The film begins with a murder. A jittery chemist called Dezzan (Giovanni Vannini) is axed in the head, and stage actress and dancer Mara (Paola Tedesco) gets involved when she hears the voice of the killer after she inadvertently interrupts him while stopping off on the way to the theatre to pick up some headache tablets. When first his ex-wife, Mara, is targeted by the killer and then his next door neighbour starts receiving strange, threatening phone calls, mustachioed sound-engineer Lukas (Corrado Pani) also gets involved. With Mara unwilling to bring in the police, she and a reluctant Lucas decide — in true giallo style — to solve the crime themselves!
A tape of the neighbour’s phone calls reveals that it is made up of a disturbing concoction of growling Dobermans and human screams. The neighbour, one Giovanni Bozzi (Fernando Cerulli), seems a bit shifty about the whole thing and when his “friend” Esmeralda (Bianca Toccafondi) is also murdered (by having her head shoved into an oven, in a face scolding scene ripped straight from a similar scolding bath scene in Deep Red) it is discovered that Dezzan and she, and Bozzi the neighbour, all served on a jury which convicted one Pasquale Ferrante (Franco Citti) of murder several years previously. When Lukas learns that Ferrante has recently escaped from prison, he goes to warn the then-presiding judge (Giuseppe Addobbati) that he also might be in danger. However, unbeknown to he and Mara, the truth is even more macabre; and when Bozzi is finally killed (after several previous failed attempts) by being strangled in his bath with a shower cable while hiding out in the picturesque town of Padua, Lukas goes there to finally confront the strange truth.
The film follows a very familiar course, and not just to fans of Deep Red, although it is definitely a similar story. This form of plot is basically the giallo template, variations on it proliferate throughout the genre. The relationship between Mara and Lukas obviously recalls that of Daria Nicolodi and David Hemmings (not least because Paola Tedesco looks very much like the young Daria), although the added twist of having them be ex-husband and wife, and that during the course of solving the crime they fall in love again, is a good one and works well here. Their relationship is very sweet, not least because of Lukas’s understated reaction to all the male suitors which come Mara’s way during the course of the film. —Horrorview.com
I was born in Villa del Conte (just outside Padua) on January 8th 1949. They tell me I’m a typical Capricorn but I’ve never been all that interested in astrology. I spent my early years in the country and then my family (my parents and three sisters) moved to Padua where I lived until I was 25.
My high school years and those at university were what you might call “the best years of my life”: lively, undisciplined, carefree and creative. In fact I studied precious little (I did eventually get a degree in Letters -with a thesis on the Italian horror film – but twenty years later!). To make up for this I spent a vast amount of time on photography, filming, going to the cinema and listening to music. Right from the start I was determined to be a film director and I became one. Even today I don’t know what other career I could have taken up. Since 1974 I’ve lived in Rome with Marisa Andalò, my companion in school and now my companion in life. Together with my wife I’ve written scripts… read more