Thursday, June 9, 2011
Death Carries A Cane (1973)
How can one giallo fit in every calling card of the genre and drive them into the ground so that you're so aware of the type of film you're watching that it borders on no longer being enjoyable? I'm not exactly sure but director Maurizio Pradeaux manages to get damn close to doing just that in DEATH CARRIES A CANE.
Kitty (Susan Scott, All The Colors Of The Dark, Adios Sabata) is thrown head first in to a murder mystery when she accidentally witnesses a murder threw a park's coin operated viewfinder. After her fiancee is suspected of the original murder and subsequent killing of other witnesses, Kitty clears his name but they are thrown even deeper in to the madness which now surrounds everyone close to them. As the body count piles up and the police fail to capture the killer with their bag of tricks Kitty comes face to face with the killer who has separated her from her lover and sister.
DEATH CARRIES A CANE manages to fit every trademark of the genre into the 85 minute run time. We have the classic killer wearing all black to hide their identity. More red herrings than you can shake a stick at, hell even inanimate objects become false leads here. The nudity and sex is so gratuitous that you really stop noticing it about half way through. I'd be willing to bet every woman aside from one in the movie gets naked. The problem is that these staples of the giallo are beat to death so bad that they really stopped being entertaining. Even the reveal of the killer's motive was just plain stupid.
There are some positives in DEATH CARRIES A CANE. Pradeaux has solid direction throughout, and even if the story is a bit disjointed due to the fact that it seems like it wanted to outwit itself, it does flow pretty well and pacing is fine. This would be a decent giallo had their been some more tension built around the kill scenes. What we end up with is less suspenseful than your typical teeny bopper slasher film. The score was fairly typical and sounded very familiar and I wouldn't be surprised if it was lifted from an earlier film.
A rather unremarkable film that only giallo enthusiasts need track down.