Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

📅06 April 2016, 23:57

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Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Rated: UR/Region A/B/Widescreen/1080p/Number of Discs 4
Available from Arrow Video (Limited to 3,000 Copies)

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Death Walks on High Heels (1971) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Luciano Ercoli
Starring: Frank Wolff, Nieves Navarro, Simón Andreu
Rated: UR/2:35

10-1

In Death Walks on High Heels (1971), exotic dancer Nicole (Navarro), the daughter of a murdered jewel thief, finds herself terrorized by a black-clad assailant determined on procuring her father’s stolen gems. Fleeing Paris and her knife-wielding pursuer, Nicole arrives in London only to discover that death stalks her at every corner.

05-1

If you go by only the similar titles and the fact that both these movies have the same leads, then you may somehow think you’ve got a couple of films that are honest to goodness sequels on your hands here. However, it doesn’t take too long to realize they have nothing really to do with one another outside the actors, director, and similar sounding titles. Mainly because our female lead is about as night and day different from one film to the next as someone can get. The thing here is her dad ends up dead and she becomes the target. You notice the killer has very blue eyes, which should make finding out who it is very easy. The kicker, however, is that those are contacts, making it vert possible that it could be anyone and that, of course, builds mystery and leads to a pretty cool little surprise at the end of the film. The twists and turns along the way are really what makes this one. It comes across a bit more sexually driven than the other film and while it might not be a better movie overall (arguably) it, at least, packs some cool plot turns that keep you around and it seems to a bit more on the moody side of things. Some may like this one better between the two because of that and if so, then I’d understand that easily. I think the two even out overall for a number of different reasons, but if you want to see more of our lovely lead, as well as more skin in general, then this will be the one for you. I do think it might look a shade less clear in the HD department, but you still won’t find this movie on any other release look near as nice as this one does regardless. This is a bit more of a sleazy affair and uses more color between the two, but somehow seems to lack as much detail in spots. Either way, it doesn’t really hurt anything and still ends up making this a very solid watch with some nice extras for it as well.

16-1

Extras

– Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
– Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
– Newly-edited archive interview with director Luciano Ercoli and actress Nieves Navarro
– Master of Giallo brand new interview in which Gastaldi discusses Death Walks on High Heels and offers up his thoughts as to what constitutes a good Giallo
– An interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani
– Original Italian trailer
– Original English trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Quality of Transfer: 86%

3brains

 

 

 

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Death Walks at Midnight (1972) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Luciano Ercoli
Starring: Nieves Navarro, Simón Andreu, Pietro Martellanza
Rated: UR/2:35

13-1

Returning in Death Walks at Midnight (1972), Navarro stars as Valentina a model who, in the midst of a drug-fuelled photoshoot, witnesses a brutal murder in the apartment opposite hers. But when it becomes clear that the savage slaying she describes relates to a crime that took place six months earlier, the police are at a loss – forcing Valentina to solve the mystery alone.

12-1 (1)

Death Walks at Midnight might not be as sleazy or colorful, but I think it tells a better story and has our male and female leads playing much more likeable characters. The story starts off strong and I dare say leads along the way into a more Argento style of Giallo. The killer here at the start has one of the coolest weapons you’ll see, but sadly the blood we get mostly comes from that opening scene and is replayed a bit along the way. We kinda wish we had more of that red stuff from the start in this movie, but that is really the only real bad thing I could say about it. From the start on out our lead tries to get help and figure out what is going on with her male friends. The killer stalks her a bit to raise some tension, but then some other just as odd people come into play. Like before, we get more twists and before this one wraps up it has taken more than a few u-turns and almost feels like a different movie than we started with, but it is still fun and solid, packing the best overall plot of the two. I also think given the setting and a lot of outside stuff going on, the transfer probably gets a chance to shine more here a bit too. Add in the TV version they also tossed on for an extra and this might be my overall pick of the two, but not by a whole lot as both feel like more solid 3’s out of 5’s than anything else. Arrow once again goes above and beyond to try to stand out a little from the rest in the current format wars and a set like this shows. I’d recommend this to anyone who are big fans of Giallos in general, as you get pretty women, solid stories, and twists for both.

20-1

Extras

– Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
– Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
– Extended TV version of the feature [105 mins]
– Crime Does Pay brand new interview in which Gastaldi discusses Death Walks at Midnight and a career script-writing crime films
– Desperately Seeking Susan a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the distinctive Giallo collaborations between director Luciano Ercoli and star Nieves Navarro
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Quality of Transfer: 87%

3brains

 

 

 

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

– Limited Edition boxed-set (3000 copies) containing Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight
– Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
– Limited Edition 60-page booklet containing new writing from authors Danny Shipka (Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France), Troy Howarth (So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films) and writer Leonard Jacobs, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

 

Screenshots from rockshockpop.com

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