Sette Scialli Di Seta Gialla (1972)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Giallo  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |  
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Italian filmmaker Sergio Pastore's sole contribution to the then-thriving subgenre of giallo thrillers is among its most entertainingly flamboyant representatives. With a jaw dropping Manuel De Sica theme song, a nutty plot line crafted by Pastore with co-screenwriters Sandro Continenza and Giovanni Simonelli, and one of the most preposterous murder weapons this side of La Tarantole dal Ventre Nero, this is a must-see for giallo fans. Antonio de Teffe (credited as "Anthony Steffen") stars as Peter Oliver, a blind composer who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his ex-lover, a fashion model named Paola. Several more murders follow, and Peter begins his own investigation, discovering yellow shawls by each corpse. His initial conclusion is that the shawls -- soaked in cat repellent -- were used to induce cats whose claws had been dipped in curare to fatally scratch the victims. More murders follow (Shirley Corrigan's shower death is particularly memorable) until the sightless musician is left to face the real killer. Pastore gives genre enthusiasts all that they had come to expect, from a besieged blind hero (the emphasis on sight and watching being the defining element of the form) and a perversely unorthodox killer to graphic bloodshed, copious nudity, stylish set pieces, and a plot which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Guglielmo Mancori's cinematography is among the film's greatest strengths, illuminating key elements while maintaining much of the darkness essential to both Peter's sightless world and the requirements of terror. The supporting cast is outstanding, filled with familiar giallo performers like Sylva Koscina, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Umberto Raho, and Annabella Incontrera, and the overall effect is exactly the sort of crazed, senseless, scopophiliac delirium which genre enthusiasts cherish. An underrated gem.