Wednesday, April 26, 2006

THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN

Mondo Macabro's disturbing THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN (1975) disc has been sitting on my desk for months, waiting for a planned giallo-themed column.

I never would have guessed that Luigi Cozzi – whose giddily goofy sci-fi and fantasy epics STARCRASH and the Lou Ferrigno vehicle THE ADVENTURES OF HERCULES, are mind-boggling, low brow/budget special effects orgies with cartoon plots and cardboard characters (and yes, I love them) – was the strong, directorial hand behind KILLER, but apparently it's true.

A wealthy womanizer (George Hilton, ANY GUN CAN PLAY) blackmails a serial killer (the very sinister-looking Michel Antoine) into killing his shrewish wife for him. Once the deed is done, the killer puts her corpse in the trunk of a car, only to have the car stolen by a couple of joyriders. He sets out after them, and catches up with them at an isolated, abandoned seaside villa, and… well, that would be telling.

I guess Cozzi's early work with Dario Argento taught him something, for while the film isn't anywhere as stylish as the maestro's works in the genre, it is a well-made thriller with very good production values and performances.

Mondo Macabro presents this rare giallo (previously unreleased in the U.S.) on DVD with an anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer culled from the original negative. It looks beautiful, with strong contrasts and stable colors. Even the dark scenes look good, with lots of detail. There's an exclusive video interview with the director and another great Mondo Macabro documentary on Italian giallo. Finally, there's a theatrical trailer and photo gallery.

BUY: Killer Must Kill Again