An authentic Italian 70's Crime/Giallo movie with loads of comedy elements and even slapstick? What's next
a Disney's Pixar movie featuring graphic sex and gory massacres? Say what you want about director Sergio Martino, but you certainly can't claim he hasn't experimented with all the different genres imaginable. He directed several brilliant and prototype Gialli ("Torso", "Case of the Scorpion's Tail"), but also Spaghetti Westerns ("A Man Called Blade"), relentless cop thrillers ("The Violent Professionals"), sleazy comedies ("Sex with a Smile"), Apocalyptic Sci-Fi ("After the Fall of New York"), Cyborg action-flicks ("Fists of Steel"), cheesy monster movies ("Big Alligator River") and cannibal adventures ("Mountain of the Cannibal God"). Yet, of his entire versatile repertoire, "Suspected Death of a Minor" is perhaps his most awkward accomplishment. Judging from the title, the basic plot synopsis and the picture images on the back of the DVD box, the film looks like a standard Giallo, but the story further unfolds itself more as a bitter crime thriller interlarded with large bits of comedy. And the absolute strangest thing is that this unusual hodgepodge of styles and genre also actually works, or at least up to a certain degree. It's hard to picture yourself a Giallo plot, covering crude topics such as teen prostitution networks and vile murders, and simultaneously witness comical car chases and clichéd running gags. It's rather difficult to write a brief summary of the plot without giving away surprise details or essential twists. Most reviews even the one on the DVD box already reveal a nice detail regarding the main character's identity even though the script keeps it a secret up until 45 minutes into the film! I think it's best to know nothing about the story and simply watch it unfold. I'll simple reveal that all the required ingredients of a supreme Giallo dish are present, including a vicious reflecting sunglasses-wearing killer, rooftop & roller coaster showdowns and perverted men with money & power. Claudio Cassinelli depicts one of the most likable characters I've ever seen in an Italian film. He's eloquent and witty, but ultimately arrogant and provocative towards everyone who crosses his path. There are a couple of brutal murders on display but the amount of female nudity is sorely disappointing, presumably because Martino didn't engage his heavenly luscious muse Edwige Fenech this time. Luciano Michellini's musical score is reminiscent to Goblin's work for Dario Argento and the photography is very nice. "Suspected Death of a Minor" is a good film and recommended to fans of the director and the genre. However, make sure it's not your first acquaintance with the Giallo, otherwise you might get a misconception of what this wondrous sub genre is all about.