Murder by Music (1969)

PG   |    |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Murder by Music (1969) Poster

An off-duty sailor investigates the seemingly-unrelated suicides of his sister and her music teacher, and with the aid of the sister's friend and the teacher's nephew, discovers a link between their deaths and London's hippie scene.


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19 February 2008 | The_Void
| Not very perverse, but still a half decent Giallo
This film is yet another example of the annoying alternative title trend that plagued Italian cinema in the sixties and seventies - the film goes by the name 'Perversion Story', which is also an alternate title for Lucio Fulci's masterpiece 'One on Top of the Other', as well as Fulci's period drama 'Beatrice Cenci' - and all three films were released in 1969! This gets even more annoying when you consider that this particular film actually has an excellent title as one of it's alternates in 'Trumpets of the Apocalypse', yet it most commonly takes the title given to two other movies from the same year (which doesn't make sense by the way). Madness! Anyway, what we have here is a little known Giallo, and I'm not really surprised about that as the film doesn't stand up too well against other genre entries. The film starts with a sequence that sees someone fall out of a window screaming, right in front of a copper. It turns out to be a music professor. The death is ruled as suicide and soon another follows. From there, we follow an investigation into the murder carried out by the brother and roommate of one of the victims.

The film is set in London and the style of it could be summed up as 'sixties swing'. Director Julio Buchs, more experienced as a director of westerns, also implements a psychedelic feel into the movie which isn't badly done in itself, but doesn't add much to the story. The film features most of the Giallo trademarks, such as murder, an investigation red herrings etc although the plot doesn't flow very well which does the film no favours. There's not a lot of tension or suspense in the film and it does get boring on more than just a couple of occasions. The plot is very surreal even for a Giallo but whatever point it was trying to make doesn't come through very well. The plot focuses on a musical score, 'The Trumpets of the Apocalypse' and the film has a musical feel all the way through; although Umberto Lenzi did the musical Giallo (slightly) better in 1969 with Orgasmo (a.k.a. Paranoia). The ending comes as something of a surprise - though in truth I wasn't all that bothered who the murderer was by the end, but at least it mostly makes sense. I wouldn't recommend anyone goes out of their way to get a copy of this film...but it's a decent enough watch if you can find it.

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Plot Summary


Crime | Mystery | Thriller


Release Date:




Country of Origin

Spain, Italy, UK

Filming Locations

London, England, UK

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