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The Killer Reserved Nine Seats (1974)

L'assassino ha riservato nove poltrone (original title)
Patrick Davenant con alcuni familiari e amici si reca, dopo una festa, a visitare un vecchio teatro di proprietà della famiglia, mai usato ma tenuto sempre in ordine. I rapporti tra di loro... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Chris Avram ...
Patrick Davenant
Eva Czemerys ...
Rebecca Davenant
Lucretia Love ...
Paola Senatore ...
Lynn Davenant
Gaetano Russo ...
Duncan Foster
Andrea Scotti ...
Eduardo Filipone ...
Mystery Man
Luigi Antonio Guerra ...
Caretaker (credit only)
Howard Ross ...


Patrick Davenant con alcuni familiari e amici si reca, dopo una festa, a visitare un vecchio teatro di proprietà della famiglia, mai usato ma tenuto sempre in ordine. I rapporti tra di loro non sono dei migliori. Arrivati vengono accolti da un uomo misterioso che, si scopre in seguito, nessuno conosce. Patrick deve sposare Kim in seconde nozze; con loro c'è anche Vivian che doveva sposare un anno prima. Sul teatro grava una maledizione da secoli secondo la quale ogni cento anni diventerà una bara per tutti coloro che vi si troveranno. Ed in effetti le porte non si aprono, il telefono non funziona e un attentato alla vita di Patrick non ha successo. Ma in seguito? Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

21 May 1974 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Killer Reserved Nine Seats  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 64565 delivered on 8-5-1974. See more »

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User Reviews

night of the Hunter
1 April 2008 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"L'Assassino ha riservato nove poltrone"(The killer reserved nine seats) is one of those films that stayed with me.

I've seen a copy with Greek subtitles. According to IMDb, the film has a running time of 99 minutes and this copy I've ordered runs around 92 minutes. So 7 minutes were cut out from the original film and now maybe the cut footage is lost forever. The DVD was visibly taken from a VHS tape and even if the colors are a bit drab and the images sometimes a bit jittery, the film is still quite watchable. Anyway it would be wonderful to see the film in a restored and remastered edition (uncut if possible).

The film drew inspiration from Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians" – Ten people are invited to an abandoned theater in an out-of-the-way place. The theater looms gigantic in the night when they arrive. A sense of foreboding underlined by the soundtrack creeps in. These people know each other and are linked by love/hate relationships – greed, love, sex, bitterness are their companions. The camera shows the chandeliers, the pictures on the wall show faces were luxury and greed meet, the decors.... Everything takes us back to a glorious past – lust, grandeur, suffering, intrigues ... – all gone now....

The killings begin. Where is the killer hiding? Long corridors, dressing rooms, the backstage, the imposing stairs that lead to upper floors.... Is He or She one of them? Later on we get to know that there's a family curse hanging over the theater. Are supernatural forces at work? This is a very atmospheric thriller in which the camera and the soundtrack work well together. The story somehow doesn't make much sense. The behavior of the characters (like other reviewers already pointed out) is far from logical. They wander alone in badly lit corridors, enter dark rooms, almost like they were inviting the killer to take care of them. And the killer is very, very sadistic.

The action of the "The killer reserved nine seats" takes place during the night. It's a "long night's journey into day", but it's a day that maybe no one will reach alive (as one of the characters dejectedly says). The film is tense and claustrophobic, but also lighthearted and ironical, like all good gialli. There are also the moments of sleaze, something very good to release the tension – the women undress themselves whenever they can, and there's also a lesbian couple among the lot: Rosanna Schiaffino, Paola Senatore, Lucretia Love, Eva Czemerys, Janet Agren – take your pick. There's a moment of surrealistic sleaze that would have made even Buñuel take his hat off – many people had already been knocked off and what Paola Senatore does? She puts on some music, takes off her clothes, and dances semi-naked in front of a mirror. What?! Well, anyway I enjoyed the scene a lot. Thanks, Paola!

Something that I want to stress again is the atmosphere conveyed by the film – the characters and decors, underlined by the imaginative soundtrack, seem to join their hands to paint a picture of lust, desire, decadence and tired joie-de-vivre. One can go back to the time when some Italian renaissance masters were able to portray luxury and ambiguity living together with virtue (whatever that means:).

"The killer reserved nine seats" is an interesting film that deserves more recognition and to be presented to the public in a restored and remastered edition. It's creative, bizarre and intriguing. It's certainly not a run-of-the-mill giallo. It's a worthy film to check out.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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