Director – Sergio Martino (Torso, Hands of Steel)
Starring – Claudio Cassinelli (Murder-Rock: Dancing Death, Hercules), Mel Ferrer (Murder, She Wrote, Nightmare City), and Lia Tanzi (The Violent Professionals, She’s a Thief)
Release Date – 1975
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
When I first found myself engulfed in horror I was very open-minded about all sub-genres but I had a hard time enjoying giallos. I loved the work of Dario Argento but that was about the extent of it. Over the years I would often ignore giallos because I thought I would dislike them but recent years has saw my taste in horror mature and I actually like giallos. Now, I look forward to some of my favorite movie distribution companies to release obscure giallos on blu.
Not long ago Arrow Video released Sergio Martino’s The Suspicious Death of a Minor. Once news broke of the release there was several horror fans stating how unique the film is. Most proclaimed that it is more of a murder mystery than giallo which made me want to see it even more. I reached out to my friends over at MVD and they were kind enough to send over a review copy.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows an investigator named Paolo Germi (Cassinelli) who is working the death of an underage girl that was forced into prostitution. He enlists the help of a local delinquent to help him track down the people responsible for forcing her into prostitution and inadvertently her murder.**Spoiler Alert**
Giallo was something I found boring when I was younger. The stories put horror in the backseat and played out more like a murder mystery. As I got older I learned to enjoy the suspense a lot more. The tension made the murders even more enjoyable and most of these stories have incredible character development.
The acting in this one is great. Giallos are known for their amazing casts and The Suspicious Death of a Minor is not different. I really enjoyed Claudio Cassinelli’s performance. I can see what Martino set him as the film’s lead. His personality shines and his character is very enjoyable to watch. The remainder of the cast is great as well but this is Cassinelli’s show.
The story for this one is mostly a crime thriller with giallo moments. The tense scenes with the murder mystery vibe works very well. The viewer is enthralled at the possibility as to who the killer is and how far the conspiracy goes. The deaths are welcome and well placed throughout the film.
Finally, the film has several on screen deaths that are very fitting to the film. The kills work very well and the effects are great. My only complaint is the blood color. I’ve enjoyed the 3M bright red in other films but here it made the effects look cheap. Overall, The Suspicious Death of a Minor is a fantastic film. The acting is damn near perfect and the story is very compelling. Check it out.