Death Falls Lightly is a Giallo of the ultra rare variety, and while it has nothing on the best of what the genre has to offer; Leopoldo Savona's film is still a very solid genre entry. The film takes on an almost dreamlike atmosphere and presents a very isolated and focused mystery inside a deserted hotel building. Director Leopoldo Savona, who made Byleth also in 1972, was clearly hampered by a low budget which comes through in the overall 'cheap' atmosphere of the film, but he triumphs over this well with his story and characters. Our main character is a man named Giorgio Darica; a criminal who finds himself in a tight spot when someone murders his wife and he doesn't have an alibi. His lawyer suggests that he hides out in an abandoned hotel, and he takes his mistress with him. At first the pair is happy to make good use of their surroundings by having as much sex as possible; but pretty soon the tension starts to mount between them and things get worse when George stumbles upon a woman with her throat cut and begins to believe he may be going insane.
The main location in the film is the hotel, and while the director succeeds in making it feel very small and isolated; it has to be said that it's not the most exciting place for a film to take place in. However, this is made up for by the characters and the situation which is always at the forefront and the director does not concern himself too much with things going on outside of the central point of the film. Unfortunately this does mean that the murder scenes suffer - there are a few, but they're practically bloodless and not what I've come to expect from a Giallo. However, while there was ample opportunity for plenty of sex; thankfully the film doesn't just turn into a soft-core porno, and that's to its credit. The soundtrack is interesting and really not bad at all. Parts feel like they've been pulled from Spaghetti Westerns while the main theme is a cheap seventies rock track; but it does at least go with the film. The ending is really quite good and the film gives a good twist on what is probably the most clichéd ending you can get. Overall, Death Falls Lightly is likely to remain in obscurity; but it's worth tracking down and I do recommend it.
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