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Il Gatto dagli Occhi di giada

The Cat With the Jade Eyes
Stimme des Todes / Watch me when I Kill / The Cat's Victims

Italy 1977
produced by
Elis Cinematografica
directed by Antonio Bido
starring Corrado Pani, Paola Tedesco, Franco Citti, Fernando Cerulli, Bianca Toccafondi, Paolo Malco, Giuseppe Addobbati, Gianfranco Bullo, Jill Pratt, Inna Alexeievna, Cristina Piras, Roberto Antonelli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Actress Mara (Paola Tedesco) becomes the witness of a murder of a pharmacist just by accident - she accidently just hears the killer's voice -, but leaves the crime scene before the police arrives in order to escape questioning.

But as killer's do, this one has soon found her out, & even gets into her appartment & tries to kill her but is chasd off by the neighbour's dog. Head over heels (& can you blame her), Mara leaves her appartment &, instead of now phoning the police, moves in with her boyfriend, sound engineer Luca (Corrado Pani). & as coincidences do happen, Luca's neighbour Bozzi (Fernando Cerulli) was a friend of the dead pharmacist & he has received the same threatening phonecalls as this man & asks Luca to figure out what they are: & in his capacity of sound engineer, Luca soon can identify different sounds on the taped calls - an oven, a machine stomping, dogs barking, human cries of pain (why Bozzi thinks that these sounds make up a threatening phonecall is left at anybody's guess though).

Soon, Esmeralda (Bianca Toccafondi), a friend of Bozzi & the pharmacist, is killed, apparently by the same man who also killed the pharmacist, & Mara, when driving Bozzi's car, is brutally attacked by a person unknown but can escape, & Bozzi thinks the attack was meant for him ... but instead of finally alarming the police, both Mara & Bozzi think it best that sound-engineer Luca should take up investigations - an idea that Bozzi will eventually pay with his life, & Mara will have to endure one more attack, too.

But Luca eventually comes up with some clues, namely a murder case against Pasquale Ferrante (Franco Citti), where Esmeralda, Bozzi & the pharmacist all were jurors & convicted him even though he claimed his innocence - & in an interview with the erstwhile judge Luca learns that Ferrante has actually broken out of jail ... & of course, contratry to the pßolice it takes our sound engineer no time to find Ferrante (who was hiding at his wife's place), but he also finds out Ferrante, as a lefthander, couldn't have committed the crimes that were definitely done by a righthanded men.

So Luca has to dig deeper & comes up with the wartime past of Bozzi, Esmeralda & the pharmacist, when the all collaborated with the regime & betrayed some Jewish kids to the Nazis, who were then killed in a concentration camp. & since Luca knows that the judge of the Ferrante-murder-case is Jewish, he goes on & confronts him with his evidence & his suspicion that the judge is the killer ... & the judge to a point even confirms his suspicions - yes, his kids were those killed in the concentration camp & yes he made the threatening phonecalls ...

But at the same time Mara is attacked by the killer at her appartment & only just saved by Ferrante (who for some/bno reason is a good guy now), before she & ferrante go to the judge's house too, where the real killer is revealed as ... Marco (Paolo Malco), the judge's only surviving son & scorned lover of Mara, who has put all his anger into exacting his revenge ... Of course he is killed in the end.

 

Seen a pure whodunnits, the Italian giallos in general were not too satisfying as too little care was usually put into the construction of the story & too much was left to coincidence. Good giallos could however make up for that by carefully created atmosphere, suspenseful storytelling & inventive murder-scenes.

Il Gatto dagli Occhi di Giada however is not a good giallo. Both narrative logic & plausibility are thrown out of the window early on, with almost every twist & turn being caused by some coincidence, & clues & characters thrown in rather at will, while the main character does do nothing to keep up the suspense since he's never in any real danger, while the attacks on main girl Mara are thrown in rather by chance & are usually not or only unsatisfactorily resolved (one such scene ends with someone being killed instead of her who has nothing to do whatsoever with the story, & when in another scene Ferrante jumps out of the blue to save her, that's a little much). That none of the actors is really good doesn't help too much either.

All in all a trashy serial killer movie that turns out to be a disappointment anyhow.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD