Aug 25, 2020

Five Women for the Killer (1974)

A standard Italian giallo about a mystery killer who preys on pregnant women. 

 A reporter named Giorgio Pisani (Francis Matthews) returns home from a long trip.

 He finds that his wife Erica has died in childbirth.

At the hospital (where his child is) he meets Professor Aldo Betti (Giorgio Albertazzi) and Dr. Lidia Franzi (Pascale Rivault)

 Quick to rebound, Giorgio has a relationship with Lidia.

Near his apartment, he helps a woman who has just been hit by a car.

The woman's name is Tiffany (Ilona Staller).  I find this a bit sad as  Ilona Staller was naturally beautiful in '74.  She got to be a rather weird looking mess as she got into adult films.

 They have sex.

 The next day, her bedroom is a crime scene; Tiffany has been murdered.

A rather gruesome and graphic shot of the victim.

 I include this just because it's a cool shot.

Giorgio and his reporter colleague, Oriana (Catherine Diamant), meet with the editor.  She's been assigned to go to Cambodia but declines because she just found out she's pregnant.

 As we'll see - getting pregnant is bad news in this film.

Oriana feels she is being followed on her way home.

Oriana (Catherine Diamant) is killed in the same fashion as Tiffany - stabbed in the vagina.  Who knew this was such a theme?  Until I started doing VZ1, I never knew there were so many "vaginal stabbing" movies. Thus far:

The Police Commissioner (Howard Ross) is on the case.

Professor Aldo Betti (Giorgio Albertazzi) is having an affair.

Aldo's wife knows all about his infidelity.  She's probably the most likable character in the movie - she's so loathes her husband who thinks he's god's gift.

Sofia calls Aldo to meet

 As she's getting ready in the bath, the mysterious killer does his trademark vaginal stabbing.

 The death of the young nurse makes the headlines.

The crime scene.

We get a close-up of Gabriella Lepori's bush. These damn giallos always walked the line between the erotic and the ghastly, sex and death. A little problematic.

Lidia Franzi feels there's someone following her.

When Giorgio comes home, he finds Lidia cowering in the corner nude.

FFN from Pascale Rivault

She tells him the intruder escaped through the window.

Yet somehow not a single flower pot was upturned?

Giorgio has hired a nanny...who's pregnant.  (uh-oh)

Katia Christine is smoking hot.  Sadly, no nude scenes in this film; however she does bare all in Spirits of the Dead (1968) and Lover of the Monster (1974).

Spoiler - the killer, who comes to kill the nanny, turns out to be Lidia. (She loves Giorgio is her stupid motive).

It's also determined that Aldo killed Sofia, but made it to look like the psychopath (who turns out to be Lidia) did it. THE END

It has all the elements of the genre: the mysterious gloved killer and hot ladies getting whacked, etc.  Except one element is missing - style.  The appeal of giallos is the groovy, stylish and often flamboyantly artistic mojo they exuded. This was, by comparison, rather flat and matter-of-fact.  Still, even though the magic is gone, it's still a passable example of the genre.


1 comment:

  1. This movie reminded me "Giallo a Venezia" a bit. In the sense that there are several killers with different purposes but at first sight they are considered same guy.