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Knife of Ice (1972)

Il coltello di ghiaccio (original title)
As a thirteen year old, Martha Caldwell witnessed the death of her parents in a terrible railway accident. Barely surviving the tragedy herself, Martha was struck dumb due to the shock. Now... See full summary »


Umberto Lenzi


Luis G. de Blain, Umberto Lenzi (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carroll Baker ... Martha Caldwell
Alan Scott Alan Scott ... Dr. Laurent
Evelyn Stewart ... Jenny Ascot
Eduardo Fajardo ... Marcos
Silvia Monelli Silvia Monelli ... Mrs. Annie Britton
George Rigaud ... Uncle Ralph
Franco Fantasia Franco Fantasia ... Inspector Duran
Dada Gallotti Dada Gallotti ... Mayor's wife
Lorenzo Robledo Lorenzo Robledo ... Vice-commissioner
Mario Pardo ... Woody Mason
Olga Gherardi Olga Gherardi ... Rosalie
Consalvo Dell'Arti Consalvo Dell'Arti ... Mayor
José Marco José Marco ... Father Martin
Carla Mancini Carla Mancini ... Bookshop clerk
Luca Sportelli Luca Sportelli ... Train station employee


As a thirteen year old, Martha Caldwell witnessed the death of her parents in a terrible railway accident. Barely surviving the tragedy herself, Martha was struck dumb due to the shock. Now an adult, the still mute Martha lives with her uncle Ralph in the Spanish countryside. Martha's cousin Jenny arrives to be with the family but is quickly stabbed to death. It appears that a sex maniac is roaming the countryside; killing pretty young girls. The already traumatized Martha seems likely to be the next victim but the case turns out to be far more complicated than it would first seem. Written by Johan Melle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mystery | Thriller




Italy | Spain


Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

24 August 1972 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Silent Horror See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References Alice in Wonderland (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly restrained effort from Umberto Lenzi
31 December 2012 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Knife of Ice is quite a strange movie in some respects. Released in 1972 at the tail end of the giallo craze, it could be expected that this would be an entry in the sub-genre that emphasised the sex and violence like most other entries from that year. When you also consider that its director is Umberto Lenzi who was responsible for several highly exploitative movies and who is to subtlety what Mr T is to Shakespearean acting, you would be forgiven for thinking Knife of Ice would be a classic style bloody and sleazy murder mystery. Well, as anyone who has seen this film can confirm that simply is not the case. This is a giallo in the late 60's style. All of the murders are committed off screen and there is no nudity whatsoever. The only bit of outrage is the opening credit sequence which shows a fairly graphic bull fight, so Umberto did at least incorporate one of his more notorious traits – animal slaughter - into this one at least.

The film seems to be a reworking of the 1946 chiller The Spiral Staircase. It has a fairly similar basic plot-line. The central character is a mute woman who lives in a large affluent family home. There is a serial killer on the loose and a cast of red herrings to complicate matters. Caroll Baker (So Sweet, So Perverse) stars as the mute, while Evelyn Stewart (The Case of the Scorpion's Tail) appears too in a role that sadly has little screen-time. It's certainly a professional enough effort with some suspenseful moments but on the whole it is a little too restrained for its own good and it pales in comparison with other gialli released around the same time.

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