HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
   
 
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
   
 
  Killer Must Kill Again, The Slap the Inspector, LauraBuy this film here.
Year: 1975
Director: Luigi Cozzi
Stars: George Hilton, Michel Antoine, Femi Benussi, Cristina Galbo, Eduardo Fajardo, Teresa Velasquez, Alessio Orano
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Philandering architect Mainardi (George Hilton) hires a serial killer (Michel Antoine) to murder his wealthy wife (Teresa Velasquez). Unfortunately, Laura (Cristina Galbo) and Luca (Alessio Orano), a thrill-seeking young couple, steal the killer’s car with the corpse in the trunk.

Known variously in Italian as Il ragno (The Spider) and L’assassino e costretto ad uccidere ancora and in English as The Dark is Death’s Friend and The Killer Must Kill Again, this intriguingly offbeat giallo is commonly cited as the most accomplished effort by uneven genre hand Luigi Cozzi. In interviews Cozzi admitted he had little appetite for horror and was more of a science fiction and fantasy adventure fan, though a lack of enthusiasm from producers and the Italian public quashed most of his filmic dreams. Although the slapdash-but-spirited Starcrash (1978) reflects more of Cozzi’s endearingly fanboyish personality, his sole giallo outing features his most controlled, coherent and compelling work as a filmmaker.

Whereas most gialli opt for the more routine anonymous-killer-terrorizes-the city scenario, this goes down a less conventional, more rewarding route. Cozzi juggles parallel plots as the killer trails the unsuspecting couple en route to their love nest by the sea, while back in the city slimy Mainardi squirms under the scrutiny of the police who mistakenly believe his wife has been kidnapped for ransom. Equally, while the majority of gialli keep their killers offscreen until the denouement, here we have our murderer front and centre from the get-go. With his gaunt features and creepy eyes, Michel Antoine - who played the villainous German in Duck, You Sucker! (1971) a.k.a. A Fistful of Dynamite - proves a memorable madman who remains as unnervingly enigmatic as if he were wearing a mask.

Cozzi brings an experimental edge to the film with his off-kilter visual style and repeatedly cross-cuts between parallel actions, contrasting a murder with a party, a frenetic chase sequence with a slow-burning police interrogation, a passionate sex scene with an horrific rape. The cat-and-mouse finale is all the more interesting because Cozzi forgoes the usual Dario Argento suspense mechanisms and instead mounts the action as believably awkward, ugly and slow. Luciana Schiratti’s art direction combines well with the photography by Riccardo Pallotini to conjure one of the best looking giallo films while outstanding ensemble performances make the most out of the suspenseful script. Alongside Antoine’s skin-crawlingly creepy killer, the film finds George Hilton upholding his tradition of suave but shifty leads following solid turns in the likes of The Case of the Scorpion’s Tale (1970), The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971) and too many more to mention.

However, the bulk of the film is ably carried by Cristina Galbo, a familiar face to Euro-horror fans after her strong turns in What Have You Done to Solange? (1971) and The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974). Galbo scores considerable sympathy as a vulnerable, sensitive woman forever caught between domineering male figures, whether it is the mad murderer or boorish boyfriend Luca. It has to be said the film deals a pretty sorry range of masculine archetypes, with Maniardi making love to his wife shortly after plotting her murder while Luca goads Laura into exposing herself to distract a gas station attendant. Luca is but one in a long line of hopelessly horny giallo guys who, frustrated with our frigid heroine, thinks nothing of scoring with a slutty stranded motorist played by gorgeous giallo staple Femi Benussi - rather wasted as a decorative victim. What knocks the film down a notch below essential status is the usual hypocritical wavering from eroticism into misogyny with the implication that a whole lot of innocent death could have been avoided had Laura simply put out for her boyfriend. A punch in the face is also due for the police inspector (Eduardo Fajardo) who upon detailing the murder and rape, tells Laura: “Your weekend at the beach has been very interesting, hasn’t it?”

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1595 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Luigi Cozzi  (1947 - )

Italian director of low budget horror, sci-fi and fantasy. Like many of his countrymen, Cozzi was quick to leap on the back of whatever Hollywood films were currently winning at the box office, hence films 'inspired' by Star Wars (Starcrash), Alien (Contamination), Conan (Hercules) and so on. Directed the 1991 Dario Argento documentary Master of Horror, and has worked on several Argento films over the years, including Two Evil Eyes and The Stendhal Syndrome. The pair also co-own the Rome-based movie shop Profondo Rosso.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: