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Death Walks on High Heels (1971)

  Tags: 70's, Carlo Gentili, Claudie Lange, Death Walks on High Heels, Fabrizio Moresco, Frank Wolff, George Rigaud, Giallo, Giallo Flicks, J. Manuel Martin, Luciano Ercoli, Luciano Rossi, Simón Andreu, Susan Scott

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Luciano Ercoli
105 minutes
Frank Wolff, Susan Scott, Simon Andreu, Carlo Gentili, George Rigaud, J. Manuel Martin, Fabrizio Moresco, Luciano Rossi, Claudie Lange

This is a pretty well known film among genre fans but strangely it doesn't get much word of mouth. I've seen very few things written on the film, so I didn't have much of an idea on what to expect. Of course I expected black gloves, knives, murders, red herrings, a mysterious killer, and all the rest of the typical goodies. But other than that it was all up in the air, sometimes it's better that way..

Death Walks on High Heels begins typically enough, with an unknown one eyed man, getting his throat slashed on a train. Things get a quick flip, introducing us to a couple taking a cab ride to the police station. It turns out the woman is the daughter of the initial murder victim and the cops inform Nicole (Nieves Navarro) of her father’s death. The details of a bank robbery gone wrong are tossed in, and so is a warning that the killer may be after her next. Naturally she ignores the police warning and heads off to go about her business. Soon after that Nicole receives a threatening phone call, which gets completely brushed off, despite the police warning. Apparently being a stripper has sapped all of her common sense or endowed her with a feeling of invincibility, either way it comes off as unbelievable.

As one would assume the killer eventually drops by and pays the stripping redhead a visit. The movie then shifts again, rotating in a new locale, and set of characters. After the switch things slow down quite a bit, and we get a good amount of time wasted on fleshing out the new cast. Not only that but there is the inclusion of a new romantic element. That certainly isn't one of my favorite things, especially when a good chunk of time is spent on it. In fact nothing of any interest occurs for the next thirty to forty minutes. Again not the greatest thing ever, but we do get to see more of the good looking Nicole naked. A plus for sure, but a few brutal killings thrown in the mix would have helped the pace greatly.

There is some decent action inserted into the movie once the film clears the lengthy build up. We get treated to some stabbings, a nifty shooting, and a few fight scenes. The fight scenes were actually handled pretty well and are far more entertaining than the usual Giallo brawls. The man with the wooden hand was undoubtedly a great touch. Bloodletting and the gore factor are pretty low, offering up very little in that department. Most of the kills and action are all presented on screen, but copious amounts of bright red eye candy are few and far between. Only one gory murder really stands out and does looks pretty solid, a shame they didn't do more like it. In the music department we get some seriously bland stuff. Nothing of any real merit is played and some sound pieces are completely out of place. Bland, boring, unremarkable, are all appropriate descriptions for the score.

High Heels starts out strong enough but quickly runs out of energy, and dives into pointlessness. The movie does get a second wind after the final plot pieces are in place, but not enough is done. Had they went a little heavier on the gore and much lighter on the dialogue, it would have been more enjoyable. As is, I can only recommend it to hardcore Giallo fans, casual horror fans are better off avoiding this one.

Posted on November 10, 2012 - 9:08pm | steelba