Tuesday, February 8, 2011
So Sweet, So Dead (1972)
The giallo is a perfect type of film to blend class and trash. The classiness of a well made, well written film, with the trashiness that we've all come to love (or hate) in European horror. That isn't to say that all gialli have class, many don't and just as many of those are all the better for it. However some do have class, and So Sweet, So Dead has some of that class.
Director Roberto Bianchi Montero wasn't afraid to jump on any bandwagons. Whatever the current trend in Italian film was at the time determined what kind of films he would be making. Westerns, sex, Mondo documentaries, he did a little bit of everything it seems. He made good films though and while he may not have brought anything new to the table in his 1972 giallo, he took all the trademarks the giallo is known for and used them beautifully. The sexy women who are naked more often than not, the black gloved killer, the red herrings, all are common to the genre and this film.
There is a killer running around choosing unfaithful women as his victims. He leaves them bloodied and surrounded by pictures showing off their infidelity. It is up to police inspector Capuana (Farley Granger) to put the clues together and discover the killer. And that is where I'll leave the plot at.
So Sweet, So Dead is excellently paced, never leaving you bored and always leaving you thrilled. The direction is strong, with some truly excellent sequences. The one that comes to mind is when we see through a foggy mirror, the killer appear like a ghost behind a woman and the chase that ensues. The acting is fine, led by Granger and the support that while mainly pretty is more than competent. The score from composer Giorgio Gaslini who is well known for his music work for Dario Argento's masterpiece Deep Red, is haunting. Its a very lyrical piece of music that works in direct contrast to what is happening on screen and creates a distinct mood that makes you question how you really feel. It almost makes you want to cope with the killer, more than his victims.
With as many alternate titles as I have fingers this title has been difficult to track down for years and even harder to track down without heavy cuts. German label Camera Obscura has released it in a limited edition and it looks fantastic. It has special features including a commentary track and a supplemental booklet. I suggest you track it down.