26 June 2006 | ferbs54
An Excellent Giallo, Even Without All The Gore
The intriguingly titled giallo classic "What Have You Done To Solange?" (1972) is a film that certainly does live up to its excellent word of mouth. While the less said about its twisty-turny story, the better, I can mention that the plot here concerns a string of brutal murders that have been plaguing an all-girls' Catholic school in London, and the hunky Italian gym teacher (well played by Fabio Testi) who is having an affair with one of the young women (the gorgeous Spanish actress Christine Galbo). But things get a bit complicated when this student witnesses one of the murders during a Thames pleasure outing... Regarding those murders, perhaps "brutal" isn't a strong enough word to describe them, as this giallo nutjob has a tendency to stick his knife...well, this is a family Web site, so perhaps I shouldn't say. Mercifully, these slayings are not at all graphic--the picture would have been rated XXX if they were, and would have been too terrible to watch. Indeed, this film features hardly any gore at all; the suggested acts are quite bad enough. Still, this is an excellent example of the giallo genre, with a meaty, involving story; numerous shifty-eyed suspects; loads of pretty women; and the requisite murder set pieces. Massimo Dallamano has directed his film impeccably, eliciting fine performances from every player; the legendary Ennio Morricone has supplied an alternately lovely/creepy score; and cameraman Aristide Massacasi has nicely captured the beauty of London and its countryside. The film has been superbly dubbed--indeed, it looks as if the actors were originally speaking in English!--but the image on the Shriek Show DVD that I just saw looks cropped at the edges, as the opening and closing credits reveal. Also, I couldn't get the extras to work, for some reason. Still, the film looks clean and bright, and is not to be missed. It was even better the second time I watched it!