hypnotic. But of course, this wouldn't be a D'Amato film if it didn't also feature a rather large dose of sleaze and violence. Kinky Joe shamelessly stuffed his film like a Thanksgiving turkey with slightly perverted elements (incestuous lust, an obscene love-triangle ) and nauseating gore (decomposed corpses, a face entirely shattered by shotgun )
Summarizing the plot of 'Death Smiled at Murder' isn't a very easy thing to do as it handles about multiple macabre topics. A sinister doctor is on the verge of translating an ancient formula carrying the secret of how to raise the dead. A beautiful young girl and her deranged brother seem to be involved in this process as well but they first annihilate the entire population of a countryside mansion. The owners of this mansion, a rich couple, are both romantically involved with the gorgeous girl named Greta. The acting is fairly good as well, with Klaus Kinski on top. His role in the film isn't very essential, but his up-to-no-good grimaces provide the story with an extra bit of eeriness. With this film, D'Amato proved being capable of delivering films that are on the same quality-level as some of the Jess Franco films and maybe some of the weakest Mario Bava films. Recommended to every fan of top-Eurosleaze
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