Kadın Düşmanı (1967)

With a name like Woman Despiser, you know that you’re entering the world of the giallo. But you’re not coming into it from Italy or Germany or even England, the home of Edgar Wallace, but instead, Turkey. The amazing thing is that this film comes from 1967, before Argento reinvented the form, so it really is closer to an Umberto Lenzi-style giallo or a German krimi.

A masked killer is murdering women one at a time, using the first letter of their first name and the initial letter of the district that he is in. He also wears different monster masks and has zombie hands and, well, there’s no nice way to say it — he assaults the women after he’s killed them.

I was shocked by that — and how Westernized the women were — which is way more than I expected from a late 60’s Turkish movie. There aren’t many on-screen kills, but the one — where we see the knife spray a young woman’s blood out of her throat — is memorable enough.

So yeah — miniskirts were all the rage here in 1967, as was the rock and roll. And murder, it seems. It’s hard to find a 100% original genre film out of this country, but darn it if writer and director İlhan Engin didn’t pull it off. It’s no The Girl Who Knew Too Much, but it’s not the worst black glove killer movie I’ve ever seen.

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