Minggu, 13 Maret 2011

L'Assassino e costretto ad uccidere ancora aka The Killer Must Kill Again (1975) - Luigi Cozzi

I’ve seen a few of Luigi Cozzi’s films and never been all that impressed with his work. Sure, Starcrash is fun for all the wrong reasons but films like Contamination and the dreadful Paganini Horror left me very, very cold. I knew of his association with Giallo maestro Dario Argento but was a little trepidatious when Mondo Macabro announced they’d be releasing (for the first time on home video in North America even!) the director’s early entry into the Italian thriller genre, despite the fact that it has a pretty decent reputation.

The story begins when a man named Mainardi (Sergio Martino regular George Hilton of All The Colors Of The Dark) completely by chances comes across a murderer (Michel Antoine of The Beyond) as he is literally in the process of dumping his victim’s body into the river. Mainardi figures he can use this to his advantage and he decides to blackmail the killer taking care of some rather nasty business he needs completed – he wants him to kill his wife (Teresa Velazquez) and get rid of the body. Mainardi offers to pay the killer $20,000 and seeing as he really doesn’t have much a choice, he agrees to the proposition.

The killer gets into the couples’ apartment and offs Mrs. Mainardi reasonably easily without running into any serious snags. The problem arises when he dumps the body into the trunk of the car, goes back into the house, then comes out to find that a young couple, Laura (Cristina Galbo of Let Sleeping Corpses Lie and What Have You Done To Solange?) and Luca (Alessio Orano of Lisa And The Devil) of stolen his wheels and headed to the coast. The killer arranges an alternate form of transportation and heads off in search of the couple to get the body back and make sure there are no witnesses. He tracks them to a house on the side of the ocean and lets himself in. Meanwhile, Mainardi is being talked to by the police who suspect more than he knows about the circumstances surrounding his wife’s demise.

So after spending almost ninety minutes in front of the TV, I came away with the conclusion that The Killer Must Kill Again (better known as The Killer Must Strike Again) is a very well directed film. Considering my previously noted reaction to Cozzi’s other films, I was quite surprised, but there you have it. The camera movements are slick and professional looking and make the cinematography makes great use of shadow to create atmosphere and heighten tension, giving an almost claustrophobic look to a few of the darker interior scenes. The script has a couple of nice twists and is atypical in the sense that it’s not really a who-dunnit (we know who the killer is two minutes into the movie) so much as it is a how-they-gonna-do-it. This convention leads to a great, ironic ending that turns the table on the two central characters and allows for some nicely handled murder set pieces as well.

Surprisingly intense compared to some of the director’s other works, The Killer Must Kill Again also features as interesting rape scene that is shown in cuts as the camera shows in succession a series of shots from a forced rape contrasted against a consensual sex act happening not too far away at the same moment in time. Without spoiling the film for those who haven’t seen it, this sequence really goes a long way towards showing the true character of a couple of key players in the film and Cozzi handles this scene very well given the context of the acts and the explicitness of the material.
Performances are decent all the way around. Hilton plays his usual slick self, always the dashing playboy as demonstrated by the way he’s entertaining people at a cocktail party, telling amusing stories knowing full well that his wife is being murdered only a few blocks away. Femi Benussi (of Strip Nude For Your Killer) and Teresa Velazquez provide some nice Eurobabe eye candy and Cristina Galbo is adorable and sympathetic in her part of Laura.

The real star of the show however is Antoine Saint-John (credited here as Michel Antoine), who looks every bit the part of a homicidal killer with his unusual facial features and long, gaunt appearance. When he stabs his victims towards the end of the movie he does so with a cold precision that is almost believable.
Ian Jane | Killer Must Kill Again (1975).avi

Language: English
no pass

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