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Strange Shadows in an Empty Room (1976)

Una Magnum Special per Tony Saitta (original title)
In Canada, a rough Ottawa cop seeks the killer who poisoned his sister.


Alberto De Martino (as Martin Herbert)


Vincenzo Mannino (screenplay) (as Vincent Mann), Gianfranco Clerici (screenplay) (as Frank Clark)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Stuart Whitman ... Capt. Tony Saitta
John Saxon ... Sgt. Ned Matthews
Martin Landau ... Dr. George Tracer
Tisa Farrow ... Julie Foster
Carole Laure ... Louise Saitta
Jean LeClerc ... Robert Tracer (as Jean Leclerc)
Gayle Hunnicutt ... Margie Cohn
Jean Marchand ... Terence
Anthony Forrest ... Robert Tracer (as Antony Forest)
Andrée St-Laurent ... Rose Tracer (as Andree St. Laurent)
Peter MacNeill ... Alexander (as Peter Mac Neil)
Julie Wildman Julie Wildman
James Tapp James Tapp
Jérôme Tiberghien Jérôme Tiberghien ... Ted Sullivan (as Jerome Thibergien)
Terence G. Ross Terence G. Ross ... (as Terence Ross)


An Ottawa police captain searches for the person who poisoned his sister, who was attending the university in Montreal. So desperate is he for revenge that he begin to use his own brutal methods to find the killer. Soon he discovers that not everything is what he thought it was. Written by Ørnås

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Walk with her if you dare...for every step will bring you closer, closer, closer to the meaning of fear! See more »


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Did You Know?


Clips of the car chase from this film are used in the Geico commercials "Do dogs chase cats?" See more »


The driver of a car passing by can be seen watching filming as cop walks into sex shop. See more »


Spoofed in Car Field Stories (2018) See more »

User Reviews

De Martino nails it at last!
31 July 2018 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

Now this is more like it! An Italian/Canadian 'joint' that isn't dubbed, starts with the feel of a seventies TV movie but then veers madly in tone as the film goes on, and has the distinction of being on of the few De Martino films that doesn't drag. At all!

On the campus of a Montreal college, a young man watches as his ex-girlfriend has a very public argument with her lecturer and possible lover, Martin Landau. Scheming with her, the young man and the girl later play a prank on Landau when the girl (Carol, her name is Carol) fakes being ill during a party. When she non-prankingly dies after being administered medicine by Landau, he becomes suspect number one. Unluckily for him Carol's brother is hard-ass actor Stuart Whitman, and he's a cop to boot, with John Saxon as his icy-eyed partner.

De Martino scores a winner here because he's been clever enough to have a giallo (murder, many suspects, photograph clue etc) with all the elements of a Euro-crime film thrown in for good measure. For example, when we first meet Whitman, he's too busy blowing away bad guys to answer an important call from Carol, and when he approaches the transvestite community to merely ask them if they knew any transgender mates that have been missing, it turns into a huge, random, over the top battle where people are punched through glass windows, Whitman himself nearly falls off a building, and a transvestite gets a pair of straighteners up the arse for his/her trouble!

Not content with that, De Martino also throws in a random car chase that lasts for ages too, and this time he only wanted to show a guy a photo! These two scenes make the film a lot more fun than it would have been as a straight giallo, some I'm grateful they're there.

Tisa Farrow, who would go on to some real Italian exploitation highs in a few years after this film (Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Last Hunter and Anthropophagus), gets the best scenes as the blind piano tutor who is unlucky enough to have quite a bit of the film's action take place in her apartment. This might actually be my favourite De Martino film. Well done mate!

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Italy | Canada


French | English

Release Date:

9 March 1976 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Strange Shadows in an Empty Room See more »


Box Office


CAD1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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