Murder-Rock: Dancing Death / Murderock - uccide a passo di danza (1984)

2.5 out of 5

Setting a giallo in a Fame style dance school and featuring a dance routine that is a clear homage to Flashdance from the year before could be seen as a shameless attempt to court the teen and young adult audience. This makes the choice of an already no longer cool in any meaningful sense Keith Emerson to provide the score for a film to which music would play such a fundamental role a bizarre one. A song about paranoia is just plain weird and ever so unsettling, but maybe this was intentional.

As much as the film fails as a down with the kids leg warmer and leotard affair it does succeed as a thriller. The giallo element is well handled and oozes a style that stands in stark contrast to the much more grimy New York Ripper which incidentally shares Cosimo Cinieri with this feature.

The silliness of the dance routines, since they are thankfully used sparingly, do not detract too much from what is in effect a very stylish if somewhat bloodless whodunnit.

Olga Karlatos of Zombi 2 takes a lead role and Ray Lovelock is just, as always, brilliant and his performance effortless. An alternative title of Slashdance suggests a movie that in no way seeks to take itself too seriously and nor should the viewer take it too seriously. Just watch and enjoy.

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