My Dear Killer / Mio caro assassino (1972)

4.0 out of 5

Whilst a decapitation by crane and a circular saw attack are arguably the most memorable moments of this, the only giallo from western expert Tonino Valerii, these moments belie the fact that the film is on the whole a relatively restrained example of the genre.

It still makes for a rather torrid platter. The murder of an insurance investigator sparks off a police hunt led by Inspector Perretti, played by genre regular George Hilton, here neither flirty nor womanising. An efficient, by-the-book cop, Peretti is lead by a series of unlikely clues into a murky world of sleazy aristos, populated by such familiar faces as William Berger and Piero Lulli.

Needless to say, red herrings abound as suspects and witnesses are despatched in a variety of creative fashions. As in Profondo Rosso, made three years later, the key to the whole case lies in a child’s drawing.

Mio caro assassino is a confusing and convoluted tale, but fine direction, cinematography and a beautiful, haunting soundtrack from maestro Morricone ensure that it oozes enough style to elevate it to the level of first-tier giallo.

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