My Dear Killer (1972)

This Italian/Spanish giallo comes to us from director Tonino Valerii, who wrote The Long Hair of Death and directed plenty of great spaghetti westerns like Day of Anger and My Name is Nobody. He’s recruited George Hilton for this film, who was also in Sartana’s Here… Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin, as well as giallo classics like The Sweet Body of DeborahAll the Colors of the Dark and The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh. He’s rocking an excellent mustache in this, if that’s what you’re into.

You have to love a movie that starts with a mechanical digger tearing a man’s head clean off his body before female voices singing the film’s Ennio Morricone composed theme over blood red title cards.

An unsolved case of kidnapping and murder has led to a series of seemingly unconnected deaths that Inspector Peretti (Hilton) must put together. All he has to go by is a drawing that a little girl made, but giallo films have been solved with less clues.

While this movie stays more on the police side of the equation than many giallo, it still has some kill scenes that stand out, such as a grisly circular saw murder.

Marilù Tolo — the only woman that fashion designer Valentino claims that he ever loved — is in this. Former roommate of Keith Richards and star of Jess Franco films William Berger also appears, as does Patty Shepard (one of the queens of Spanish horror; she was Hannah Queen of the Vampires, the vampire woman in the Paul Naschy film La Noche de Walpurgis and also shows up in Slugs and Edge of the Axe), Piero Lulli (Kill, Baby, Kill), Helga Liné (The Vampires Night Orgy), Corrado Gaipa (Don Tommasino in The Godfather), Dana Ghia (The Night Child) and Lara Wendel, who shows up in everything from The Perfume of the Lady in Black to TenebreGhosthouse and Zombie 5: Killing Birds.

This film was written by Roberto Leoni, who also wrote Sergio Martino’s Casablanca Express and Jodoworsky’s Santa Sangre. The end of this all feels more Agatha Christie than Argento, but that’s fine. It’s certainly a different feel for the genre.

You can get this for yourself at Vinegar Syndrome, as well as the first volume, which has León Klimovsky’s TraumaKiller Is One of 13 and The Police Are Blundering in the Dark.

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