The US branch of Arrow Video has been stepping up, and stepping up hard to provide top notch releases for genre fans. In the ever-growing market where smaller, obscure cult titles tend to get amazing restorations and fancy special editions, it’s tough to decide what to spend your hard earned cash on! But at least when it comes to companies like Grindhouse Releasing, Scream Factory and now Arrow US, you can expect as much as humanly possible for your buck. As my knowledge of “giallo” thrillers is still fertile and in need of some education, I finally popped in my Blu-Ray copy of WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE and was glad I did. This wacky little movie quickly became my Killer POV Pick Of The Week.
One of the things I love about “Giallo” movies is that you never know what to expect, except that it’s going to be a weird and, at times, totally random ride. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE kicks off with a couple passionately making out in a rowboat. The girl (THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE’s Cristina Galbo!) happens to look over to the neighboring woods and sees a glint of something. Was that a knife? On the next look, she sees what appears to be a murder, much to the frustration of her “lover.” They go back to shore to investigate but find nothing. Turns out the guy was actually her teacher, the suave Enrico (Fabio Testi) and he’s having one of his many affairs yet again with his students, much to the heartbreak of his wife Herta (Karin Beal).
When Enrico turns on the TV to watch the news, it turns out there was a murder in the very park that we was with Elizabeth the day before! He goes back to the scene of the crime, and inadvertently incriminates himself. As the police continue their investigation, the murders from the black gloved killer continue. His M.O.? We sticks the large knife between his female victims’ legs, easily one of the nastiest killers of this sort!
The victims are all female students of the St. Mary’s Catholic College, so what could they possibly all have in common that is making them targets? It gets pretty strange by the mid-point as the two-timing Enrico becomes obsessed with helping to solve the murder case, not because his young girlfriend becomes one of the many victims, but.. I’m actually not sure why. His wife decides to support him fully and somehow, this rekindles their relationship, although for us, the audience, it also makes her the prime suspect.
Then we hear about Solange. She was a girl in a club with the other victims that mysteriously went missing, but that now some of the remaining girls have seemingly been spotting around town. She’s played by Camille Keaton (most known for I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE) in her first on-screen role! Does Solange hold the truth about these killings?
Few things to note – this definitely has some mean-spirited kills for a “giallo.” The knife between the legs thing is a bit rough, but there is a reason for it all. The film it gorgeously shot and looks spectacular here in this new 2K restoration. It’s not surprising either as its directed Massimo Dallamano, the famed cinematographer of A FISTFUL OF DOLLRS and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE. It’s interesting to see Camille Keaton here so young and early on in her career. She reminded me quite a bit of Sissy Spacek from CARRIE; having that strange, ethereal beauty. And as can be expected with a film like this, the soundtrack by Ennio Morricone is spectacular. There are two audio versions of the film on the disc, an English dub and an Italian track. Because the majority of the lip movements were shot with the actors speaking in English, I opted to watch that version and thought it was great.
You can hear me talk a bit more about it on the latest episode of Killer POV with very special guests Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch where, along with my co-host Elric Kane, we pay tribute to Andrzej Zulawski and his film POSSESSION! Listen to it on Geeknation right here.