(aka "Concerto per pistola solista" or "Story of a Crime ")

 

directed by Michele Lupo
Italy 1970

 

The atmosphere is ripe for murder at the estate of the recently dead Henry Carter. His heirs are a typically suspicious lot. There's daughter Isabelle (Evelyn Stewart aka Ida Galli, CASE OF THE SCORPION'S TAIL) who abandoned her father and married beneath her station, her husband Anthony (Peter Baldwin, THE GHOST), her disapproving Aunt Gladys (Marisa Fabbri, FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET) and her prank-playing horny son Georgie (Chris Chittel, BEAST IN THE CELLAR), seemingly benevolent cousin Barbara (opera star Anna Moffo), pompous Uncle Lawrence (Quinto Parmeggiani, IDENTIKIT), and wastrel Ted (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE) who shocks his family with his surprise marriage to Pauline (Beryl Cunningham, SO SWEET SO PERVERSE). When the others are left out of the will and Barbara named the sole heir, Georgie voices what they are all thinking that if something were to happen to Barbara the inheritance would be divided among them. Soon the bodies start piling up and this time they really can't say the butler (Ballard Berkeley, FAWLTY TOWERS) did it as he's the first one to go.

Released in the US by MGM (on a double bill with THE BLACK BELLY OF A TARANTULA - on DVD from Blue Underground), THE WEEKEND MURDERS is not really a giallo in the filmic sense so much as a spoof of the Agatha Christie-type murder mysteries (Christie being one of the authors whose works was heavily represented in print gialli). The script is witty and diverting and will keep you guessing until the end. Although the tart dialogue is distributed among the cast members, Fabri and Rossi-Stuart get the best lines ("Come on, Aunt Gladys, let's go and strip the flesh off the carion together. We can tear each other to pieces later"). The masterful opening sequence features all the suspects on a golf course - along with the puzzling presence of a police constable (Gastone Moschin) and detective (Lance Percival) - and when a hand is discovered sticking out of a sand trap everyone is understandably sickened but not altogether surprised. Guglielmo Mancori's Techniscope cinematography matches director Michele Lupo's operatic sensibility and the English locations (and supporting cast) are quite a novelty for an Italian thriller.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 15 October 1970 (Italy)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Code Red DVD - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:37:59
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.16 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with star Peter Baldwin and HOSTEL producer Scott Spiegel moderated by Lee Christian
• On camera interview with star Peter Baldwin (4:3; 19:52)
• Still Gallery
• US theatrical trailer (16:9; 2:19)
• BRUTE CORPS trailer (16:9; 1:57)
• CHEERLEADERS WILD WEEKEND trailer (16:9; 2:16)
• DOCTOR DEATH TV spot (16:9; 0:36)
• THE STATUE trailer (16:9; 2:27)
• DEVIL'S EXPRESS TV spot (4:3; 0:31)
• TRAPPED trailer (16:9; 1:36)
• NIGHT WARNING trailer (16:9; 1:28)
• SOLE SURVIVOR trailer (4:3; 1:50)
• STUNT ROCK trailer (16:9; 2:25)

DVD Release Date: 11 August 2009
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

The anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer is progressive and dual-layered (accounting for 5.14 of the disc's 6.99 GB) with okay mono audio. The image is a little soft and has its share of scratches and dirt. Although MGM no longer holds the rights to the film, they supplied the elements for transfer and - although mastered in high definition - they are not as fine as a transfer from the negatives (the transfer is on par with the elements that MGM supplied Media Blasters with for LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN but not as good as the Italian-sourced master for this film's MGM double bill co-feature BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA (see the Blue Underground DVD).

 

Actor-turned-TV director Peter Baldwin provides an audio commentary and it is interesting to get to hear from this lesser known American actor who appeared in some interesting Italian films during the sixties such as THE GHOST and LADY OF THE LAKE. The only annoyance is a lack of a chapter menu (the film is encoded with 16 chapters) which seems to be a new trend with Code Red.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

 





 

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