The Killer Is Still Among Us (1986)

Also known as Florence! The Killer is Still Among Us and The Killer Has Returned, you have to admire the chutzpah — or the gall — of a film to have the disclaimer “This film was made as a warning to young people and with the hope that it will be of use to law enforcement to bring these ferocious killers to justice,” after you’ve just watched 83 minutes of a killer graphically mutilating women and their most intimate of parts, as if this were some bid to outdo Giallo  In Venice or The New York Ripper.

Based on the true story of the Florence serial killer “The Monster of Florence,” this was written by Ernesto Gastaldi (The Whip and the BodyAll the Colors of the DarkMy Name Is Nobody) and Giuliano Carnimeo (who directed four of the Sartana films under the alias Anthony Ascott, as well as The Case of the Bloody Iris, Exterminators of the Year 3000 and Ratman).

Directing this movie — and helping with the script — would be Camillio Teti, who produced The Dead Are Alive and Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi’s attempt at a non-mondo, the ironically named Mondo Candideo.

Much like a scene out of Maniac, a couple on lover’s lane is blown away mid-aardvark by a gloved killer. What separates the uomini from the ragazzi is that the killer then uses a knife and a tree branch to do things that made me turn my head from the screen for an extended period of time.

Christiana Marelli has been studying the killer in criminology class to the displeasure of her boyfriend, the cops and her teachers. This leads to her being stalked via phone and in person by the killer. Of course, seeing as how Alex, that formerly mentioned boyfriend, is never around during these killings, you can see why she starts thinking he could be Il Mostro.

The film moves from the giallo into the supernatural as our heroine attends a seance where the medium has a vision of the killer decimating a camping couple, soon developing the same wound that the victims just received.

What does Christina do? Run to the theater to see if Alex is there or not, proving that while he is waiting for her, he certainly could still be the killer. If I were her professor, I’d have given her a zero out of thirty.

After all this, she just sits down to watch a movie with him and it ends up being the same film we’ve just been watching. That’s either a huge cop out or just how you expect a giallo to end.

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