Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gi-a-llo: Who Saw Her Die?

Aldo Lado strikes again!  As fate would have it, one of the many Long Wait/Very Long Wait films in my Queue came recently.  That film- Who Saw Her Die?  It is part of the Giallo Collection, as opposed to the 800 other Giallo films *not* in said Collection.  The Genre was very prevalent in Europe (mainly Italy) for a Decade or two.  Some Directors- like Dario Argento- continued to make films in the same style after the Genre had faded from prominence- just because he could!  In 1972, it was still going strong and Mr. Lado followed up Short Night of Glass Dolls with this film.  Among the Cast you have many Genre staples (including the little girl who would later appear in Deep Red) and a man that was nearly a huge Star- George Lazenby.  No disrespect to the man, but events did not work out wholly in his favor, something even he'll admit.  In a weird twist, the one-time Bond is joined by a former Bond villain- 'Emilio Largo' aka Adolfo Celi.  The Story involves a pair of child murders, the latter of which strikes our hero.  Can the Sculptor solve the crime or just be another victim (Copyright of the WWF's Taz)?  To find out (without too many SPOILERS), read on...
In the Cold Open (pun partially-intended), a young girl runs away from her Nanny during a game.  Before she is found again, a woman in black kills her!

That is certainly a jarring way to start a film!
In Venice, Lazenby's daughter is visiting him.  The couple is estranged, but he won't let that affect the girl. 
Speaking of which, the mysterious woman in black is stalking her.  They build up the tension by having these scenes accompanied by eerie music and this filter (representing her POV through the veil).

Strong stuff. 
Panic overcomes our hero as he looks for his missing daughter.  Does it make me a dick to point out that he left her with the other kids while he boned his girlfriend?  Well, he did.
With understandable anger, he decides to work the case, since he has no faith in the Police.  Besides, it wouldn't be a proper Giallo if he didn't. 
One woman approaches him and tells him to meet her later for some information.  We bring you now to that meeting... 
Well, that didn't go well.

On the plus side, it is nice to see killer hands that I know don't belong to Dario Argento.
In a Plot Point we wouldn't see again until Scream 3, the killings relate to some footage of a woman in illicit activities with some high-ranking people. 
I won't SPOIL the reveal of the killer or how this all plays out.  After all, it is a Mystery film.  The End. 
Kudos on another good one, Aldo Lado.  I'm beginning to think that I haven't been paying enough attention to some Directors since this is now my 2nd Lado film that has turned out good.  Unlike Dolls, the hook is much different.  This one is much more in line with your typical Giallo films like Bird With The Crystal Plumage.  They are usually either unconventional/off-beat Detective solves crime or non-Detective solves crime.  This is obviously the latter.  The whole 'I'm a _____, but I have to solve the crime' idea was a little over-done, but this film makes it work.  If you had something like that happen and you thought nobody was helping, wouldn't you at least try to do that too?  They don't play it to ridiculous heights (like would probably happen now), so it worked fine for me.  The build-up is great.  The mystery is...weird.  Ultimately, this is not quite up to the higher standards of the best of the best Giallo (like Tenebre and Deep Red).  Having said that, it is definitely one that does not get enough attention or praise.  If nothing else, it will lead me to seeing more Aldo Lado films in the future.  Oh and...um, what the hell is this footage from?  I'm honestly confused!
Next up, I honor a personal request to review a film.  It would be nice if people wouldn't ask me to watch Uwe Boll films, of course.  Stay tuned...

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