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Il Ragno

The Killer must Kill Again
L'Assassino è Costretto ad Uccidere Ancora / The Dark is Death's Friend

Italy/France 1975
produced by
Albione Cinematografica, Cannes Cine
directed by Luigi Cozzi (= Lewis Coates)
starring George Hilton, Michel Antoine (= Antoine Saint-John), Alessio Orano, Cristina Galbó, Eduardo Fajardo, Femi Benussi
written by Luigi Cozzi (= Lewis Coates), Adriano Bolzoni, Daniele Del Guidice, music by Nando de Luca

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Giorgio Mainardi (George Hilton) is thrown out of his house by his wife Nora (Teresa Velázquez) because of his infidelity ... which is bad news mainly because she is the rich one of the couple, so when he accidently witnesses a man (Michel Antoine) getting rid of a corpse by sinking the body inside a car in a lake, he has an idea ... he blackmails the man into killing his wife, but has him make it look like a kidnapping so Giorgio can get a vast sum of extortion money from his father-in-law.

Soon, the killer enters Nora's house like Giogrio said he would, & the killing works perfectly, too, with Giorgio having an airtight alibi, but when the killer, the corpse alread in his car's trunk, goes back into the house to eliminate some tell-tale traces, the car (with the corpse) is stolen by Luca (Alessio Orano) & Laura (Cristina Galbó), 2 funloving kids who want to gop to the beach to make out.

To get back car & corpse, the killer has to steal another car ... & that's where the trouble starts.

The killer's cartheft is soon reported to the police, & when examining the scene of the crime, the investigating inspector (Eduardo Fajardo) soon stumbles over the open door of Nora's house, inside traces of a fight, & a heap of things that don't add up, & he starts asking Giorgio questions he would rather not answer, ultimately he puts the kidnapping as such into questin (& is of course right) ...

Luca & Laura have since made it to the beach & have broken into an abandoned house, where they plan to make out, but Laura, still a virgin, suddenly has second thoughts & sends Luca away to get her some food ... but instead of food, Luca finds a willing blonde (Femi Benussi) on the way whom he soon makes out with in his car.

The killer has meanwhile caught up with the couple & enters the abandoned house too, where he finds Laura & brutally rapes her, then neatly ties her up. & when Luca comes back, the killer is already prepared & knocks him out cold, then goes to his car he has finally found again, to head off ... but Luca has brought blondie with him (with some weird fantasies of a threeway), & blondie has just found the corpse in the trunk, so he lures her into the houe under a pretense & stabs her dead.

Unfortunately, when he goes to the bathroom to wash off the blood from the stabbing, he has forgotten the knife in blondie's body, which Laura uses to free herself, & to attack & ultimately kill him with ...

Later, Laura & Luca have since reported everything to the police & are let off free (without them the killer maybe would never have been found), our inspector is left with even more loose ends, & weirdly enough they all add up to Giorgio being the real culprit ... but how to prove it ?

The inspector makes up an elaborate trap, placing the killer's car with a semi-open trunk right in front of Giorgio's house, & in the trunk is Nora's corpse, conveniently for Giorgio to find ... which he does, but when he tries to get rid of the corpse, the police arrests him red-handed.

 

An extremely well-written & well-directed crime-movie that outright refuses to follow any formula, instead offers many unusual twists & turns, that are all wholly plausible though, & that put the movie (on a story level) closer to classic film noirs than the-popular crime-fiction (e.g. giallos).

Director Luigi Cozzi shows an amazing talent for creating tension & suspense in this movie (only his secon feature film) ... it's just a shame that the rest of his career he was never again given a break to prove this , instead being relegated to doing underbudgeted genre-fodder, that - in its own cheapish way - was sometimes charming though (Star Crash, the Hercules-movies), sometimes downright pedestrian (Dei Profundis, Contaminazione).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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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