Death Smiles at Murder (1973)

DEATH SMILES AT MURDER (1973)
(a.k.a. LA MORTE HA SORRISO ALL’ASSASSINO)
Article #1476 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-30-2005
Posting Date: 8-27-2005
Directed by Joe D’Amato
Featuring Ewa Aulin, Klaus Kinski, Angela Bo

When an amnesiac woman suffers an accident near a country estate, the couple that lives there takes her in. Her arrival sets off a series of murders.

Somewhere in this bizarre compendium of—
a) jerky hand-held camera style photography
b) confusing editing
c) extreme close-ups (especially of eyes)
d) bizarre camera angles (you know, the type where someone’s hand will be bigger than the rest of their body)
e) gory murders,
f) sex
g) very bad dubbing, and
h) subplots about a secret Inca formula to raise the dead

—there may be a plot. There may even be a point. Unfortunately, one thing it doesn’t have (for me anyway) is a real compelling reason to bother sorting out the whole mess. I was also hoping that the familiar face of Klaus Kinski would be enough to help me wend my way through this movie, but he’s stuck in a subplot that ends abruptly and vanishes from the movie after the first half hour.

This movie serves as my introduction to the work of prolific cult director Joe D’Amato. I’ll probably be covering more of them. If the ratings on IMDB are any indication, it may be his best movie. If it is, I don’t really look forward to the future.

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