Death Walks At Midnight / La morte accarezza a mezzanotte (1972)

3.0 out of 5

While under the effects of an experimental psychedelic drug, a fashion model witnesses a murder in the apartment across from hers. The maniac, wearing sunglasses and wielding a spiked metal glove, begins to stalk her after a reporter publishes her account in the newspaper. Soon, more murders occur, as the killer seeks to silence anyone who can reveal the truth.

Luciano Ercoli’s above-average giallo is highlighted by a keen visual style, an excessive number of red herrings and plot twists, an exciting rooftop fight finale, gory murder scenes, and a brilliant score by Gianni Ferrio, which moves from light-hearted fun to threatening menace.

The film benefits from great performances by Susan Scott, Simón Andreu, Carlo Gentili, and creepy Luciano Rossi. Scott’s fiery and fiercely independent Valentina literally pulls no punches in her dealings with men, and is a stark contrast to the typical damsel-in-distress of most gialli. She also appeared in several of husband Ercoli’s other films as well.

Despite the title, most of the stalking sequences occur in broad daylight, which somewhat lessens the suspenseful mood. The film wanders into Eurocrime territory, causing a collision of action and giallo elements, which makes for an interesting and unpredictable mix.

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