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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.


(as Aristide Massaccesi)


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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »




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



Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of 13 titles included in Avco Embassy's Nightmare Theater package syndicated for television in 1975. See more »


Referenced in Synergia (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Not your typical D'Amato movie
30 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Death Smiles at Murder-Aristide Massaccesi (aka Joe D'Amato) This is not your typical D'Amato movie, if there is such a thing. There's graphic violence, a little gore, but nothing really over the top. But what this movie has, is a little style and maybe even ~~gasp~~ some class. It's very confusing, and includes everything from reanimation, to a three way love affair, to a murder mystery. The basic plot is about a young beautiful woman Greta, who shows up at a Villa and is involved in a horse carriage accident which impales the driver. A couple take her in since she has developed amnesia. There's a series of flashbacks that attempt to cast some Intel on who she is, but not why she is there. Klaus Kinski has a small role as the doctor who attends to her, but has a totally different agenda which deals with a concoction he's working on to bring back the dead. Soon the movie gets even more bizarre and even takes a little from Poe's "Black Cat". Everything looks pretty damn good in this movie, the sets, the actors, and the main thing I noticed is the main theme to the soundtrack is straight out of "Suspiria". In fact, you could pretty much say ~~stolen from Suspiria~~.

Both the Husband and his Wife fall in love with Greta, and the Wife especially turns out to be rather jealous and walls up Greta in the dungeon. After that some even more bizarre happenings occurs resulting in the gruesome death of the Wife. But what happened to the walled up Greta? Well, that little chore is up to the local Police Inspector, and he hasn't got a clue as to what is going on, because Greta has vanished. This all culminates in a fairly good, if not confusing, ending that seems to put most of pieces back in order.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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