Weapon, the Hour, and the Motive, The / L'arma, l'ora, il movente (1972)

4.0 out of 5

The Weapon, the Hour, and the Motive is not completely gimmick free. Indeed there is some nunsploitation type titillation but this is, nevertheless, no Killer Nun. However, there are no hyper-stylised killings nor any Bavaesque or Argento-like visual flourishes. Instead this constructs an old-skool whodunnit that is largely free of exploitation cinema excesses.

Most of note is the writing. The Weapon, the Hour, and the Motive is incredibly well crafted and is as delicious and devious a giallo as the viewer is likely to find. The story draws in the viewer to engage with, and make sense of, the clues and does not throw the type of curveball that tend to crop up from time to time within the genre. It is all very clever and even takes a stab at the locked room style mystery.

Francesco Mazzei directs. This is the only film he directed but this is a commendable work. He should have directed more.

At it's heart The Weapon, the Hour, and the Motive has a cleric critical theme and, as such, could possibly play well alongside Lucio Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling or even one of the Massimo Dallamano helmed Schoolgirls-in-Peril series. Recommended.

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