I am consumed by near-constant nerves and worries, pains that can only be assuaged by late-night viewings of only the rarest and most deranged examples of film. So when I see a movie with the titles of Hot Lips the Killer, Le Calde Labbra del Carnefice (The Hot Lips of the Executioner), La Muerte Llama a las 10 (Death Calls at 10) and The Killer Wore Gloves — because it’s a giallo and dammit the killer better wear gloves — then all my being up at 3:15 AM like the haunted bastard son of Ronnie DeFeo all pays off.
Peggy (Gillian Hills, A Clockwork Orange, Blow-Up) is worried that she hasn’t heard from her boyfriend Michael for months as he’s been covering the dangerous war in Vietnam. She’s also rented out the loft in her apartment to a friend of a friend of a friend named John Kirk Lawford, whose body shows up dead. And where’s our heroine On the way to meet Michael at an abandoned airplane hangar when a gloved killer — the movie MUST live up to its title, right? — tries to kill her. And now, another man shows up with the name John Kirk Lawford and a whole bunch of money shows up in our heroine’s apartment
Peggy wears the type of outfits — and lives in the type of bonkers apartment, complete with a fabric Frankenstein’s monster hamper — that only exist in 1970’s giallo. Let’s face it. Our girl has a giant egg in the middle of her flat.
Poor Peggy. Every man in her life is absolutely horrible and despite people shooting at her and showing up dead all around the place, she never informs the police or seeks any help. Oh to be a giallo heroine, constantly having to wear leather mini-dresses and have all manner of skeevy men offering you money for sex, just plain sex or sex with lots of violent death as a side dish.
Director Juan Bosch also wrote Secta Siniestra, in which a woman pregnant with the Anti-Christ is menaced by Satanists — you’d think they’d want to make that pregnancy go a little simpler, am I right? — and directed Exorcismo, which stars our favorite Spanish actor Paul Naschy.
A Spanish movie imitating an Italian film based on German krimi movies taken from a British author starring an actress from the UK. If you ever wondered, “Why can’t we all just get along?” then you haven’t been watching much mid-70’s giallo, hmm?