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  • This film was apparently written by Alberto De Martino and Vincenzo Flamini, but if you ask me a writing credit should have gone to Ernest Hemingway as his story 'The Killers' clearly had more than just a passing influence on the film. Alberto De Martino is not a director I would rate among Italy's best; despite a few successful films. The director would seem to be better known for his rip-offs, with films like Holocaust 2000 and The Antichrist (rip offs of The Omen and The Exorcist respectively), but at least this rendition of The Killers is of a more high quality that the usual "Italian version of an American film". Our lead character is Paolo Sartori; a man who resolves to investigate the death of his friend after he is found dead. He meets various people that knew his friend and asks them for information. The story is then pieced together through various dialogues and flashbacks and we eventually wind up with a good picture of the kind of man his friend was along with a host of possible suspects for the killing.

    I say this film is high quality because it's well put together and the acting is good; but unfortunately this doesn't stop The Insatiables from being boring. It's really too slow and the few moments of excitement are not enough to keep the film interesting for its duration. It also has a very dumbed down feel and the film never really gets out of the starting blocks in terms of thrills. It has a very downbeat feel to it through and it's really not a very 'fun' watch. That being said, the film does at least retain some interest where the characters are concerned as we get introduced to a wide range of different characters. Robert Hoffman takes the lead role and does fine with it at least and there are a few memorable scenes; such as the one that sees a man have his face squashed into a cat's litter tray. Alberto De Martino would go on to have a varied career after this film; with the low points being the likes of The Killer Is on the Phone, and highs including Dirty Harry rip off A Special Magnum for Tony Saitta and underrated Giallo A Formula for Murder. This one is average both for the director and the genre and I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to find it (see the 1946 film version of The Killers instead!).
  • An Italian journalist (Robert Hoffman) is roughed up by two hired thugs looking for his friend, who it turns out is hiding in his attic. A couple days later the friend dies in a fiery car accident, and the journalist suspects foul play. He goes to America where the friend had been working as a kind of celebrity spokesman for a sinister company called "International Chemical". With the help of an American journalist friend played by John Ireland (who hilariously restricts himself to checking out the guy's strip club connections), the protagonist begins to interview his friend's wife and various people he knew, worked with, and/or slept with in America in an effort to solve the mystery.

    This film does indeed resemble the 1946 film noir "The Killers". But that film, in fact, owed a lot more to "Citizen Kane" with its multiple flashback puzzle-piece narrative structure than it did the original Hemingway story. This is thus kind of third rate "Citizen Kane" as much as a second rate "The Killers" , but it certainly has far more exploitative material (i.e. strip clubs, hippie orgies) than either of those two films. It also has an original and genuinely surprising ending.

    Robert Hoffman was a pretty bland actor, but he is ably assisted here by a good supporting cast. Ireland is very good, as is Frank Wolff, who plays an effete homosexual corporate executive. Dorothy Malone and Romina Powers play a mother and daughter, both of whom the murdered friend was sexually involved with (Powers is surprisingly good here, considering this was the same actress who suffered the indignity of being supremely dissed by Jess Franco after she appeared in his film "Justine"). Former Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi plays a secretary who falls in love with both men. She's pretty good too(even if she's the only actress here who seems to have used a body double for her gratuitous nude scenes). Then there's Ini Assman, who really doesn't have much a part, but what a great name for European exploitation actress!

    This is pretty much like all of the films of director Alberto DeMartino's that I've seen, it's no great shakes, but it's definitely entertaining.