Seven Murders for Scotland Yard (1971)

Pedro (Paul Naschy!) used to be an acrobat, but he had an accident and now all he does is limp around rainy London and get into fights. Meanwhile, a murderer starts redoing the crimes of Jack the Ripper. Could it be Pedro? Once his second wife is killed, he becomes a target for both the police and the mob that controls prostitution.

Basically, this is a Spanish movie trying to be an Italian giallo shot in England starring Paul Naschy, who doesn’t become a werewolf. A true multicultural affair if there ever was one!

The thing is, despite having a limp and supposedly being unable to work, Naschy’s character routinely dishes out beatings to criminals.

That said, a man calling himself Jack is killing all manner of girls of ill repute and then calling the inept police and sending them heads in hat boxes 24 years before Seven. This is a giallo in name only, as there’s rarely any high fashion, other than lothario teenager and Ripper suspect Winston’s wife. This lady serves her guests cakes via a hostess cart, all while holding a poodle under one arm and wearing a dress that looks like it was Carol Burnett-style made out of the curtains. This is one lady that knows how to party! Too bad her husband is more interested in blackmailing the students that he’s sleeping with. That said, one of them, Sandy, wears quite the fetching black furry jacket.

There’s also an amazing moment where one of the hookers, Belinda, screams about all of the men that have screwed her over. So there’s that.

But if you were expecting something out of the Argento, Martino or even Lenzi giallo camp, you may wish to look elsewhere. It also may try hard to be sleazy, but it doesn’t feel like a real maniac is in the director’s chair. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the Italian maestros, who so artfully make everything look like a neon red dream.

There are, however, numerous b roll travelogue shots of 1971 London with people either mugging for the camera or doing their best to avoid it with a stiff upper lip.

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