Five Women for the Killer (1974)

Stelvio Massi is best known for his cop films like Highway RacerConvoy BustersMagnum CopSpeed CrossBlack Cobra and Speed Driver, but he also was the cinematographer of The Case of the Bloody Iris and made the berserk Angel: Black Angel, which kind of sort of fits into the world of black-gloved killers, right? It’s more than sleazy enough.

This movie lives up to that level of depravity.

Reporter Giorgio is hurrying home to see his son’s birth, only to discover that his wife and child have died in childbirth and that his child was not his, because he’s sterile. He’s learned that fact from Dr. Lydia Franz who soon becomes his lover as he gets over all this tragedy.

But is he getting over it? There’s a gloved killer whose victims are all pregnant women and he could be the killer. Even he isn’t sure.

With a title that totally references Blood and Black Lace — 6 donne per l’assassino is the original Italian title — this film introduces a victim, allows you to learn she’s pregnant and then she dies. The film does its best to take from Bava and Argento but doesn’t live up to their magic. Such is the world of repeat cinema, when every director around rushed out a giallo in the early years of the 70s.

There are plenty of pregnant stomachs slashed apart though, as well as more J&B placement than you may see in five gialli.

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