Friday, June 17, 2016

Death Walks Twice (Arrow Video, 2016)






Arrow Video is really making us Giallo fans happy!  These somewhat forgotten Italian films from the 70's featuring a mysterious killer (usually disguised in some manner), lots of nekkid women and enough blood to fill a swimming pool really deserve another chance.  And luckily we have Arrow to come to the rescue.  I had seen both of the films in this collection - Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight - several years ago and they both stuck out as shining examples of the genre.  The director Luciano Ercoli is a favorite of mine, directing the brilliant giallo Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion and the Polizioteschi Killer Cop (aka La polizia ha le mani legati).

Death Walks on High Heels (1971) stars Italian screen great Frank Wolff (Once Upon a Time in the West, The Great Silence) as a doctor who is obsessed with a stripper named Nicole (Susan Scott aka Nieves Navarro - Ercoli's wife).  After being attacked by a masked man, Nicole accepts the doctor's proposal to run away to England.  Her boyfriend (Simon Andreu) isn't pleased and tries to find her, while the masked man does too.

Death Walks at Midnight (1972) also stars Susan Scott as Valentina, a model who witnesses a murder while under a hallucinogenic drug given to her in a clinical study.  Though initially laughed at, it soon turns out that a murder recently happened the same way as what she had seen and she finds herself being chased by the same man who she saw in her hallucination.  She must save herself while trying to figure out who is trying to kill her and why.

These two classics are a must have for any giallo fan.  They have all of the familiar aspects of the genre and excel at every one.  Nieves Navarro is one of the most beautiful women to grace the screen and the supporting cast is great too.  Of the two, Death Walks on High Heels is the more "classic" example of the genre, while Death Walks at Midnight stretches the familiar trappings and is more original.  I can't say which I prefer more as they both had so many good qualities.  Arrow's release here is nothing short of amazing, featuring everything you could expect and more.  In this limited edition set, we get different versions of the films, commentaries, interviews, a booklet and a beautiful new artwork (and the original artwork as well).  Full list of extras below:


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

DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS
·         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

DEATH WALKS AT MIDNIGHT
·         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



Purchase this film directly from MVD HERE

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