Aug 10, 2020

Commissioner G in the Case of the Cabaret (1975)

(Original Title: El comisario G. en el caso del cabaret) A Spanish crime/thriller about a Columbo-esque detective investigating a series of murders surrounding the Canaima cabaret.

 A woman's skeletal remains are found buried at a construction site.  The cops are brought in to investigate.

 Commissioner Garcés (Emilio Rodríguez) is the lead detective.  He's like Columbo in that he seems dense, but his manner is actually deliberate in order to uncover the truth.  I have heard that Rodriguez was actually a detective before he became an actor.

 His partner is Juan (José Luis Baringo).

Garcés speaks with Señora Morello (Perla Cristal) about the death of the girl found at the construction site, identified as "La Cobra", a dancer at a cabaret called Canaima.

 And so we go to Canaima and meet the first dancer...

 Justina (Carmen Platero)

 Justina provides helpful information for the detectives in the form of a note she has hidden in a drawer.

 The next evening, Justina says goodnight to her boyfriend and walks down a dark and empty street.

 She's knocked out.  When she wakes up, a mysterious gloved killer has strung her upside down and whips her to death with a chain. Carmen Platero provides the only nudity in the movie.

 Garcés investigates the crime scene of Justina's murder.

 Garcés interviews a nun who used to be a dancer at the cabaret.

 A bunch of interviews... indeed, ninety percent of this film is interviews.

 Tina Sáinz is the next interviewee. 

 She tells a pointless story of how she got drunk one night and La Cobra helped her.

 Mario Pardo is a suspect.

 Marisa Medina is next.

 She's in a relationship with Perla Cristal.

 Marisa has told too much to the police. Perla Cristal pulls a gun on her, then stabs her to death.

 I love that expression.

 One thing leads to another, and the detectives finally get to the bottom of it.  When they finally catch up to Perla Cristal, she jumps out the window to her death.

What a forgettable movie.  It's super rare and forgotten (maybe for a reason).  Giallo fans may even want to skip as it can barely be  included in the genre. While the black-gloved killer makes an appearance, it otherwise seems like a straight TV cop drama..

The worst aspect of the film is that it is basically one interview after another much like a Columbo episode, with precious little happening in between.  Now, my grandparents loved Columbo, so no disrespect.  But this just wasn't for me.

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