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Aka: Bad Girls
In a quiet village in southern Italy a maniac has declared himself “the moral avenger of the town’s upper class” by murdering the unfaithful wives of prominent citizens. With more than a genuflection to Blood and Black Lace (1964) his attire is completely black and his weapon, in true giallo fashion, is a switchblade knife. After completing his sanguinary task the killer leaves behind photo’s of his victims in the arms of their lovers with the faces of their male counterparts scratched out.
Inspector Capuana (Farley Granger) is caught between the press who demand results and his superiors who insist on discretion when dealing with the pillars of society. The coroner, professor Casali (Cristea Auram), suggests that the killer may be a jealous homosexual or a jilted husband clouding his own motive. However, the number one suspect may in deed be his assistant Gastone (Luciano Rossi) whose necrophiliac-like attraction to his subjects is creepy enough to make the skin crawl off the most jaded viewer. When it becomes evident that his wife may be the next victim, Capuana struggles between his sense of duty and his feelings of betrayal.
Farley Granger is splendid as usual, giving depth to a role that could easily have been played one dimensional. The cast also includes a bevy of Euro trash starlets providing the necessary giallo sex quota: Sylva Koscina, is also in Sergio Pastore’s Crimes of the Black Cat the same year; Annabella Incotrera did Giuliano Carnimeo’s The Case of the Bloody Iris the previous year; Krista Nell went on to do Alfreda Rizzo’s The Blodsucker Leads the Dance in 1975; Angelo Covello followed this with Sergio Martino’s Torso in 1973; Jessica Dublin is still working today with roles for Troma; Susan Scott (Nieves Navarro), a staple of the giallo genre, appeared in both Maurizio Pradeaux’s Death Carries a Cane and Sergio Martino’s All the Colors of the Dark the same year and runner up to Edwige Fenech’s crown of “queen of the giallo” must surely go to Femi Benussi who has also appeared in Massimo Pupillo’s Bloody Pit of Horror (1965), Andrea Bianchi’s Strip Nude for your Killer (1975) and Luigi Cozzi’s best film The Killer Must Strike Again.
It has been suggested that this movie revels in misogyny; All unfaithful
women should be punished as the infidelities of their husbands go uncastigated.
It might also be insinuated that it takes a reprehensible look at the
upper classes who sometimes live close-knit lives of unscrupulous idleness
leading to their downfall. But, this is not a film that should be overanalyzed.
Instead giallo fans should enjoy the appealing score by Giorgio Gaslini,
the naked flesh and the delirious murders.