30 September 2014

The Weekend Murders (1970)
98 min.
Directed by Michele Lupo.
With Anna Moffo, Eveline Stewart, Gastone Moschin, Peter Baldwin, Lance Percival, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Marisa Fabbri, Chris Chittell, Orchidea de Santis, Quinto Parmeggiani, Claudio Undari, Franco Borelli, Beryl Cunningham.
Can it be?

An Italian thriller that spoofs Agatha Christie whodunits? Boasts a ridiculously delirious cast of overacting hams? Has some (typically) convoluted giallo-esque plotting? And it's all actually quite a bit of fun?

Yes to all the above, thanks to The Weekend Murders.

The story: aristocratic Sir Henry is rich as Croesus. So, when the old coot kicks the bucket, his greedy family members come out of the woodwork to hear the reading of his will, each of them hoping for their own personal windfall.

But Sir Henry laughs last. He's left his entire estate to lovely daughter Barbara (Moffo), and nary a cent to the other half dozen buzzards in his clan.

However, Barbara might not live long enough to enjoy Sir Henry's money.

Seems there's a killer in her midst, someone who wants to take her down at any cost, and more than willing to kill anybody who gets in his way! The Weekend Murders is a horror meatloaf, cooked Italian-style, a tasty combo of diverse subgenre ingredients: whodunit, giallo, mystery/thriller, comedy spoof.

Each rather bland on their own, but combined they make for an enjoyable, if minor, romp. Moschin steals the show as Thorpe, the bumbling local bobby with more wits in his inventory than credited.

And stealing this show is no small feat, considering Fabbri and Chittell do their best as an overcooked mother-son duo with lots of therapy issues.

Director Lupo gives the whole thing an assured feel, especially the clever Trouble with Harry-style sequences. And Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto is used to good effect as the main theme.

Also known as Story of a Crime.

Italian: Concerto per pistola solista.

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