(1969)1.5Robert FirschingDespite being directed by krimi specialist Harald Philipp, this German-Italian co-production is clearly emblematic of the reasons why that subgenre was ultimately subjugated by the modern giallo-thriller. Co-scripted by Italian exploitation veteran Sergio Garrone and flamboyantly scored by frequent giallo composer Piero Umiliani, the film stars Dean Reed and Leon Askin as private detectives hired to investigate the murder of Sofia Ferretti (Anita Ekberg), strangled on the beach by her lover, Francesco (Fabio Testi). Philipp's film starts promisingly enough, but eventually goes off into so many uninteresting directions that it becomes by turns annoying and laughable. One extended sequence involving Reed's rescue by a heroic dog named Fritz seems to have been spliced in from another film entirely, and a large cast of genre veterans including Werner Peters, Femi Benussi, Adolfo Celi, and Tom Felleghy is completely wasted. The major problem, of course, is that the filmmakers never really decided whether they wanted to make an old-fashioned krimi or a flashy modern giallo. The screenwriters obviously intended the latter, while the literalist Philipp clearly thought he was making the former. As a result, the illogical plotting and cloudy motivations which are generally obviated by the visual panache and rapid-fire editing of the giallo are instead made glaringly central to the film by staid, traditionalist direction and clumsy staging. Although Philipp manages a few memorable sequences of offbeat erotica, there is virtually no suspense and, by the time the mystery is wrapped up, very few viewers will care.