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Violent, gratuitous, and sexist, but a whole lot of fun
During the 60's and 70's there were any number of Italian productions filmed in Spain. Well, this is a Spanish production filmed in Italy. It is basically Paul Naschy and his collaborator's (the Argentinean Leon Klimovsky this time)third attempt to ape the then-popular Italian gialli, and like the previous two attempts--"Seven Murders for Scotland Yard" and "Blue Eyes of a Broken Doll"--it is only semi-successful. The story is a little plodding, the cinematography a little leaden, and it comes off rather dark and gritty compared to the garish and colorful Italian gialli (although it is, if anything, even more violent). It's also pretty derivative, borrowing the famous coffin scene from Luis Bunuel's "Belle de Jour" and the dead-body-in-the-funhouse scene from the not-exactly-seminal giallo "Naked Girl Killed in Park."
It was clearly also influenced by American "Dirty Harry" movies and perhaps the cynical Italian police thrillers that were emerging at the time. Naschy, this time,plays a hard-boiled cop who slaps around elderly exhibitionists and makes a wounded biker with a broken leg crawl to the hospital. He is up against "the Dragonfly Killer", a vigilante who is offing pimps, prostitutes, and junkies--"cleaning up the city" much like the villains in the Dirty Harry sequel "Magnum Force" (although his motive for doing so would have made Harry Callahan crap his pants in utter disbelief). Erica Blanc plays Naschy's fashion designer wife who, after one of her gay friends is killed, decides to try to solve the case herself using her "woman's intuition". This leads to comical scenes of her sitting naked in bed pouring over grisly crime photos with a magnifying glass, or acting hysterically (albeit much more believably)when the killer sends the severed head of a Turkish pimp to their house.Of course, she stumbles across the identity of the killer before her husband does, leaving Naschy to rush to her rescue.
Obviously, if you have a low tolerance for graphic violence, completely gratuitous nudity, and Spanish-flavored, 70's-style sexism, you should probably avoid this movie. But if you can get past all this, it's a whole lot of fun.
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