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After a heist, the notorious jewel thief Rochard is murdered in a train. In Paris, his daughter Nicole Rochard, who is a stripper, is summoned by the police that wants to know the whereabouts of valuable diamonds that her father had stolen. She goes with her boyfriend Michel Aumont and tells that does not know anything about the missing diamonds. During the night, a blue eye masked man breaks in her apartment and threatens her, asking where the diamonds are. Nicole seeks protection with Michel but in the morning she finds contact lens in his bathroom and she suspects Michel may be the masked man. She seeks out her costumer Dr. Robert Matthews, who had hit on her, and she asks him if she could go with in to London. Matthews, who is married, brings Nicole to a house by the sea in a village and she poses of his wife. But soon the masked man comes to England and begins a crime spree. The Scotland Yard Inspector Baxter and his assistant are assigned to investigate the case.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Luciano Ercoli's Death Walks on High Heels is a sexy and suspenseful thriller. The convoluted plot revolves around the whereabouts of some stolen jewels and the involvement of a strip tease girl.
Susan Scott (aka Nieves Navarro) plays the stripper who is central to the story. And, quite frankly, she's a revelation. Oozing sex appeal and stealing every scene she appears in, Miss Scott was one of the queens of giallo cinema. She was highly impressive in Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion but she is given a more central role here. And she delivers one of the most erotic performances in the giallo sub-genre.
Other than the obvious appeal of the delicious leading lady, Ercoli's movie works as a suspenseful thriller, with some genuinely unsettling scenes. Chief amongst them being the somewhat haunting appearance of the 'high heels' killer in the opticians, whose approach is seen through through frosted glass and, also of note is an extremely brutal murder scene in the latter half of the movie, the savagery of it is definitely shocking. This murder stands out all the more as this is not exactly a body-count movie. The violence is kept to a minimum but is strong when it rears it's head.
Like in Forbidden Photos, Ercoli uses another actress who looks strikingly similar to Susan Scott, in this case Claudie Lange. Simón Andreu, another Ercoli regular, puts in another sleazy performance as the chief suspect. And there is a host of other shady characters prowling about. In fact there are so many red herrings that we even have a dodgy character selling fish! In order for early 70's gialli to sell themselves to an international market they were often expected to do two things. Firstly cast leading ladies who look more Anglo-Saxon than Italian (which the Spanish but strawberry haired Miss Scott fulfilled) and secondly to incorporate locations outwith Italy (this being achieved by the French and British settings).
Death Walks on High Heels is one of the most erotically charged gialli I've seen. Recommended for fans of both Italian thrillers and, of course, Susan Scott.
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