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Francine (Barbara Bouchet) a prostitute in a french brothel is assassinated, the prime suspect is one of her regular clients, even though the alleged perpetrator claims his innocence he is sentenced to death but manages to escape custody, during the high speed chase he suffers a fatal crash. Soon afterwards the witnesses that testified against the suspect are murdered by an black glove wearing individual in bloody ways. Who is behind the mysterious killings?Written by
Here's an interesting film to watch on those late nights when you can't find anything else, and you're in the mood for that old misogynistic sleaze that used to mark Italian films of the early 70's. The plot is a bit convoluted, but here goes.
When Francine (Bouchet), a prostitute, is knocked off, the main suspect, a guy named Gavalles, is sought by the police. He was one of the regular clients of the whorehouse where Francine worked, but he seeks refuge from the law, as he claims he didn't commit the crime. However, during a chase, he is decapited as his motor-bike collides into the back of a tractor-trailer.
The police think that's the end of the murderer, but soon another prostitute is killed. Inspector Fontaine is put on the case, and as he begins probing around, he finds several suspicious individuals who knew the deceased women. One of these suspects is a journalist; another is a famous doctor named Waldemar; another is a criminal magistrate who was intent on convicting Gavalles for the first murder. And finally, there is Madame Colette (Anita Ekberg), the proprietor of aforesaid whorehouse. Now comes the task of figuring out the identity of the killer. And as Fontaine gets deeper into the case, the killer strikes again and again.
Here's a modest giallo outing, obviously made to "cash in" on the then prolific market of horror thrillers. The general mood is seedy and low-key, and the cheap sets decorated with phony Rennaisance art are a lame attempt at adding sophistication to a hastily made film. Howard Vernon here steals the show as Waldemar, who investigates the eyeballs taken from Gavalles' corpse, mashing them to a pulp with his scalpel, as if he were to looking for peals. Nevertheless, it's good fun.
Professional Humphrey Bogart look-alike Robert Sacchi plays the detective. He gives a decent performance, but doesn't live up to his mentor's standards. Actually, the film gives him very little opportunity to act, as the number of characters and constant plot twists keep him at a deadpan level. We never even get a close shot of his face. The murders are violent, but there is little bloodshed. The sound effects are rather odd; when one of the girls is murdered, it sounds as if someone is clashing cymbals. The main show here comes at the end, when we think the killer's identity has at last been discovered. However, we're in for a few surprises; and that's what makes this film worth watching, apart from seeing Barbara Bouchet and Anita Ekberg.
Director Merighi was none too prolific, and he remains a minor figure in the pantheon of Italian cult cinema. He made his debut in 1957 with the melodramatic crime film "The Sun Will Return" (Il Sole Tornera'), which starred future director Roberto Mauri. He is also known for directing the 1972 spaghetti western, "They Called Him Trinity."
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