Sunday, August 5, 2012
Watch Me When I Kill (1977)
Before I watched Antonio Bido's giallo Watch Me When I Kill again I read an old text I wrote about it, in Swedish, several years ago. It's interesting how I've changed my mind since then, not that I dislike it - but more that I actually felt it was very connected in style and somehow even in themes to Dario Argento's Deep Red. My imagination was running wild at that time probably. What I still agree on is that it has the same nice charisma between the two lead characters and a street-wise attitude. Like Deep Red it's more realistic than kitschy for example, which I always prefer. The silliness often, for me, takes away the power of the mystery.
Paola Tedesco plays Mara, a dancer and actress, who indirectly witness a murder. Her boyfriend Lukas (Corrado Pani) is a slacker private investigator who happens to be around just when this happens. At the same time more people is killed, and it's of course connected to the past. One of them, Bozzi, gets weird phone calls with a recorded message consisting of weird noises, dogs barking etc. He hires Lukas to analyze the recordings and slowly they start to find details and clues hidden in the sounds. But the killer is also out to kill Mara, because she might have seen something...
Bido only made two gialli, and I like them both. They have an aura of realism and a serious, not especially campy, concept over them. He takes the genre and twists it back a little bit, to something that actually could be taken more serious by mainstream critics. I think this is a good thing because I like a good story and I hate when it's destroyed by unnecessary silliness. But make no mistake, Umberto Lenzi's Eyeball is still the most campy and silly giallo ever made - and it's a masterpiece.
I would like to discuss the final twist and who's the killer, but I can't do that. What I can say is that I still think it's one of the more interesting and serious motives for murdering people in a giallo I've seen, and it works a lot better than "Oh, my mother forced me to dress in girls clothes and then she had sex with an unknown man under the Christmas tree" or whatever fucking childhood traumas they use. It's just a good explanation and as a viewer you buy it, to that extent that you actually agrees with the killer.
The violence? Well, it's pretty rough, but not especially graphic. It's violent, but there's not much blood. The "best" murder is actually totally bloodless, a violent strangling in a bathtub, which usually is the most boring kills in these kind of movies, but here it has a lot of energy and very well-shot. Something that's splendid is the score by someone calling themselves "Trans Europa Express". It sounds a lot like a more acoustic Goblin, but when I once asked Claudio Simonetti about this he just avoided the question. Anyone know who's behind the music?