19 user 14 critic

Il coltello di ghiaccio (1972)

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

KNIFE OF ICE (Umberto Lenzi, 1972) **1/2
14 June 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

The third Lenzi giallo I've watched after having attended screenings of ORGASMO (1969; incidentally another of his collaborations with star Carroll Baker) and SPASMO (1974) during the Italian B-movie retrospective at the 2004 Venice Film Festival; they're not the best examples of the genre by far, but neither are they among the worst.

I recall ORGASMO being pretty complex, while SPASMO was weird without being especially compelling (though I did watch it as part of an all-night marathon that ended at 8:00 and where the screening of Lenzi's film was interrupted a couple of times because of trouble with the print!). As for the film in question, it's basically a retread of Robert Siodmak's noir-ish masterpiece THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1946) - which Lenzi himself had singled out as his favorite film during one of the many Press Conferences he gave (along with colleagues Sergio Martino and Enzo G. Castellari) during the Festival: Baker plays a mute, the main setting is an upper-class household in a small rural town, the climax occurs during a thunderstorm and, of course, there's a serial killer on the loose! The narrative also takes in drug addiction and devil worship, but these emerge as mere red herrings.

Still, for a giallo, it's pretty bloodless and, to be honest, its attempt at psychology - demonstrated by frequent abrupt cutting in which Baker has flashes from her past, as well as the various victims at their moment of death, and the possible perpetrator - is not only unconvincing but becomes a repetitive device with little purpose (given the final revelation)! As a matter of fact, this particular twist was re-used in SPASMO; still, the obligatory explanation offered here is a little weak but, then, this form of coda seldom worked within the confines of the giallo subgenre! Besides, the score is undistinguished and the casting merely okay: Georges Rigaud (as Baker's ageing uncle, who has a heart condition which he ultimately uses to his own advantage!), Eduardo Fajardo (as a sinister-looking chauffeur), Evelyn Stewart, etc.

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