The Bird with the Crystal Plumage remains to this day a highly regarded classic, and rightfully so. Decades after it’s release, and decades after legions of imitators, it still feels fresh, inventive, and shocking.
When people imitate hardboiled fiction, they’re imitating Mickey Spillane. Every sentence is boiling over with hate and disgust. Every thought is of violence.
Despite coming out in 1971 — a banner year for giallo — Slaughter Hotel plays like one of Jess Franco’s lesser efforts, or something from bottom-of-the-bucket production house Eurocine.
Giallo often treat logic as a secondary consideration at best. That said, Emilio P. Miraglia’s The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave is nonsensical even within the forgiving confines of giallo logic.
Had Dark Purpose been an hour long episode of a TV show, he would have delivered. But forced to come up with, roughly, three half-hour acts, the movie isn’t dynamic enough to make us forget nothing much is going on.
Part of the fun of watching gialli is getting lost in the needlessly convoluted twists, becoming so disoriented that one simply has to throw up one’s hands and surrender to the lurid displays of sex, violence, and style.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much is a bit like Roman Holiday if Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn got caught up in a murder mystery. It isn’t grim, and it does have a certain spirit to it, but it also dabbles in tense Gothic atmosphere.