Death Walks at Midnight 1972 ★★


  • Only two stars? Aw.

  • yeah, i'm starting to realize that as far as straight giallos go they're just not for me. they all have one or two good sequences and often some good music but i'm usually bored by the clothesline mystery plots (which always get explained at the end and even then don't make a lick of sense). for the most part i find them interchangeable (with notable exceptions like the early Argentos, or BLADE OF THE RIPPER or my favorite, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK).

  • See, that's the thing - I've gotten to the point with this genre where, if the visual appeal is enough, then fuck the plot because it's invariably stupid. And in the regard, I find Ercoli's giallos immensely appealing because he, like Argento in his prime, does not give one fuck about the plot aside from the opportunities it affords him to direct the fuck out of various setpieces. The films of his I've seen are glossy and beautiful and horrid, like a magazine shoot gone very wrong. DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS is probably a better film from a narrative standpoint, and I like it very much, but I'm probably the only person who likes MIDNIGHT better because oh my God is it gorgeous.

  • i thought both HIGH HEELS and MIDNIGHT were compositionally pretty interesting and still sort of admirably cheap and ragged but, i gotta say, not extraordinarily so like maybe DEATH LAID AN EGG or SUSPECTED DEATH OF A MINOR. i guess what i was poking at before was that i didn't think this was as distinguished visually as you (and apparently many others) do, which is usually more than enough just like you say, and so it lost me.

  • That's fair. It's been a few years for both, so I can't offer a coherent defense beyond "BOY THOSE WERE PRETTY" right now. But between those two and FORBIDDEN PHOTOS OF A LADY ABOVE SUSPICION, I consider Ercoli essentially the polar opposite of Martino - where Martino is tough and brutal, visually impressive in an economically muscular way, Ercoli is all sensation and color, menace in the midst of decadent intoxication. Ercoli's films smell like expensive perfume where Martino's smell like sweat and determination. In between those two, an entire genre lies.

  • i propose a race around the world to decide which ones are the prettiest. Trafalgar Square at six bells for the starter's pistol!

  • Crap, my sneakers! Where are my sneakers?!?!

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