Umberto Lenzi made the first Italian cannibal film, The Man from Deep River and followed that up with Eaten Alive! and Cannibal Ferox. When he followed a trend, his movies always stand out. Zombies? Lenzi’s Nightmare City outgrosses and out-insanes them all. Horror? He made the utterly bizarre Ghosthouse, which was shot in the same house as The House by the Cemetery. Sword and sorcery? Lenzi made Iron Master, another out there film with George Eastman wearing a lionhead and murdering people left and right.
This film comes after Lenzi had tired of the giallo and started to move toward more poliziotteschi or Euro-Crime films.
A serial killer is on the loose and he’s only murdering women. One of the potential victims is Giulia, the newly married bride of Mario (Antonio Sabato), on the night of their honeymoon. The killer escapes and the police accuse Mario of being the killer.
To protect his wife, the police decide to act like she’s died. Meanwhile, Mario sets out to prove that he isn’t the killer and attempts to solve the Puzzle of the Silver Half Moons.
Lenzi isn’t afraid to push the violence in this one. The black gloved killer stabs a woman in her bed, bashes in another’s head, strangles another, drowns one more and even uses a power drill in a scene that features nearly neon red blood.
This is more a combination of German-style krimi film with the giallo, but it’s still pretty fun. A good part of that fun comes from the actresses here, like Marisa Mell (Danger: Diabolik‘s Eva Kant) and Uschi Glas, a German actress with the nickname of Schatzchen, or baby, from her first film Zur Sache, Schatzchen or Go for It, Baby.
Lenzi isn’t celebrated in the same way as Argento and Bava, but I’m always entertained by his films. This one was no different.
You can grab this one on blu ray from Kino Lorber.