Who Saw Her Die?
A prologue shows a young redhead girl playing in the snow with her nanny, before sledging off through the woods where she is beaten to death by a figure dressed entirely in black, even down to the veil. The film then moves from France to Venice where Franco (George Lazenby) is working as a sculptor and taking care of his young redheaded daughter, Roberta. A series of shots show a veiled figure stalking Roberta and one day she goes missing from the schoolyard. Franco's search is fruitless and his wife Elizabeth comes home to help out but it's too late as Roberta's body is found face down in a canal.
Franco embarks on a search for the murderer, who may have had something to do with the killing in France, but as the body count rises, he and his wife are increasingly in danger.
Who Saw Her Die? (Chi l'ha vista morire?) was made in 1971, released a year later and is perhaps most notable for the striking similarities it bears to Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now (1974); there is no evidence of Aldo Lado adapting Daphne Du Maurier's short story, nor Roeg being influenced by this so it is an incredible coincidence. As with most of their releases, this is gaining its first UK DVD release of the title thanks to Shameless Screen Entertainment.
A decent picture with wonderfully atmospheric use of the Venetian architecture and canal system with extremely moody and oppressive cinematography by Franco Di Giacomo.
Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, the dialogue is clear (as it should be as it is dubbed) but the highlight is Ennio Morricone's haunting score that really cranks up the tension at times and provides a general feel of unease.
As well as the Theatrical Trailer there is the trailer reel that starts up when you load the disc and can be skipped through or can be watched from the menu. This comprises:
· The Designated Victim
· Strip Nude For Your Killer
· Oasis of Fear
· Night Train Murders
· What Have They Done To Your Daughters?
· The Black Cat
The Italian Giallo films of the 1970s include some of the most innovative and enduring movies of the genre as well as some trash - this is one of the former, predating Don't Look Now and still a film worth watching now. It has all the hallmarks of Giallo: bloody murders, sex, nudity and a mysterious killer with a trademark dress.
Who Saw Her Die? is quite restrained (for a Giallo) at times, with Aldo Lado content to let the cinematography and score keep the audience on edge, rather than rely on shocking murder scenes. This is not to say it is bloodless - it's not, and there's a couple of sex scenes that, although not as intense or memorable as that in Roeg's masterpiece, are very well done and add much to Franco's character. George Lazenby is on fine form, boasting a splendid moustache that looks very odd if you think of him as James Bond, whom he played three years earlier in his film debut. Lazenby's career is very odd - he played Bond in what I consider the best film in the franchise despite him being the worst 007 but then appeared in a variety of projects from foreign horror movies to Jor-El in the television series Superboy and then in seven Emmanuelle films! This must rank alongside On Her Majesty's Secret Service as the best film he made as it is an engrossing and very well made picture which is well worth the money of any horror fan, particularly if you are interested in Giallo movies.