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Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973)

La morte ha sorriso all'assassino (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Romance | 11 July 1973 (Italy)
A man discovers an ancient Incan formula for raising the dead, and uses it for a series of revenge murders.

Director:

Joe D'Amato (as Aristide Massaccesi)

Writers:

Claudio Bernabei (screenplay) (as C. Bernabei), Joe D'Amato (screenplay) (as A. Massaccesi) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ewa Aulin ... Greta von Holstein
Klaus Kinski ... Dr. Sturges
Angela Bo Angela Bo ... Eva von Ravensbrück
Sergio Doria ... Walter von Ravensbrück
Attilio Dottesio ... Inspector Dannick
Marco Mariani Marco Mariani ... Simeon, the butler
Luciano Rossi ... Franz, Greta's Brother
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ... Dr. von Ravensbrück, Walter's Father
Fernando Cerulli ... Professor Kempte (as Franco Cerulli)
Carla Mancini Carla Mancini ... Gertrude - the Maid
Giorgio Dolfin Giorgio Dolfin ... Maier - Ballet dancer
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Storyline

A man discovers an ancient Incan formula for raising the dead, and uses it for a series of revenge murders.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

11 July 1973 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Smiles on a Murderer See more »

Filming Locations:

Elios Film, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dany Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contains several references to the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Examples include a person being buried alive by a brick wall (as in The Cask of Amontillado) and the presence of a black cat (as in The Black Cat). Also the main character, Walter, with his moustache and haircut, bears a striking resemblance to Poe. See more »

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User Reviews

Something is happening, but I don't know what it is. . .
17 March 2005 | by lazarilloSee all my reviews

This movie seems interesting on paper: it's directed by the infamous Aristide Massacessi (aka Joe D'Amato) and it features overly intense German actor Klaus Kinski and Swedish nymphet Ewe "Candy" Aulin. But fans may find D'Amato being a little too classy, Kinski being a little too subdued, and Aulin being a little too dressed. This movie is a latter-day Italian Gothic but it was made at a time when those films, which had been big in the 60's, were in decline and the more delirious Italian gialli were ascendant. This film is a strange hybrid of the two--it has the period trappings of a Gothic horror but makes even less sense than your average giallo.

The plot (if that word applies here)involves two different doctors who seem to be reviving the dead for some reason--or are they? (I'm not being mysterious here--I really don't know). One of them is Klaus Kinski, but I suspect the famously temperamental actor might have stormed off the set so they gave part of his role to somebody else. Ewe Aulin is the dead(?) woman who seems no worse for wear. After her carriage crashes on the estate of a nobleman (who coincidentally is the doctor's son),he and his wife take her in and they both fall in love with her. The wife, however, is very jealous (although it's not clear of whom) and keeps trying to kill this possibly already dead girl. After an unsuccessful bathtub drowning (which naturally turns into a steamy lesbian sex scene) she seals her in a tomb with the family cat (for yet another Italian homage to Edgar Allen Poe) before the movie sinks completely into incomprehensibility.

This film resembles other latter-day Italian gothics like "The Devil's Wedding Night" (with Rosalba Neri) or "The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave" (with Erika Blanc). I would have preferred Neri or Blanc to Aulin in this kind of movie--they all look good naked, of course, but Blanc and Neri are a lot better in these evil roles. The cinematography here is definitely superior to the other two films, however, and is the best thing about this movie (it's easy to forget that D'Amato was a superb cinematographer before he became a world-renowned pornographer). Fans of virtuoso cinematography, non-linear Eurohorror, and badly-dubbed Eurobabes, who aren't bothered too much by a complete lack of plot will probably like this. Others may not.


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