Weaving a tangled web – Rediscovering ‘The Killer Must Kill Again’ (Italy 1975 – 86 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - January 16, 2014
Weaving a tangled web – Rediscovering ‘The Killer Must Kill Again’ (Italy 1975 – 86 mins)

You may think that a movie filled with such flawed, unlikable people might not make for compelling viewing. Well, Luigi Cozzi’s superb thriller ‘The Killer Must Kill Again’ is just that. A gripping joyride through an unpleasant and bloody journey, the movie ends up being one of the best of the overcrowded giallo genre.

Wallowing in an unhappy marriage, callous adulterer Giorgio strikes a deal with a remorseless killer to murder his socialite wife. With her body lying in the trunk of the killer’s car, a hedonistic young couple make the bad mistake of stealing the vehicle before heading towards the coast. With the ruthless killer hot on their trail, the young couple end up at a derelict seaside lodge.

With a set-up similar to Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers on a Train’, ‘The Killer Must Kill Again’ starring euro favourites George Hilton and Cristina Galbó, hardly lets up for a moment. An enthralling mystery with plenty of twists and turns, this masterful euro-thriller is sometimes shocking, using lingering close-ups to bring the viewer right into some of the movies nastier moments.

Antoine Saint-John is perfect as the ruthless killer. His skull-like features making him an ideal choice for the part. As the kidnap plotting husband, giallo regular George Hilton, so prolific in euro cinema, was his usual serious looking self, while ‘Lisa and the Devil’ heart-throb Alessio Orano plays Galbó’s cheating boyfriend, whose roadside dalliance has fatal consequences for both of them.

Glamorous support comes in the shapely form of stunning Femi Benussi as an unfortunate passer-by, meeting a gruesome end, and Tere Velázquez as Hilton’s ill-fated wife.

The direction by Dario Argento protégé Luigi Cozzi is stylish in places, but then sometimes rather clunky, with the camera shaky and awkward at times. Cristina Galbó was uncomfortable filming her rape scene, with Cozzi’s intruding camera proving understandably difficult for her. The films original title was ‘The Spider’, which I think is more suitable, considering how tangled up both the cheating husband and the cold-blooded killer become, in each others web of deceit.

‘The Killer Must Kill Again’ is a nifty, nasty yet exciting thriller, definitely up there with the very best of the Italian thrillers of the seventies. What sets this film apart from other giallo flicks is that, for once there are no masked killers or obvious red-herrings. We know exactly who the ‘wrong-uns’ are, and in this case, that’s pretty much every character on screen.

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