Monster Of Venice, The / Il mostro di Venezia (1965)

2.0 out of 5

Dino Tavella did not begin directing until 1965 and directed only two films. The Monster Of Venice was his second feature as a director and sometimes it is known as The Embalmer. It features a cast of largely unknown performers.

It is not just that the film is shot in black and white but the score and the delivery makes The Embalmer feel like a relic, a cinematic anachronism. It feels like a throwback to the RKO and Universal creature features. This is possibly the intent so maybe it would be unfair to dwell on this as a criticism.

The Embalmer is a thriller and whodunnit and as such is arguably an early example of the giallo genre. The killer on the loose is a murderous frogman who stalks the canals of Venice looking for women to kill and preserve. This gets a bit repetitive after the second or third sub aqua stalk and strangle that is preempted by a freeze frame of the designated victim.

As a thriller it fails to thrill as a mystery the film nevertheless does engage. With a short running time the film just about manages to avoid outstaying its welcome.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics