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María José Cantudo,
Paul Naschy hides out at a villa as a house servant, leading to tragic results
This movie is a crime and melodramatic noir story done in color. I viewed a widescreen print with good subtitles. The film tells its story without unreal spectacle, action devices, or directorial flourishes. The tone is on the whole subdued (apart from the initial robbery and final climax) and focuses on the psychologies and situations of its characters. I liked this unpretentious and straightforward movie.
"La muerte de un quinqui" (Death of a Hoodlum) begins with a jewel robbery by three men, commissioned by another. Naschy makes off with the haul but must wait a month before cashing in with a fence. He gets a job as a house servant and factotum at a distant villa. Meanwhile, the gang searches for him and eventually locates him.
The family at the villa is a husband, wife, and late teen daughter. The husband is wheelchair bound and an expert marksman. The wife must take care of him. She is repressed and unhappy in an isolated situation. The innocent daughter is carefree and unawakened to her possibilities in life. The husband is distrustful of Naschy but goes along with his wife's pleas that their large estate really does demand help.
Naschy comes into this situation and upsets its equilibrium drastically, mainly by exploiting the sexual passions of the mother and daughter. His own back story is seen in brief flashbacks that involved his parents and severe violence. However, his troubled personality is calm on the exterior. There are situations when his violence erupts, such as in the jewel robbery when he shot a man.
Overall, it's simply an average movie by critical standards, but a pleasing addition and find for noir and crime story fans.
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