Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Il gatto dagli occhi di giada" (1977) d/Antonio Bido

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I'm not gonna apologize for my several day sabbatical from the Wop that just so happened to coincide with the weekend of my birthday, which began promisingly enough,  hanging out with several of my favorite genre stars in the so-called Electric City,  but quickly dissolved into another antisocial bender after watching my kicker-less Lions lose one they had under wraps for most of sixty minutes on Sunday. Sure, they're notorious for such heartbreaking shenanigans, but it never gets any easier to stomach for the die hard fan base, especially those of us who've been watching since the late seventies...even if it's like, the five hundredth time it's happened. Linnea still gives the best hugs, and Jeffrey Combs is a trip, in person, as I'd long expected. Cat dead. Details later. Back to the usual rock n' roll...

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"Wait until you feast your eyes upon my groovy head wrap...", quips Mara (Paola Tedesco).
After a stage actress named Mara (Paola Tedesco) narrowly misses being an eyewitness to the brutal blunt force trauma/neck ventilation upon a hapless old workaholic pharmacist  as performed by your obligatory shadowy, black gloved killer , she finds herself drawn into a larger, more convoluted mystery, as investigated by her old flame, a cigar puffing, mustached busybody named Lukas (Corrado Pani), who's not at all connected to the police, but thinks nothing of putting his psychedelic head-wrapped  love interest in dire jeopardy, with a rising tide of unsolved murders rushing in, as he focuses his attention on a spindly balding fellow named Bozzi (Fernando Cerulli), who's been receiving some interesting crank calls late at night, that seem to showcase some blood-curdling screams, barking Dobermans, trains, you know, that sort of thing.

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"Chi di voi libertini sta per cambiare il mio pannolino di merda?"
Meanwhile, some poor female pawn in the deadly game gets her face cooked in an oven like so much manicotti, leading Lukas to lean on the escaped criminal named Ferrante (Franco Citti), who happened to be incarcerated while the growing list of victims served as jurors. A visibly annoyed Ferrante orders Lukas to chuck himself off of the top of a steep waterfall at gunpoint, which leads to an uninspired punch up on the rocks, after which Ferrante puzzlingly vows to help him uncover the real murderer. I'm on the lam, you alerted the authorities that I might be the killer they're looking for, you know what, why don't I help you find the guy. With an unglued Mara ready to split the scene for keeps, Lukas convinces her to instead travel to Padova with him (Can this guy sell ice cubes to Eskimos or what?) to tie the last few loose ends in the case, but Bozzi gets c.t.f.o.-ed in the tub in an unpleasant manner, indeed, before he can come clean to the would be-detective. Could it be overzealous Nazi-hunting Jews behind the horrible murders afterall? Hmmmm. I wonder.

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After Janet Leigh in the shower, Fernando Cerulli in the tub just seems like overkill.
Tonight's review is a decent enough giallo from the guy who'd also later helm Solamente nero (1978), translated as The Cat With Jade Eyes, and re-released in the United States at the dawn of the eighties with a nifty new violent looking one sheet and title (Watch Me When I Kill) that misleadingly disguises the film as a straight slasher flick, which it really never was. I never noticed any jade-eyed cats either, but who really pays that much attention to minor details anyway, right? Bido's leads were Paola Tedesco who'd appeared in things like Alberto Di Martino's Crime Boss (1972) and Dario Argento's La porta sul buio aka/ Door Into Darkness (1973) series, and Corrado Pani, of nothing I can recall seeing, offhand. Mi scusi, Corrado. Bido himself, turns up in a cameo as a dance choreographer. On the scale, this cat scores a pair of Wops, and is always worth a look for any enthusiasts of the genre searching for new/old material to screen. Look for it.

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Do those peepers look Schweinfurt green to you? Baby blue, I dunno, I'm no color specialist.
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