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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Casa D'Appuntamento (aka The French Sex Murders) (1972)

After being convicted of the brutal murder of a prostitute (Barbara Bouchet, IN HARM'S WAY) in a Paris brothel, the accused (Pietro Martellanza) proclaims his innocence and that he will return from the grave to get revenge on those who testified against him. After his death, the dead bodies start piling up. A supernatural return from the grave? Or is the killer more earthly? For a giallo, the film is fairly antiseptic (though the sex scenes are more detailed) but I did have to turn away when an eyeball was being dissected. For a giallo to be effective, it needs to be stylish, atmospheric or outrageous or at least make us giddy with the anticipation of the next over the top murder. FRENCH SEX MURDERS has none of that. If you've read Agatha Christies THE ABC MURDERS, you might figure out the motive behind the killings. Acting doesn't matter in a film like this but even taking that into account, the hollow anonymous dubbed voices (though some of the restored scenes are from a French print with subtitles) render the actors detached from the proceedings. The Morricone-ish score is by Bruno Nicolai. Directed by Ferdinando Merighi. With Anita Ekberg as the brothel's madam, the Bogart lookalike Robert Sacchi, Rosalba Neri, Evelyne Kraft, Howard Vernon, Renato Romano and Gordon Mitchell.

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