Circle of Fear (1992)

Aldo Lado made some pretty dark-themed giallo, like Short Night of Glass Dolls and Who Saw Her Die?, as well as a slicker version of Last House on the Left with Last Stop on the Night Train and one of the stranger Stars Wars cover movies, The Humanoid. This may not be a full-on giallo — it’s closer to a poliziotteschi — but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good watch.

Tony Giordani (Michael Woods, brother of James) is a narcotics agent whose ex-wife is killed while he’s in the hospital. Is it a mafia hit? Or does an empty house that his wife had been shooting photos of hold the answers? Once Tony checks it out, he discovers a burned body and some clues that lead to the Full Moon Killer, a man who has been beheading prostitutes. And even crazier, the owner of the home is a countess who has been locked in a mental ward, but has now escaped. Also — Tony quickly gets over his ex-wife getting killed and starts aardvarking with his partner Lisa, but you know, when you’re targeted by a serial killer, stuff happens.

The supporting cast for this movie is pretty darn great, with Burt Young as a drug smuggler, Philippe Leroy as the police chief and Bobby Rhodes as a pathologist.

To be honest, this whole movie feels like a 1990’s cop movie that could have been made by anyone and is surprisingly from the maker of two of my favorite giallos and written by Dardano Sacchetti. I expected more, you know?

You can watch this on YouTube and see what you think. Let me know.

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