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Phantom of Death (1988)

Un delitto poco comune (original title)
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0:54 | Trailer
In Italy, a pianist suffering from the Progeria genetic disease becomes distraught and goes on a mad killing spree prompting a police inspector to investigate.

Director:

Ruggero Deodato

Writers:

Gianfranco Clerici (story), Vincenzo Mannino (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael York ... Robert Dominici
Edwige Fenech ... Hélène Martell
Donald Pleasence ... Inspector Datti
Mapi Galán Mapi Galán ... Susanna
Fabio Sartor ... Davide
Renato Cortesi Renato Cortesi ... Agent Marchi
Antonella Ponziani Antonella Ponziani ... Gloria Datti
Carola Stagnaro Carola Stagnaro ... Dr. Carla Pesenti
Daniele Brado Daniele Brado ... Dr. Vanni
Caterina Boratto ... Robert's Mother
Lewis E. Ciannelli Lewis E. Ciannelli ... Chief Physician (as Lewis Eduardo Ciannelli)
Renata Dal Pozzo Renata Dal Pozzo ... Agent Corsi
Giovanni Lombardo Radice ... Father Giuliano
Gianni Franco Gianni Franco ... Inspector
Marino Masé ... Expert on aging
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Storyline

Police Comissioner Datti is investigating the murder of a female doctor whose murderer seems to be a thirty-fivish year old man. Soon another murder follows: Pianist Robert Dominici's girlfriend is found killed. The killer also challenges Datti on the phone and says he can't be caught since he has a secret which makes him invulnerable. In the meantime the clues seems to point in strange directions... Written by Salvatore Santangelo <pappagone2@libero.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Let the symphony of slaughter begin! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

December 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom of Death See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 83223 delivered on 13-1-1988. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1989 UK video version (released as "Off Balance") was cut by 18 secs by the BBFC to edit gore from the train station murder and the stabbing of a woman with a table lamp. The 2007 Shameless DVD is uncut. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intriguing central idea but not particularly well executed
23 April 2013 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

This horror/giallo was directed by Ruggero Deodato, who was more famous for extremely controversial films such as the very unpleasant The House on the Edge of the Park. With The Phantom of Death he reigned in his excesses and produced a far more restrained affair. Its story does have an original angle. A famous pianist discovers he has a rare disease which ages him extremely rapidly. This sets off a homicidal impulse in him and he thereafter goes about murdering women. He becomes hard for the police to track down seeing as the evidence suggests a much older man is responsible for the killings.

The cast in this one is very good on paper. Michael York is the pianist, giallo legend Edwige Fenech is his wife and Donald Pleasance is the cop pursuing the killer. York and Fenech put in a bit of effort with their characters but Pleasance seems to be going through the motions a bit. The lethargy is reflected in the film overall as it is a little dull for the most part and generally lacks suspense. There is a series of murders to enliven things a little but even they don't make too much of an impact. It's a shame in some respects that it is such a pedestrian effort because the central concept is at least an attempt at something a bit different. It's definitely a watchable enough film, however, just a little disappointing considering the potential.


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