5 March 2008 | ferbs54
You Might Need H.D.S. To Figure This One Out...
Following such marvelous gialli as 1970's "Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion" and 1971's "Death Walks on High Heels," director Luciano Ercoli, screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, and actors Susan Scott and Simon Andreu reunited one more time, and the result, 1972's "Death Walks at Midnight," although perhaps the least of the three films, is another winning entertainment, nevertheless. In this one, Scott plays a gorgeous redheaded model, Valentina, who becomes the willing test subject of a new hallucinogen, H.D.S. During her trip, she sees a spike-gloved killer mutilate a young girl across the way...a murder that, as it turns out, actually transpired six months earlier! Holy flashback! And from this bizarre setup, things get progressively stranger, as said killer starts to stalk Valentina all over the streets of Milan. Anyway, perhaps I'm a little slow on the ol' rebop, but I had to watch this picture almost three full times before it began to make a bit of sense to me. The plot is a bit convoluted, to say the least, and whereas in most gialli I make an attempt (usually a fruitless one) to spot the killer, here, I was hard pressed just to barely keep up. Still, brain twisting as the film is, it did, ultimately, kinda sorta make sense to me (just don't ask me to explain it out loud!). And the picture does have a lot going for it: stylish direction, beautiful photography of the city of Milan and its countryside, yet another supersexy performance from Susan Scott, a catchy score by Gianni Ferrio, several (not overly) gory homicides, and a furious rooftop dukeout to cap off the film. Drug dealers, a mental institution, a pot party, groovy discos, a couple of cute little Japanese kids, a murder attempt in a cemetery, and a bloody cat all, ultimately, get thrown into the mix. Yes, this IS one heady giallo. And the great-looking DVD from No Shame that I just watched does it justice indeed.