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This little gem has been overlooked and underrated by film buffs, and I think it is time to bring some credit to it. Maybe the reason was the mixed nature of the movie itself, somewhere between giallo and Italian social satires of Italian contemporary society. I guess giallo fans were disappointed of the general treatment Zampa made of the genre rules (he put in a mysterious psycho killer using a hammer and leaving strange footnotes, but there were no gruesome killings graphically shown), while on the other side, intellectual audiences ignored the very interesting social comment in the film and decided it was just another giallo junk. As a result, nobody seems to care nowadays about this one. But it has a great deal to offer for sensitive audiences. Johnny Dorelli brings in a warm and complex character with who we can easily sympathize, and this gives to the end a terrible turn and a smell of despair about human nature that makes you think about for a long time. You will be astonished to discover why the killer was committing crimes. Not only this makes for a strong sense of menace through the entire film, but it also delivers a very well crafted story which shows the deep real motivations a psycho killer may have (and this is rare for a giallo). It is also interesting to notice than the social comment included in the screenplay (back in the 70s) is still up to the 2005, which is much more that can be said about many Italian films of that period. Add to this a marvelous Ennio Morricone soundtrack and a guest starring appearance by gorgeous starlet Sydne Rome. Give it a try!
Intriguing Italian mix of comedy and giallo. We are closer to the
Volonte thrillers than Dario Argento here.
Dorreli is a low rank journalist, with a desk next to the toilet at Tribuna Sera newspaper. His correspondence contains a serial killer's letters, which he exploits. Circulation jumps. It takes him a while to realise the identity of the killer.
While all this is happening, Johnnie neglects his red head son.
Top rank technicians on form, though Morricone has done more distinctive work. Formidable central performance and direction which manages to mix bad taste comedy, murder mystery and comment on contemporary press ethics, parenting and publicity.
This one is good enough to make the viewer wonder about all Zampa's other inaccessible films.
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