Too Beautiful to Die (1988) Poster

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On the contrary! The more beautiful, the sweeter they die!
Coventry21 November 2007
It's always nice to come across a worthwhile Italian Giallo that was made in the 1980's, because this wondrously unique sub genre of horror is almost automatically & irreversibly linked to the 1970's, more particularly the earlier years of that decade. During that period there were approximately a dozen of great films released each year, but this amount vastly decreased near the end of the 70's already. And throughout the entire 80's decade, only a handful of competent Gialli came out, including Dario Argento's "Tenebre" and "Opera", Lamberto Bava's "Midnight Ripper", Lucio Fulci's "The New York Ripper" and Alberto De Martino's "Formula for Murder". Dario Piana's contribution "Too Beautiful To Die" could easily join this short list, but the film is sadly obscure and almost impossible to track down. Maybe - and hopefully - this might change soon, as I just noticed that Dario Piana out of the blue directed "The Deaths of Ian Stone"; one of the movies included in the famous "8 movies to die for" horror event. Perhaps after gaining a bit of name-fame, some clever distribution company might dig up the director's earliest effort and release it on DVD. Here's to wishful thinking, because the film honestly deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

"Too Beautiful to Die", like so many other Gialli movies, takes place in a world full of gorgeous fashion models, perverted old rich bastards, extortion and of course sadistic murders. We step into the decor of a modeling agency when they're about to shoot an extended music video (I think) with the girls wearing exhilarating S&M outfits and waving around dangerously sharp daggers. The models are also involved in a network of prostitution, but when a promising young beauty refuses to have sex with an elderly client, her lifeless body is dragged out of a sunken car the next morning. The autopsy proves she was shot in the head before the car got pushed of a cliff. The shoot continues and the poor girl gets replaced, but shortly after everyone who was there that night is killed off with the macabre scenery used in the video. The plot is standard Giallo material, but there are a few pleasant and thoughtful twists and director Dario Piana upholds an adequate level of suspense and mystery until the very end. The starlets are indescribably beautiful, their revealing outfits are unimaginably sexy and there's one steaming hot (and admirably stylish) sex sequence to make it all complete. Perhaps one advantage 80's Gialli have over their 70's competitors, they are MUCH women-friendlier and respectful. The murders are obviously rather grisly, as they are committed with eerie daggers and even a replica Iron Maiden torture device, and the revelation of the killers' identity is absurd in a good old-fashioned way. "Too Beautiful to Die" actually only has one major downside, and it isn't even the film's own fault. It was an inexplicably popular trend back in the 1980's to stuff any movie, no matter what genre or subject matter, with annoying hit music and incredibly overlong footage of people dancing to it. Especially in the case of a whodunit, this completely ruins the atmosphere and brings the viewer out of his/her concentration. Also, another reason why 70's Gialli were so fantastic was because they featured their very own soundtrack (usually mastered by Ennio Morricone), whereas this gem has to settle for contemporary popular band, like Toto and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Apart from the cheesy 80's-flavored sauce, "Too Beautiful to Die" is a delicious Italian Giallo-dish.
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A good late 80s giallo
bensonmum226 December 2017
Sylvia O'Neal is a successful model working in Milan. After the final shoot for a big ad campaign, Sylvia attends a party with some of the other models. Sylvia doesn't realize it, but she has caught the eye of an older, powerful man. She's doesn't realize that he will also be at the party or the party's real purpose. She refuses his advances, but she's not strong enough to fight off the other models. While they hold her, the man rapes her. Distraught, she leaves the party in a hurry only to be found burned to death in a car the following morning. It looks like an accident until the others at the party start turning up dead. And when the police discover Sylvia was shot through the head before the car crash, it's obvious a killer is on the loose.

The 70s were the heyday for the Italian giallo. So it's always nice to discover one made in the 80s, nevermind the late 80s, that's actually good. Too Beautiful to Die is a solid example of a latter day giallo. An unknown killer, a fantastically gruesome murder weapon, artistic touches (tracking shots and blue lighting), a boatload of beautiful women, and plenty of atmosphere - this one has all the elements you expect to find in a giallo. Too Beautiful to Die also features some of the best (or worst) of the 80s. The music, clothing, and hair - all from the 80s. The ad campaigns and music videos the women are working on are incredibly reminiscent of a Robert Palmer video. It's a visual straight out of the 80s. In fact, much of the movie is a bit like watching a string of 80s-era music videos strung together into a film. Plenty of style. Another plus for Too Beautiful to Die are the plot twists and turns you expect to find in a good giallo. There are plenty of clues and red herrings sprinkled throughout that will keep you guessing to the end. With about 20 minutes to go, I was sure I had things figured out. And while I was partially correct, the movie had one more curveball up its sleeve. Very nice. If it weren't for the poor explanation of the killer's motivation, a couple of slow spots in the screenplay, and some questionable acting, I could have easily rated this one higher. Still, it's a nice giallo that fans of the genre should seek out.
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The Killer and the Beauties
andrabem-11 September 2010
The models of an agency are invited to a party by the owner of the agency, Alex. During the party, Alex is playing games in his computer and it looks like the girls have the house to themselves, but there's another guest…. and an accident happens - a fatal accident. This will start a string of murders - all those that were at that party begin to fall one by one. The police intervene, investigations are made, but the killer is like an elusive shadow….

"Too beautiful to die" (Sotto il vestito niente 2) is a giallo that uses successfully the aesthetics of music videos - there's a tasty blend of images and music. The film is atmospheric and the murder scenes are inventive and suspenseful. It's a treat for the eyes and ears – really gorgeous girls, flamboyant colors, good 80s music.

Highly recommended!

If you like bizarre gialli try "A taste for fear" by Piccio Raffanini, a strange mixture of giallo and science fiction - psychedelic colors, murders in a not so distant future, surreal and dreamy story. Recommended for those with adventurous tastes.
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Good Effort
matalo29 August 2000
When I first noticed this movie in a local video store, I did not know what to think of it. Remembering many Italian movies of the late 80s also did not help much, because most of them are quite crappy. So, when I finally dared to watch the movie, I was very surprised realizing this movie as one of the few well crafted Non-Argento-Soavi-Gialli of that particular time period. The photography is very stylish, and the murders are gruesome enough to satisfy everyone´s wishes. As I read in another publication, the director worked before as a special effects technician and a director for commercials and music videos. Something you can clearly see in his direction. The whole movie has a nice 80s touch with music of Frankie goes to Hollywood, Huey Lewis and the News and Kissing the Pink. So check it out if you can.
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Discovered by accident
BandSAboutMovies28 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I came across this film on YouTube and had no idea what I'd be watching. I'd give it five minutes and then be done with it, I said. And then I realized that the film was nearly over and I'd been quite interested in the proceedings. Life's funny like that.

Written and directed by Dario Piana, this sequel to Nothing Underneath is the only giallo I've seen that has both Huey Lewis and the News and Frankie Goes to Hollywood (you got close, Body Double) on the soundtrack. A major point of the film is that the models are trying to put together a video for Frankie's "Warriors of the Wasteland!"

Let me see if I can summarize this one quickly for you. A fashion agency is shooting videos that feel very BDSM and feature really long, intricate daggers. Those models are all prostitutes, except for one, who won't give in and have sex with an old man in a whirlpool, so everyone rapes and kills her. Her car goes off a cliff, but an autopsy proves that she was shot in the head first. That said - everyone who was there starts getting killed, one by one.

Some of the death scenes are really well shot and the murder weapon is quite insane looking. One of the murders, with a model falling off a large building into water, looks particularly good.
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Nice weapons, shame about the deaths.
BA_Harrison7 March 2021
Sleazy talent agent Alex Conti (Giovanni Tamberi) pimps out his models for sex. At the behest of a powerful client, he arranges for unwary young beauty Sylvia O'Neal (Gioia Scola) to attend one of his shindigs, where she is held down by the other women and raped. Fleeing the party, distraught Sylvia drives off in Alex's car; her charred body is found hours later in a burnt out wreck. As the police try to discover what happened to her, someone begins to kill off those who were also present at the party, the murderer's weapon of choice being a multi-bladed prop created for a music video.

Set in the glossy world of fashion models, Dario Piana's Too Beautiful To Die is a slick and sexy giallo, full of stylish imagery, but totally vacuous, the director exploiting his female stars' gyrating hard bodies in raunchy video-shoots before bumping them off. I have no problem with the film's objectification of women who make a living from their looks, but I do object to the film's lacklustre death scenes, which are bereft of creativity and decent gore. This kind of film lives or dies on the strength of its kills, and the relatively bloodless and mundane murders in Too Beautiful To Die are instantly forgettable, making this a mediocre effort overall.
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Excellent late-eighties Giallo!
The_Void10 March 2009
By the late eighties, the Giallo genre had almost completely dried up with only the great Dario Argento's releases, along with a handful of other films, being anywhere near seeing. One film that is certainly a part of the worthwhile non-Argento efforts is this one; as while it's a ling way from being perfect, what we do have here is a strong mystery storyline fused with a good atmosphere - and what more could you ask for from a Giallo? The original Italian title is a cause for confusion as it suggests the film to be a sequel to the (also rather good) 1985 Giallo Nothing Underneath; although the two films are unrelated. Too Beautiful to Die focuses on the production of a music video for a band named 'Blade'. Naturally, the director wants the video to involve blades; and several shiny blades take centre stage. The star of the show later resists the advances of a powerful man in a Jacuzzi, and she soon winds up dead. The police begin to investigate; and it's not long before more people involved with the production turn up as corpses.

Director Dario Piana creates a really good atmosphere for the film and clearly has a good understanding of what the Giallo genre is all about. There's a blue tint that features throughout and the director makes good use of the post-apocalyptic style of the music video at the centre of the film. It's also very much a product of the time it was made; the film features that 'trashy eighties' style throughout and the director is not afraid of implementing some extremely tacky eighties music as well. Of course, it's the murders that will have most viewers tuning in; and while they're not on par with the goriest of the genre, they are none too shabby either and plenty of the red stuff gets spilled in inventive ways. It has to be said that the film is a bit messy and certain moments can drag more than a little bit; but there's always a tense chase scene or gory murder just around the corner to keep things exciting. It all boils down to a well thought out and somewhat surprising ending that has the added advantage of actually making some sense! I can't say that this is an absolute must see for genre fans, but it's certainly well worth tracking down. Recommended.
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We found this film in FRENCH in Montreal
johnthomasart13 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This film was released in French Canada on NTSC VHS videotape in the early 1990's.....the language is French with no English subtitles.....The Jacket is in French and has a photo of Florence Guerin in costume on the back of the jacket...the front photograph has 4 models in lingerie sitting on a red sofa......the French title is as follows.....Trop Belle Pour Mourir.....vf de Too Beautiful To Die....the run time is 1 Hour and 36 Minutes...the film is in colour.....the film was released by a small Quebec distributor named France Film.....It is also know under the Italian title of Sotto il vestito niente 2....They Only Come Out at Night .....Too Beautiful to Die.....but I have never seen an Italian or English version of this movie for sale or rent in French Canada.....The cast also includes...François-Eric Gendron .... David.......Florence Guérin .... Melanie........Giovanni Tamberi .... Alex........Gioia Scola.......Helena Jesus........Northana Ariffin.......Randi Ingerman.........Carlo Mucari.......Dario Parisini........
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christopher-underwood25 July 2022
I hadn't really thought that this was going to be very much but I liked it, maybe I didn't expect too much happening. I had thought it had been, Nothing Underneath (1985) and that was a sequel but it is nothing like it at all. This director was early 30s and had written dozens of comic books and very famous TV commercials and made a couple of films but only this giallo. Of course it looks like and sounds something like MTV but as it isn't a wonderful thriller, the costumes and masks are great, the killings are splendid and the blades rather fun even designed by the director, Dario Piana. So this looks so slick but although it becomes rather silly at the very end it just about hangs together and for 90 minutes was thrilling.
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Too Precictable to Remember
briandwillis-8382512 March 2022
A mostly predictable late-in-the-game giallo with some beautiful photography and a love of slow motion shots. There's only one or two standout stalk/slash scenes, but they're incredibly well done especially one involving an ill-fated model being trapped in a sound stage at night and having to run from the killer up the catwalks above the stage.
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