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THE FRENCH SEX MURDERS (Ferdinando Merighi - Italy 1972).
Formerly, the usual UK title was THE BOGEY MAN AND THE FRENCH MURDERS. There's also a Greek video with the sleeve title, CALL GIRLS FOR INSPECTOR BOGART. The inspector is not named Bogart, nor does he get any call girls, but who cares? It's a title that sells.
There's a killer in Paris, a suicide from the Eiffel Tower, a brothel as the main setting, insane professors, an eye-ball thief, an inspector who looks like Humphrey Bogart (for no apparent reason), a truly creepy Anita Ekberg, and an impressive line-up of Euro-stars. How Dick Randall assembled this cast is beyond me, but he did it. Besides Anita Ekberg, there's Rosalba Neri (who even sings a song in a nightclub), Barbara Bouchet, Evelyn Kraft, Howard Vernon, and Robert Sacchi as inspector Pontaine or Humphrey Bogart. The title is pretty accurate. The murders take place during, before or after sex in a brothel in Paris. In between, the Bogey-man snoops around trying to track down the killer, but he is not too bright. You'll probably have figured it out long before he does.
The film's producer was American Dick Randall who took residence in Rome in the '60s but basically was wherever the deals where made, which meant Rome in the '60s, Bangkok and Hong Kong in the '70s and London in the '80s. Whilst residing in Italy, he payed close attention and decided to take a shot at the giallo as well, and produced this piece of cinematic soufflé. It's a perfect example of totally round the bend Euro-tosh, with a rather tame execution actually. The direction is not wildly imaginative, a workman's job at best, so don't expect outrageous Italian craftsmanship and style here, but some spicing-up in the editing by Bruno Mattei.
The special effects were done by future Oscar-winner Carlo Rambaldi of ET fame. I guess he learned a lot since this one. Of course, the presence of Robert Sacchi, among some other ingredients (mostly the cast) give this film a certain weird identity of its own. All together, it's pretty much a poor man's interpretation of an Italian Giallo.
The version on Mondo Macabro's DVD never existed in this form. From various copies, they assembled the longest version they could possibly paste together. There's an English audio-track, but a couple of scenes appear in Italian with subtitles.
Camera Obscura --- 5/10
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