19 January 2007 | lazarillo
Not great, but worth a look
A teenage girl from a wealthy family mysteriously disappears. After her body is found at the bottom of a lake the police begin an intense investigation that leads to a teenage prostitution ring and several more bloody murders, but the actual killer may be someone much closer to the home.
This was one of the Italian films from the 1970's that were inspired by Massimo Dallamano's "schoolgirl gialli" where dissipated, middle-class schoolgirls become involved in drug orgies, prostitution, back-alley abortions, and other sordid goings on, and eventually meet a sticky end. These films were at once sleazy and hypocritcally moralistic. They range from the Dallamano's relatively classy "What Have You Done to Solange?" (loosely based on an Edgar Wallace novel)to Alberto Negrin's irredeemably trashy "Trauma" (with its infamous death-by-dildo scene). This movie most resembles Dallamano's second film "What Have They Done to Your Daughters?" in that it tries to mitigate the sleaze a little by putting straight-arrow cops at the moral center and focusing on police procedure rather than the sexual intrigue. In a way though, this makes the movie even more objectionable. The most disturbing thing about it isn't really the tender age of the victims (the actresses, at least, all look like they'd long since blown out the candles on their 18th birthday cakes), but the way their characters are almost literally reduced to pieces of meat: It really doesn't matter whether they are alive, lying unconscious on abortionist's table, or lying dead on a slab--it's all pretty much just an excuse to get them nice and naked.
Like "Daughters?" this film tries to include a feminist angle by including former Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi as one of the investigating detectives, but they really manage to waste her. Still, it's not all bad. The director Mario "Nightmare Castle" Caiano was certainly visually talented and the film is stylish and nowhere near as sleazy as by all rights it should be. And if you think about it, aside from the full-frontal nudity, these films anticipated (if probably not inspired) a lot of more recent American television like the "who-killed-Laura-Palmer?" intrigue of David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" or the morbid forensic intrigue of the "CSI" series. Not great, but worth a look.