21 July 2024
Death Smiled at Murder (1973)
85 min.
Directed by Joe D'Amato.
With Ewa Aulin, Klaus Kinski, Angela Bo, Sergio Doria, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Attilio Dottesio, Marco Mariani, Luciano Rossi.
Weak gothic horror from director D'Amato (who helmed 1979's effective Beyond the Darkness).

When her carriage accidently crashes outside the Ravensbrück mansion, Swedish nymphette Greta (Aulin) is taken in by the estate's owner Walter (Doria).

Doctor Kinski attends to Greta's wounds and soon she's almost like one of the family.

But here's the rub: 1) Kinski is really a mad scientist interested in body reanimation, 2) Aulin is an undead, bisexual ghost hellbent on some vague path of revenge, 3) Bo is actually a bisexual hostess who enjoys faux bathtub drownings and lesbian romps, and 4) Rossi-Stuart is really a mad scientist interested in body reanimation.

Or something like that.

Nicely photographed but hopelessly plotted, this Italian terror isn't much to get worked up over.

Aulin (from 1967's superquirky Death Laid an Egg) delivers an enjoyable performance here, but the whole thing is nil on logic, medium on blood and high on 'mood'.

For early '70s Italian horror buffs only. Italian: La Morte ha sorriso all'assassino.

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