Released during the height of Giallo's popularity, Death Carries a Cane is a sadly lackadaisical film. It seems as though everyone involved couldn't really be bothered, with the sole intention of creating another popular film on the mind of the director and scriptwriters. The acting is mundane, the plot is highly derivative, the scene settings are very bare and the character's motivations range from unlikely to completely ridiculous, and more often than not are an obvious attempt at furthering the plot. The film seems to be taking Dario Argento's masterpiece 'The Bird With the Crystal Plumage' as its main inspiration, as the plot centres on someone who witnesses part of a murder and endeavours to solve the case. The plot follows Kitty; a young woman that, while looking through an observation point, spies a murder happening in a house across the street. After doubting her story, the police do nothing; but then the murders continue, and Kitty's boyfriend ends up noticing that all of the murder victims were a part of a ballet group.
Stylish murders are an important part of the Giallo, so it's lucky that director Maurizio Pradeaux decided to do a good job with this area of the film. The murders are rather tame compared to other genre films, but the director makes them stylish, and shots of things such as the killer hiding under a bed or on the backseat of a car are good, and the cane/razor blade murder weapon combo features well. The film benefits from a strong Giallo cast, including most notably; Luciano Ercoli's spouse, Susan Scott. Scott is largely wasted, however, as her role doesn't allow her strong screen-presence to shine through and she left only with the task of providing some nice nude shots. She is joined by her Ercoli Giallo co-star Simón Andreu as well as prolific Italian horror star, Robert Hoffman. The plot doesn't flow too well, as the murders are the only standout parts of the film, and much of the build up/aftermath to them isn't interesting, especially as the police investigation is mostly lacklustre and redundant. Overall, Death Carries a Cane isn't a particularly bad Giallo; but it's not a very good one either, and Giallo fans can feel free to skip it.
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