L’arma, l’ora, il movent (1972)

The Weapon, the Hour & the Motive examines not only murder but the idea that a Catholic priest — Don Giorgio — is having an affair with two different women — Orchidea (Bedy Moratti,  — Women in Cell Block 7) and Giulia Pisani (Eva Czemerys, The Killer Reserved Nine Seats) — and tries to break things off with both of them before he’s killed. Since Inspector Boito (Renzo Montagnani) has already fallen for Orchidea — whose husband has just committed suicide — what’s the hope for a fair inspection of who the killer could be?

The only person who may know is a young orphan who lives in the church named Ferruccio, who once watched while Don Giorgio self-flagellated, and who now is kept drugged and quiet. There’s also the matter of a skeleton-filled catacomb under the church in addition to nuns taking baths fully clothed and whipping one another fully nude.

This is the only film that Francesco Mazzei directed, while he also wrote This Shocking WorldSergeant KremsConvoy of Women and A Girl Called Jules. He co-wrote the story with Marcello Aliprandi, who would direct a similar movie, Vatican Conspiracy, in 1982. Mazzi also wrote the screenplay along with Mario Bianchi, The Murder Secret), Bruno Di Geronimo (who wrote A Quiet Place to KillWhat Have You Done to Solange? and Puzzle) and Vinicio Marinucci (SS Experiment Love Camp). 

I can’t even imagine the reaction this movie had when it came out. Fulci had been abused by the way audiences, critics and social critics treated him after Don’t Torture a Duckling.

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