A shroud of mystery covers the brutal murder of a successful artist, as the main suspect's sceptical son begins an unswerving personal investigation to prove his father's innocence. Could he succeed where Athens' police have failed?
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If this had been released in Italy in the late sixties/early seventies, we'd be labelling it a giallo, This was released two years before Mario Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much, but does feature a masked killer threatening people by telephone and getting stabby with a pair of scissors. That makes we wonder why we bother with the giallo label at all. They're just thrillers like Psycho, aren't they, and not exclusive to Italy either, seeing as US films like Dressed To Kill and Double Exposure are also called Giallo. Why bother? I'm going to make up a more all-encompassing genre instead, and that is "Booby Stab Guffaws".
This particuar Booby Stab Guffaw (which does contain boobs) takes place in Greece where a rich lady called Anna lives in relative isolation in a hotel room, basically hiding from her immediate family. She receives a telephone call from someone called Evi, who tells her she's been looking in her magic mirror and that she's going to be a famous model. She's also tells Anna that she's an old friend and is coming for her, which understandably freaks Anna out.
Anna enlists the help of lawyer Tonis, who sets out to unravel the mystery and finds himself constantly on the trail of the elusive Evi, finding himself immersed in the seedy underworld of Athens (at least I think it was Athens). He meets an artist who's wife is paid a visit by a masked, giggling Evi, and a photographer called Valentinos who is up to something sinister, plus a nightclub owner where a naked chick is taking part in a fake-voodoo ceremony. Anna's family don't help either, being very strange themselves.
This is a good mystery film, but do you know what ruins it? The fifty-seven year gap between it being released and me watching it. That gap is filled with many films containing variations of this plot, so that right near the start you'll no doubt say to yourself "I know what is happening."
That's a shame, because there's a lot of tension in the scene involving masked Evi, and the increasingly sinister phone calls. Evi does get a couple of kills in too, including one that made me think that Psycho wasn't far from the director's mind when making this film. If you're a fan of these old Booby Stab Guffaws, you'll like this one.
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