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

3.5 out of 5

The third giallo collaboration between star Nieves Navarro and director / paramour Luciano Ercoli may appear rather routine, but is imbued with a sense of fun usually lacking in the filone. The utterly adorable Navarro holds her own as a refreshingly spunky and resourceful heroine and Simon Andreu finally proves that he can play someone other than a complete cad. As with other gialli that initially pertain toward the supernatural, the hook is discarded, replaced by a financially motivated rational that is certainly less interesting than the promise of the set-up. Featuring an interesting instrument of execution no doubt inspired by one utilised in Mario Bava’s seminal Blood and Black Lace, Midnight certainly does not skimp on the bloodier aspects of the filone, but never to the detriment of its fun fuelled atmosphere.

Ultimately driven by Navarro’s delightful charm, Midnight is a frothy excursion that successfully harks back to the playful humour of Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

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