A few minutes into this movie and you realize that you’re watching the work of a master. Sergio Martino made a series of six giallo from 1971 to 1975 that — for me — define the genre. The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, Your Vice Is A Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, All the Colors of the Dark, Torso and this film point to a high watermark for the genre.
This is the last of Martino’s giallo and doesn’t feature his usual cast, like Edwige Fenech or Ivan Rassimov. It does, however, have Claudio Cassinelli, who was in Murder Rock and What Have They Done to Your Daughters?
Cassinelli plays police detective Paolo Germi, who meets a girl named Marisa (Patrizia Castaldi, in her only acting role before becoming a costume designer) who is soon murdered. She was a prostitute and now, Germi is haunted by her death and wants to find the killers. Unfortunately, Marisa was in way over her head and getting the answers won’t be simple. After all, there’s a man with mirrored shades killing everyone that gets close to the truth.
This film is a combination of poliziotteschi and giallo, shot under the title Violent Milan. It was written by Ernesto Gastaldi, who wrote everything from Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory and The Horrible Dr. Hichcock to The Whip and the Body, The Long Hair of Death, The Possessed, Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming, All the Colors of the Dark, Torso, Almost Human, Concorde Affaire ’79 and Once Upon a Time In America.
There’s even a meta moment where the cops question a subject in the movie theater while Martino’s Your Vice Is A Locked Room and Only I Have the Key plays. And look out — Mel Ferrer (Nightmare City, Eaten Alive!) is in here as a police captain.
While this film doesn’t reach the lunatic heights of Martino’s finest works, it’s still a gleaming example of how great 1970’s Italian genre film can be.
You can watch this movie on Amazon Prime or get the blu ray from Arrow Video.