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  • Although the 'Giallo' genre officially began with Mario Bava's 'Ragazza Che Sapeva Troppo' (aka 'Evil Eye', or 'The Girl Who Knew To Much') in 1963, continuing with the same director's 'Sei Donne Per L'Assassino' ('Blood and Black Lace', 1964), it wasn't really until the commercial success of Dario Argento's 1969 debut, 'L'Uccello dalle Piuma di Cristallo' ('The Bird With the Crystal Plumage') that it really got underway to become a staple of Italian cinema in the 1970's. The films essentially were bloody thrillers in which the primary thrill was in watching pretty young girls being stalked and dispatched by anonymous, leather-gloved assassins. Stylistically these films forced the audience to identify with the killer, featuring lengthily protracted and elaborately staged sequences of women in terror strung together by a convoluted whodunnit plot along the lines of those of early twentieth century British crime-writer Edgar Wallace.

    In fact, director Massimo Dallamano's previous film, 'Whatever Happened to Solange?' ('Cosa Avete Fatto a Solange?' 1972) was based on an Edgar Wallace novel. The follow-up takes it's cue from the same film by also setting itself within a girl's school, giving us a whole host of young nubiles around which to build the plot. The film opens with a rousing score courtesy of Stelvio Cipriani, a big-band romp through 70's flower-power accompanied by shots of the young girls getting on and off of their boyfriends scooters outside the school gates. This is followed by the discovery by the police of a young girl swinging naked from the rafters of an attic in a nearby deserted house after an anonymous tip off.

    As the Italian title 'La Polizia Chiede Aiuto' (The Police Ask For Help) suggests, and what sets this apart from its predecessor and most of the Giallo films of the period, is that a lot of time is devoted to the police's detective work and the milieu of the police themselves as opposed to those of the potential victims, bringing the film more in line with the policier drama than pure 'Giallo'. For the most part the film follows these investigations from suspect to suspect, with each plot point highlighted by a lengthy flashback. A motorcycle chase forms one of the action set-pieces alongside the usual suspense scenes, including a taut sequence in which the female detective (Giovanni Ralli) is stalked by the leather-clad, helmeted killer with a meat cleaver. The gorier pay-offs mainly occur towards the end, once the cleaver has made its initial appearance, but along the way we discover a mutilated body in the back of a car, and the blood spattered bath in which it was dismembered.

    If all this sounds rather perfunctory so far, it is the sheer bleakness of the film that distinguishes it. The initial murder is linked to the discovery of a school girl prostitution ring, and this central concept pretty much summarises the whole tone of the film. With a potential political scandal hinted at, and a scene in which the Claudio Casinelli's police investigator lies to the press to buy more time, the general milieu invoked is a corrupt and sordid one, where corruption and vice are masked by the superficially angelic innocence of the girls involved. The deadpan and po-faced narrative includes lengthy scenes of the police listening intently and repeatedly to tapes made of the call-girls' meetings, and graphic post-mortem descriptions of the victims. Salacious tit-bits like these are so deeply engrained within the complex plot that forces one is forced into a particularly bizarre and twisted perspective of the world by the accumulation of such elements.

    Director Dallamano was a cinematographer turned director who had worked on a number of spaghetti Westerns in the 60's including Sergio Leone's 'Per un pugno di dollari' ('Fistful of Dollars', 1964). Prior to this he had made a number of films including adaptations of Oscar Wilde's 'Dorian Gray' (1970) and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's 'Venus in Furs' ('Le Malizie de Venere', 1969)

    'La Polizia Chiede Aiuto' also sports features an undistinguished supporting role from former Stranger on a Train, Farley Granger (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951). It is competently made, fast moving and gripping in places. It's worth checking out, but a maybe a little too serious in both its sleazy theme and its approach to prove a major crowd pleaser.
  • After an anonymous phone call, a teenage girl is found hanged in the attic of an old building in Lombardia and the police assume she committed suicide. The efficient Insp. Silvestri (Claudio Cassinelli) and the newcomer Asst. DA Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli) assume the case and while checking the location, Insp. Silvestri sees a middle age man, Bruno Paglia (Franco Fabrizi), taking pictures of the place from a nearby building. The man is arrested and soon Insp. Silvestri learns that the 14-year-old victim, Silvia Polvesi (Cheryl Lee Buchanan), was part of a teenage prostitution ring, including the beloved daughter of Insp. Valentini (Mario Adorf). His further investigation with the Asst. DA Stori discover a tape where sexual encounters with important names in the Italian society are recorded. Meanwhile a motorcycle rider wearing black uses a cleaver to get rid of suspects and witnesses.

    "La polizia chiede aiuto", a.k.a. "What Have They Done to Your Daughters?", is an excellent police story and one of the best Italian movies of the genre. The plot is surprisingly believable and with no flaws or tricks that are usual in giallos. Claudio Cassinelli and Giovanna Ralli have magnificent performances and the conclusion is realistic. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "O Que Eles Fizeram a Suas Filhas?" ("What Have They Done to Your Daughters?")
  • A school-girl is found hung naked in a loft. Initially thought suicide, it soon becomes clear it was a murder. The discovery leads to a sordid case involving an underage prostitute ring and bloody mutilation.

    What Have They Done to Your Daughters? is pretty much a companion piece to director Massimo Dallamano's other similarly themed film What Have You Done to Solange? Both movies share stories about murder and abuse of school-girls. As a result they both are a little more downbeat than is usual in this category of film, they aren't as graphically violent as other similar movies either, as the bleak story lines are unpleasant enough as they are. Where Solange was a giallo, this film is a hybrid of the giallo and poliziotteschi; for while there is a murder-mystery plot, the emphasis is squarely on the police procedural side of things. To be fair though this is an excellent show-case for both Italian sub-genres. From the poliziotteschi side of things we have a brilliantly shot and pulse-pounding motorcycle chase scene where a leather clad killer is pursued through the streets by police in a high speed chase; alternatively from the giallo side of the coin there is an intensely suspenseful scene set in an underground car-park where the killer stalks the heroine. In other words what makes Dallamano's film so good is that he is so adept at delivering the goods in both sub-genres.

    The two leads are very good. Giovanni Ralli (Cold Eyes of Fear) and Claudio Cassinelli (Flavia the Heretic) as both believable and strong in their respective roles as the police in pursuit of the killer. To accompany things nicely is a very good score from Stelvio Cipriani; it accentuates the suspense moments to a significant degree and surely must be one of his best soundtracks. As you may also expect, it's photographed very well too. So stylistically this is a strong feature but what elevates it more is the unexpectedly serious-minded tone and story which also comments on political corruption. Its cynicism and downbeat nature are mediated, however, with more typical gruesome touches such as a man having his hand hacked off and an autopsy scene involving a torso cut into many pieces.

    I've got to recommend this one to my fellow Italian genre enthusiasts. It's the best combination of the giallo and poliziotteschi I am aware of. Its mystery is consistently compelling and it's directed with considerable skill. Well worth tracking down.
  • Second in Dallamano's schoolgirls-getting-killed trilogy, it's not as good as Who's Next? (Solange) but not bad in its own right. The killer is someone who rides a motorino (hey, it is Italy!) and never takes off his/her riding helmet, ala Magnum Force, the 2nd Dirty Harry film. This one's more exciting than scary, as the police hunt down this maniac. He's one of the cooler villains in film history though, because unlike the traditional drag-ass killer, this guy never speaks and just RUNS at you with a machete. He really SPRINTS at top speed, which is actually very scary, especially to a jaded horror buff used to the Michael Myers/Jason/zombie method of ambling on over to their victims, who usually have to trip in order to be caught. And there's one scene involving a light switch that will make you jump out of your undies. Stelvio Cipriani's score is again top-notch (he later reused part of it for Tentacles), the dubbing tolerable.
  • While the original Italian title – THE POLICE ASKS FOR HELP – clearly pigeonholes this one in the then-popular (and incredibly prolific) poliziottesco genre, the English title under which it is better known around the world – WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS? – implies a giallo in the same vein as Dallamano’s best-known film, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE? (1972). In any case, while both elements are effectively present – a hatchet-wielding murderer is the subject of the climactic manhunt – the police procedural themes are more prevalent.

    The film deals with a teenage suicide which eventually uncovers a child prostitution ring which, as usual, includes not just the petty sleazy oddballs (here personified by Franco Fabrizi) but also high-profile professionals (a celebrated doctor) and high-ranking government officials (a Minister). The cast is surprisingly good for this type of genre effort: Claudio Cassinelli (as the investigating Police Chief), Giovanna Ralli (unusually cast as a female D.A.), Mario Adorf as the policeman who finds the first body and also discovers that his own teenage daughter was once a “victim” of these perverts, the afore-mentioned Fabrizi and Hollywood veteran Farley Granger in a smallish role as the first victim’s father.

    As usual for Italian genre movies, the music score is an asset and here it is provided by Stelvio Cipriani whose motif, while simple and repetitive, is extremely effective given that it involves children singing gibberish (and thus commenting on the main theme of the movie itself even through its performers). Alarmingly, the end titles claim that every year in Italy, 8000 teenagers run away from home but only a small percentage returns to the fold – the majority are never found!
  • A young naked schoolgirl is found hanged in a room locked from the inside, the police suspect suicide, until that is the clues seem to point in the direction of murder. So when the police led by Inspector Silvestri(Claudio Cassinelli) with the assistance of the asst district attorney Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli) realise that they are investigating a teen prostitute ring with some highly influential people involved, they know they are going to have a tough time convicting anyone and sure enough their investigation is dogged with interference and dead ends. Dallamano director of What have they done to Solange? again returns to his schoolgirl in peril themed story and like its predecessor it's a highly controversial topic that is handled professionally and intelligently. Despite its topic, there's very little in the way of visual sleaziness here, the offences against the girls are confined to tape recordings the police have and its from these that they build their case. The film is in fact only half Giallo and plays more like a Poliziotteschi (Italian police procedure film), we only get brief glimpses of the leather clad killer as he tries to cover up his identity by killing those who might be able to give him away. Stelvio Cipriani again provides an excellent score, the film looks good visually, no more than you'd expect from a director who used to ply his trade as a cinematographer, there's also a very memorable chase scene that livens up the film immensely. Claudio Cassinelli and Cortese provide some fine acting in their respective roles, if there is such thing as a high brow Giallo this must surely be it.
  • 'What Have They Done To Our Daughters?' is an above average giallo directed by Massimo Dallamano, who was the cinematographer for Leone's spaghetti western classic 'For A Few Dollars More'. It's a kinda sorta sequel to 'What Have They Done To Solange?', which I haven't seen. But I have seen Dallamano's swinging De Sade 'Venus In Furs' and both movies have made me very interested in his work. The story concerns a police investigation into the shocking murder of a teenage girl which uncovers a prostitution ring. It stars Giovanna Ralli who was in another pretty good giallo 'Cold Eyes Of Fear' and Claudio Cassinelli who co-starred in the nunsploitation classic 'Flavia The Heretic'. It's also quite a surprise to see Farley Granger (of Hitchcock's classics 'Rope' and 'Strangers On A Train') in the supporting cast, though his performance is forgettable. Giallo fans will enjoy this one, but if you are new to genre try some Dario Argento (especially 'Tenebre') or Fulci's 'Don't Torture A Duckling' to see some of the best examples of this style of thriller. Still, this is a pretty good movie with some gruesome and sensationalistic touches.
  • If you're into Italian cars of the seventies, this might just be the right flick for you. Apart from that, it's not too bad, including a great opening sequence, a simple but gorgeous score by Stelvio Cipriani, a couple of decent chase scenes (for a real good one, see Fernando di Leo's "La Mala Ordina" or Michele Lupo's "Un Uomo di Rispettare"), plus a leather-clad killer with a butcher's cleaver. Much more poliziotto than giallo, "La polizia chiede aiuto" tries to mask its sensationalism as a "serious topic" which works better than you might think: It's gritty, slow-moving in a good way, pretty tame in terms of sleaze, well-cut and competently directed by former Leone cinematographer Dallamano, who's also responsible for the autumnal flow of the movie. Regrettably, the script works against the director, as in so many poliziotti and giallos of the time, spoiling the movie with a lame, mediocre and flawed ending. The British "Shameless" DVD edition might be uncut, but comes with an awful drone that might haunt you in your sleep. The movie won't.
  • pumaye21 April 2004
    From the director of the excellent what have you done to Solange, Massimo Dallamano, here is a strange Italian giallo, more a police procedural (an a really lurid tale, a ring of teens used as prostitutes by people in very high places - that was the time, in Italy, when several directors and scripwriters tried their hands on very hot subjects, like this one) than an Argentian thriller (but it is scary enough in a few places and also very gory). It starts with the false suicide of a very young girl, hanged nude under a roof and then proceeds with a lot of cars and bikes chases (the killer is always covered by a motorcycle helmet until the very end - it is possible that the director of Night School took from here the idea of the killer masked with an helmet), almost always running without pauses. Tense and scary enough, good almost till the end (a lot too Dillenger for my tastes).
  • Massimo Dallamano's "La Polizia Chiede Aiuto" aka. "What Have They Done To Your Daughters" is a very suspenseful, atmospheric and intelligent

    Giallo with elements of the Poliziotteschi/Crime genre, that no lover of Italian genre cinema of the 70s should allow himself to miss. When a teenage girl is found hanged in an attic, the police first think of suicide. Further investigations, however, point out that it was murder. As the investigations go on, it becomes clear that the murder is somehow related to a teen-prostitution ring...

    This very suspenseful and tough-minded Thriller keeps the suspense going from the beginning to the end. The plot is very elaborate and stunning and score by Stelvio Cipriani is brilliant and contributes a lot to atmosphere and suspense. Most of the murders are actually not seen, and there is no excessive splatter and gore, but what remains of the murders is often quite brutal, not least due to the delicate context. I must say that, concerning the cast, "La Polizia Chiede Aiuto" was not quite what I had expected. As the DVD cover had 'Mario Adorf' in fat capital letters written on top, I expected Adorf to be the star of this movie but just plays a supporting role (in which he is, once again, excellent). This is not a flaw however, since Claudio Casselini and Giovanna Ralli are very good in the leading roles. Cassellini is excellent as the investigating homicide detective Silvestri, and beautiful Giovanna Ralli fits very well in her role of a young female assistant district attorney. Ralli may also be known to Italian movie buffs for films like Sergio Corbucci's revolutionary Western "Il Mercenario" or Enzo Castellari's Giallo "Gli Occhi Freddi De La Paura". My favorite film from Massimo Dallamano will always be his Giallo-masterpiece "Cosa Avete Fatto A Solange" ("What Have You Done To Solange", 1972), but "La Polizia Chiede Aiuto" is also a highly memorable film. All things considered, this is a tantalizing thriller that my fellow fans of Italian Genre-Cinema can not afford to miss. An elaborate plot, great performances and a brilliant score go in hand with constant suspense from the beginning to the end. In Short: "La Polizia Chiede Aiuto" comes with my highest recommendations!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Two of the most well-known genres in Italian films from the seventies were the giallo films, murder mysteries where you only saw the hands of the killer, and the police dramas, crime dramas that pitted the police against fearless criminals. Both of these genres are combined to form this movie, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS?

    The film opens with the discovery of a young girl hanging from the rafters of an apartment building. Called in by an anonymous tip the police find the body but no identification. After investigating they do discover her identity as well as the fact that she was younger than expected, just 15. Following more clues they track down two potential suspects.

    The first is a man across the way from the top floor apartment she was found in, a man who had a bird's eye views as well as a telephoto lens to shoot pictures of her there. This was their anonymous caller and he has pictures of the girl and her boyfriend. A search for the young man finds him spelunking. Bringing him up his alibi is solid as he was down below. He tells them about their meetings.

    More investigating leads the police to a private investigator who is found dead. Audio recordings he made are missing and the only lead they have is his girlfriend who is in a hospital recuperating from an auto accident a month prior. Through her they recover the one remaining tape that was not stolen and learn that the private detective was part of a ring of older men who were using pre-teen schoolgirls as prostitutes.

    A black gloved killer in a motorcycle helmet is seen murdering people and attacking others. Car chases involving this character take up plenty of the 96 minute running time of this film. The culprits responsible are found out and the ending is quite unsatisfying for a movie like this. Even more so when you consider the fact that it was made by Massimo Dallamano who made WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE which surpassed this film by miles.

    One thing I noticed that made this film different than most, and in a positive way, was that the lead investigator on the case (at least paperwork wise) is a woman. That's rare in most movies from this time period and was refreshing. Of course at some point the killer stalks her as well and she becomes a damsel in distress saved by a man. But she carries on with the investigation in spite of the attack and the victims she is exposed to.

    On the whole not much stands out about this film. The cinematography isn't anything exceptional, the acting a bit over the top at times and the story a bit too convoluted for its own good. The end result is unsatisfying at best and predictable at worst. While I commend Arrow Video for insuring that this film is presented in the best format possible and included a number of extras, it is perhaps the weakest entry I've seen from them so far.

    Those extras are fairly extensive though. They include a new audio commentary track with author Troy Howarth, MASTERS AND SLAVES: POWER, CORRUPTION & DECADNES IN THE CINEMA OF MASSIMO DALLAMANO a new video essay by author Kat Ellinger, ETERNAL MELODY an interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani, DALLAMANO'S TOUCH an interview with editor Antonio Siciliano, unused hardcore footage shot by Dallamano, the Italian theatrical trailer, an image gallery, a reversible sleeve with newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais and for the first pressing only an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Michael Mackenzie.

    I would suggest this for purist trying to collect all giallo style films they can find or fans of Dallamano only. All others will most likely enjoy the film for an afternoon's viewing but repeat viewings are unlikely. Kudos still to Arrow Video for at least keeping these films alive.
  • Massimo Dallamano's first feature, What Have They Done to Solange, is one of the real heavyweights of the Giallo sub-genre. By combining a sleazy atmosphere with an intricate and exciting plot; Dallamano managed to create something really special with that film. With this follow up, the director has managed to capture that same atmosphere; but the story this time round isn't nearly as engaging, and that has a massive effect on the film on the whole. Don't get me wrong, this certainly isn't a bad movie; we've got a lot of the genre's staples, including a great score, some brutal killings and lots of style, so Giallo fans will no doubt find something to like; but if you're going into this film expecting something on par with Solange, you will come out of it disappointed. The plot is very Giallo-friendly, and it follows a policeman as he probes into the murder of a girl that the police force found dead, apparently a suicide. However, after digging deeper into the murders; it becomes apparent that this was more than just an isolated case of a troubled teen.

    The murders in the film aren't as grand as some of the ones orchestrated by the masters of the genre, such as the great Dario Argento, but there's some good gory stuff on display, including a severed head rolling out of a bag, someone being butchered with a butcher's knife, among other highlights. Because the story handles 'innocent' teenage girls, it's always going to be sleazy; but Dallamano has seen fit to make sure that he capitalises on this atmosphere as much as possible, as he also throws in pregnancies, loss of innocence and some very sick men into the equation. The film's main problem where the plot is concerned is that it moves too slowly; and there's far too much talking when there should be more time spent on building tension and gory murder sequences. The Italian thriller style is rampant throughout the movie, and the director has very much succeeded in capturing the style of the book that this movie is based on. On the whole, while this isn't as great as it's predecessor; it still represents a worthwhile viewing for the Giallo fan.
  • I don't like to add much to the comment of my predecessor. This movie is interesting because it features a very well made and elaborated cinematography which contributes much to overcome the script and acting shortages. The colors are well picked, the night exterior and interior scenes are unusually subtle lit for this time. The camera always gives room to the actors and dives into the action if necessary. The wheelchair camera in the hospital is something new for that time alongside the short lens action when the killer advances at the hospital stairs. Very contrasty and very colorful pictures that don't look like the usual big lamp lighting that was usual for the 70ies in Italy. The framing in the car-motorcycle-chasing scene is also far above what was state-of-the-art. Long lenses, big contrast variations and focus shifting give it the edge. Another HURRAY for the soundtrack: Stelvio Cipriani varies only one theme (schoolgirl variation, police/chasing variation) with great effect to it. This soundtrack is very typical for Cipriani and almost as masterful as the one for "Mark Il Poliziotto".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    POTENTIAL SPOILER!!! BEWARE!!! (Well, not really, but just to be on the safe side of things).

    From the glaring reviews posted here, on IMDb, I went out of my way (and, boy, did I ever go out of my way to see this dud! I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so hunting for a three-decade old and rather obscure giallo wasn't necessarily a walk in the park) to fetch a copy of "What have they done to your daughters" and what a put down it was! The film's plot, tenuously copied from Jules Dessin's 1948 masterpiece "Naked City", is so full of holes, seems like a swiss cheese! A good many of the leads go nowhere and the killings, which are central to the plot, or so seem to be, are really never explained; we have no idea why a mysterious biker goes zooming around Rome, with a meat ax, butchering lust-crazy teenagers, private detectives and, even, a district attorney (played by a rather dazed Giovanna Ralli - her 70s hairdo stood out way, way more than her deadpan acting). Well, yeah, there's the usual link with the "rich & powerful", but its just too lame to fully explain a good deal of the killings. The film ends on a rather low key, leaving you to wonder if there wasn't anything a tad more interesting to do with your 90 minutes instead of watching this incredibly confusing piece of italiana. In all due respect with the previous comments, can't really see what the praise is all about - probably, I should go back and give it another shot - but that would be wasting another hour and a half, and life is just too short of a deal.
  • This is Massimo Dallamano's very worthy follow-up to his excellent giallo "What Have You Done to Soilange?" and the second in the director's seminal trio of "schoolgirl gialli" that managed to combine the adolescent sexual hijinx of the German "schulmadchen-report" films with a blood-soaked Italian giallo thriller plots, making for a very heady brew indeed. These films anticipated (and perhaps even influenced) the later American teen slasher films with wayward adolescent female protagonists being "punished" for their sins by a mad slasher. But where the young American slasher are guilty only of acting like typical teenagers, their Italian forebears in "Solange?" were involved in swinging sex parties and back-alley abortions, and in both this film and its follow-up ("Red Rings of Fear"), the girls have actually gone pro and started a teen call-girl ring.

    This film differs from "Solange?" somewhat, however, in that rather being a straight "giallo", it is also somewhat of a police procedural thriller (complete with a gratuitous motorcycle chase). The protagonists include two veterans of that latter genre--the charismatic Claudio Cassanelli as the lead detective and the great Mario Adorph, normally a psychotic heavy, but here playing against type as a distraught father. The lead though, in a feminist touch, is Giovannas Ralli as a female DA. The police are investigating the apparent suicide of a pregnant schoolgirl from a wealthy family. They connect it a schoolgirl prostitution ring servicing powerful influential men. Meanwhile, a brutal leather-clad, motorcycle-riding killer armed with a meat cleaver goes to almost ridiculously bloody lengths to cover it all up for his wealthy employers. The ending, as befitting the genre, is duly cynical.

    The actresses playing the "schoolgirls" in this movie are marginally more believable in their roles than the model-pretty 20-25 year olds that were in "Solange?" (The most recognizable is the lovely Sherry Buchanon, in her first role as the murdered girl). There is, however, much less graphic sex and nudity than in its predecessor, but what there is pretty disturbing in that occurs in very graphic audiotapes the police listen to. But thanks to great editing and cinematography by Dallamano and co.--and one of the best soundtracks of any 70's Italian exploitation film--this is nowhere near as sleazy as it ought to be (especially compared to some of its truly sordid imitators like "The Teenage Prostituion Racket"). Highly recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Massimo Dallamano, the director of the excellent giallo WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE?, is also behind this similar follow-up which takes more of a police procedural approach to the proceedings. It's inviting, involving stuff, taking a sleazy plotline and giving it a classy approach with an excellent soundtrack and cinematography, alongside a cast of seasoned Italian cast members who give it their all (Claudio Cassinelli and Giovanna Ralli make a good pairing and Mario Adorf is always great fun). The film isn't overtly gory, but there are the usual shocking moments, lots of disturbing bits, and at least one great chase sequence. The ending is as pessimistic as they come.
  • Though the film's innocent, optimistic music score, serving it's title, which I really favor, will be one which will stay in my head, this Italian exploitation crime drama doesn't fare too badly, if not for a crappy and simple ending. It is a stylized effort, bursting with some nice graphic shock gore here and there, and a cool, anger driven cop character, heralding it. A full masked psycho on a motorbike, is the responsible killing hand, to a first initially thought suicide of a young girl, caught up in a schoolgirl prostitution ring, involving many a high up party of clientele. A great car/bike chase through the paved streets of our Italian city, some shock scare moments, some T and A and some kinky pimp talk via secret tape recordings, doesn't amount to a compact drama, where this one falls short, especially in the thriller, construction stakes. And yet again, we're still haunted by that music score. Cool frank movie poster, not the one illustrated on this IMDB page.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    By 1974, the giallo was waning and the poliziottesco was starting to win over the Italian box office. This offering is a hybrid of both - unlike many giallo, the police are not presented as ineffectual or non-essential. Instead, they're followed for most of the film.

    Massimo Dallamano (The Night Child) made What Have You Done to Solange?, a giallo that exists outside of the Argento archetype.He'd follow it with this rougher and much darker - somehow that's possible! - semi-sequel.

    Deputy Attorney Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli, The Mercenary, Sex with a Smile) is a rarity in giallo. She's a woman in command of the police and never presented as a victim. She's in charge of the murder investigation of Sylvia Polvesi (Sherry Buchanan, Dr. Butcher M.D.).

    Found hanging in an attic, her suicide is anything but, as Inspectors Silvestri (Claudio Casinelli, Murder Rock, Hercules) and Valentini (Mario Adorf, Short Night of Glass Dolls) soon discover. And oh yeah - there's soon a leather jacketed biker using a meat cleaver to gorily off his or her victims. And a peeping tom, too! And teenage prostitution! And Farley Granger, showing up to class up the proceedings!

    Obviously, the look of the killer in this movie would influence a movie that has no interest in classing up the giallo - Strip Nude for Your Killer - and an American movie that gets so close to a giallo but is missing the murderous set pieces - Night School.

    It's a shame that Dallamano died in a car accident at the somewhat young age of 59. As tyhe cinematographer for Leone's A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, he certainly had an eye for action and movement, as evidenced by the hallway chase scene in this film that seems as steady as, well, as Steadi-Cam shot (it isn't!).

    The Giallo Files site compared this movie to an episode of Law and Order. That's an apt comparison. It's a good movie to introduce someone to the genre with, as while it has some twists and turns, it doesn't descend into plot hole jumping or an abundance of red herrings as some films of this genre.
  • parry_na16 September 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    This giallo doesn't mess around: after the opening, the very first scene features police bursting into a room to find a young naked girl hanging. Dead. What makes the scenes that immediately follow so horrifyingly effective is by Director (and co-writer) Massimo Dallamano having his camera observe events from the girl's height, almost from her point-of-view, and as such, half the screen is filed with her dead face, mouth agape – almost as if she is observing events. She was promiscuous 15 year-old Sylvia (Sherry Buchanan) who promised her mother that if she told her father of her activities, she'd kill herself. And yet Sophia Loren-alike Asst. DA Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli) is sure it was murder.

    It was felt at the time that giallo films were not as popular as they once were (which, if true, is understandable; there had been many made during the previous few years), and so this became a fusion of giallo and poliziotteschi, with more attention paid to police procedures than focusing on more 'standard' civilian characters. Dallamano made this as part of a trilogy of such films, beginning with 1972's terrific 'What Have You Done to Solange?' and ending with 'Red Rings of Fear' in 1978 (sadly, he died before completion).

    This slight change in style provides a welcome change in emphasis, as far as I am concerned. I find giallo a highly enjoyable genre, but this works well as an extention of that. Some truly gritty, gruesome set-pieces enlivened with Stelvio Cipriani's excellent score, ensures that the pace very rarely slackens. There are disturbing scenes too, when the police listen to recordings of intimate events occurring in the teenage prostitute ring that may or may not be behind the death. Even with the dubbed voice artists, it is uncomfortable listening. It gets even more uncomfortable when it seems Inspector Valentini's (Mario Adorf) own daughter may be involved.

    Alongside Vittoria Stori, we have Inspector Sylvestri (Claudio Cassinelli), who is the nearest we get to the staple of most giallos: a tough talking gent who is a bit of a twit. He comes good in the end though, reacting like granite when he helps apprehend and uncover the identity of the miscreant. Getting the authorities to act upon such a major vice ring connected to some very high places, however, is another matter. How little times change.

    A big hand too for the blood. Far more realistic than the bright paint used in similar films.
  • As is probably obvious by the lurid title, Massimo Dallamano returns to the same teenagers in peril themes he explored two years earlier in his giallo What Have You Done to Solange. Only this time around the focus is more on the police procedure than the blood and sleaze that is associated with the giallo. What remains the same though is the classy visual style and the mystery aspect.

    The discovery of a young girl hanged in a run-down attic leads the police to an underground prostitution ring. The story lacks the myriad red herrings of the giallo but it retained suspense and mystery well enough to keep me glued on the screen. Dallamano however throws a black-clad killer in the mix and punctuates this police proceedural with a couple of very well done gore scenes (hand decapitation, machete in the head, screwdriver in the belly; take your pick). As a testament to Dallamano's style, the killer is always shot close-up with wide-angle lenses that adds a reality distortion of sorts.

    Add to that a sterling score by Cipriani that is equal parts suspenseful and subtle and some well handled action scenes and car chases in the poliziottescho mold (although it lacks the rampant energy of one, so I wouldn't classify it as such) and here you have a movie that is definitely worth the time of ANY fan of 70's Italian crime cinema. I shouldn't forget to mention that the copy I saw had surprisingly good dubbing too.
  • Massimo Dallamano returns to his dodgy under-age schoolgirl themed Gialli with this one, which starts off with a bunch of cops led by Mario Adorf finding a corpse of a teenage girl hanging from the rafters of a rented apartment. It soon becomes apparent that the girl wasn't killed at all, was pregnant, and apparently very accommodating with men. Turns out there's this child prostitute ring andaalkght lekgajbkga zhdf

    Jesus Christ! Right in the middle of typing this Jimmy Saville's rotting corpse just burst into the room and attacked me, along with several high ranking Conservative MPs, many seventies television presenters, some Rochdale based restaurant owners and taxi drivers, one Australian entertainer, and an undead Max Clifford. Luckily they thought I was a teenage girl, and now they've all gone off, disappointed, to the nearest high school.

    Child prostitution rings aren't funny, when you think about it, and therefore this film is a bit on the grim and dreary side, even if it is well made and looks great. I've got to say however that it plays down the sleaze factor and concentrates on the police investigation more, which goes in the film's favour. Slightly.

    Sulky, good-looking Claudio Cassanelli plays the lead detective, who joins forces the Assistant DA Giovanna Ralli in order to track down the girl's killers, which leads them to another house where the girl was actually killed. Here they also find a room totally splattered with blood, so there's another murder to solve too. Round about this time a mystery man on a motorbike starts chopping up various people, including a couple of cops, but what is he trying to cover up? Apart from his face?

    It's a good film, but there's not enough poliziotesschi action for folks like me who have just watched Cry of A Prostitute, and not enough mystery for folks like me who have just watched Spasmo. Dallamano does throw in a car chase near the end, and has a couple of good stalking sequences, but by straddling both genres he doesn't quite provide enough extremes of either to make a truly great film.

    It's alright though. Best thing is that when I went to Rome for the third time, I actually managed to track down Dario Argento's shop, Profondo Rosso. It's not too far from the Vatican, as it turns out, and while I went downstairs to the horror museum, my wife and kids sat outside on the pavement, playing some sort of game. Just as they were doing that a bike dressed exactly like the killer in this film mounted the pavement and almost ran them all over. It was like being in my own Giallo where Italians are trying to kill me and my family for not liking Felinni enough. Isn't that cool?

    My wife didn't think so.

    But I did. Don't tell her.
  • Rather than featuring an 'everyman' protagonist caught up in a bizarre mystery, as is often the case with a standard giallo, the central characters of Massimo Dallamano's 'What Have They Done To Your Daughters?' are Police Inspector Silvestri and Assistant District Attorney Vittoria Stori, who are called to the apparent suicide of a teenage girl which, upon investigation, becomes a murder case. As they delve further into the victim's life, Silvestri and Stori uncover her secret life as a teenage prostitute, a shocking discovery that leads to the discovery of more bodies and which makes them the next targets of the vicious killer.

    This merging of two extremely popular genres of '70s Italian cinema—the 'giallo' and the 'poliziotteschi'—is very entertaining whenever it's adhering to the giallo formula or delivering the sleaze, with a decent killer (clad in motor cycle gear and brandishing a huge meat cleaver), teenage nudity, bloody violence, an uncomfortable moment featuring a tape recording of an underage hooker with her 'john', and a very gruesome scene where a victim's dismembered body is reassembled like a jigsaw; sadly, the film is nowhere near as much fun during the police procedural content, which, barring a cool car/motorcycle chase scene, is extremely hum-drum stuff. The finale is also disappointingly weak.

    Overall, this flick offers enough good stuff to make it worth a go, but don't expect it to be anywhere near as good as Dallamano's similarly titled 'What Have You Done to Solange?'.
  • Now, what this movie is about, other reviews will tell you. I want to tell you about something I've never seen before in a DVD-release, this one from Salvation.

    In order not to show pubic hair, Japanese films used (on later issues with the help of computers) blurring. European films have been spared this or simular methods - until now!

    There is only one scene is this movie where there was supposed to be a shot showing something and that was not in a sexual situation but in the bathroom where mother and daughter have a conversation about why the daughter had bought contraceptive pills.

    The daughter is thrown back after you have seen her taking off her clothes and there they are: pitch-black panties showing no alteration whatsoever in the blackness, just as if they had been painted on, which, in a sence, they were - by a computer.

    These Italian film, regardless of their other qualities, were famous for their content of gratuitous nudity or, should we say, their 'display of naturalistic content'. In this film there seems to have been only one such display and that was painted over by Salvation or some other artist.

    Since I've never seen this done before, I guess it could be of interest for others to see as well, if they don't get mad because they've been cheated.
  • From Massimo Dallamano, the director of the iconic giallo "What Have You Done to Solange?", comes a pseudo-sequel of sorts, but essentially only in theme. "What Have They Done To Our Daughters?" was actually the second film in a planned trilogy of three "School Girls in Peril" gialli, but unfortunately Dallamano died before he could complete the last one (and was subsequently completed by another filmmaker).

    Anyways, returning to the film in question, I actually prefer this installment to the much more praised "Solange". The main reason being that the first felt much more exploitative in nature, and thus was not as effective in my mind.

    "Daughters" seems to take a more realistic approach, not focusing on the shocks found in nudity and gore as the first one seemed to revel in, but rather focusing upon the actual investigation of the crimes and how the events cause traumatic and emotional infliction upon the characters involved. Indeed, this film is much more socially minded, conveying how society often tries to exploit innocence for its own gain, and how the emotional disconnection and distance that is between the parents and their children often is what leads to their children becoming seduced by the society's malice.

    In addition, the direction is solid with well executed sequences of suspense. The musical score also is terrific, giving it even more emotional dissonance.

    However, despite the subtext it gives and the visual aura is possesses, the film lacks in having a strong narrative. The story adapts a police procedural formula, thus making it rather clear and focused, but unfortunately it isn't really focused on all that much. It doesn't lead to much of anywhere as we are given all the detail up front, thus causing it to feel rather dragged out. The ending is also anti-climatic.

    Despite this, it's a solid entry into the giallo canon, thanks mainly to its social commentary, strong direction, and solid musical score, but the story itself is very thin and dragged out... if only it had more plot to it this could have been one of the better gialli.
  • The lifeless body of an attractive teen girl is found in a dusty attic. She's hung and everything points in the direction of a suicide. Closer investigations, however, points out that the girl has been murdered elsewhere before dragged into the attic. The discovery of the corpse slowly unravels a network of teen-prostitution in which several eminent civilians are involved. This hardens the police investigation while the killer (on a motorcycle and carrying an authentic butcher knife) is still on the loose. `What Have They Done to Our Daughters' is kind of like a sequel to `Solange' (or fully entitled: What have you done to Solange'). The stories don't follow each other but they handle about similar events: young schoolgirls caught in a web of unsettling and sleazy affairs. Both films are above average gialli, with an incredibly high tension-level and killer musical scores. Even though `Solange' upholds the mystery longer and more efficiently, this film contains a little more action. Best example to state this is the extended police car versus motorcycle chase through the beautiful streets of Italy. The budgets, however, are low so don't expect blood-soaked murders like the ones featuring in Dario Argento gialli.
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