A Quiet Place to Kill (1970)

Umberto Lenzi and Carroll Baker made quite the giallo duo. Their 1969 pairing Orgasmo had been released internationally as Paranoia and this film, known as Paranoia in Italy, was retitled A Quiet Place to Kill. That’s not the end of the confusion, as this year Severin will release this on their Lenzi/Baker box set and Mondo Macabro also released An Ideal Place to Kill, another Lenzi film that you may also know as Oasis of Fear.

Would it simplify things if we used this movie’s Spanish title Una Droga Llamada Helen (A Drug Named Helen)?

Baker plays race car driving Helen, whose life is beyond a mess. How else can you explain why she’d accept an invitation from her ex-husband’s new wife Constance Sauvage to stay at their palatial home? And what if Helen and Constance soon bond over the fact that they hate Maurice (Jean Sorel, The Sweet Body of Deborah) and murder him on a sailing trip?

Of course, this being a giallo, things don’t work out that well and Constance ends up dying at sea. Her daughter shows up and that’s when things get worse for all involved. This is a classy giallo, filled with lush camerawork and a solid script from Marcello Coscia (The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue), Bruno Di Geronimo (What Have You Done to Solange?), Rafael Romero Marchent (the director of Santo vs. Dr. Death) and Marie Claire Solleville (Orgasmo).

Helping out on this film’s cinematography? None other than Aristide Massaccesi himself, the man of many names who most know as Joe D’Amato.

You can get this as part of Severin’s The Complete Lenzi/Baker Giallo Collection. Baker and Lenzi made four movies together, but I really wish they had made many more.

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