Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Five Women for the Killer Why pick on pregnant ladies?
Year: 1974
Director: Stelvio Massi
Stars: Francis Matthews, Pascale Rivault, Giorgio Albertazzi, Howard Ross, Katia Christine, Catherine Diamant, Gabriella Lepori, Maria Cumani Quasimodo, Alessandro Quasimodo, Tom Felleghy
Genre: Horror, Sex, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Returning home from an assignment overseas journalist Giorgio Pisani (Francis Matthews) discovers his wife Erica has died in childbirth. Their baby lies in intensive care. Devastated Giorgio draws no sympathy from his family of bourgeois assholes; save for pretty and kindly sister-in-law Dr. Lidia Franzi (Pascale Rivault). Unfortunately a sneak peak at Lidia’s case notes reveals Giorgio is sterile. Erica’s baby cannot be his. Being Italian, Giorgio copes with emotional turmoil the only way he knows how. He shags a sexy nurse. But the morning after that same nurse is brutally butchered by a knife-wielding maniac. Suspicion falls on Giorgio. Has grief pushed him over the edge? As more women fall prey to the vicious killer police discover they all had something in common.

To be honest they have two things in common. For some strange reason no-one remarks that all the victims are redheads. Anyway the big gimmick in Five Women for the Killer lands the titular murderer with a particular grudge against pregnant women. This nasty little plot twist, coupled with the film's brief, almost subliminal glimpses of the scalpel-wielding killer slicing victim's bellies and genitals, has spurred some giallo fans to embrace it as a gory favourite; even as others decry its overt misogyny. Stelvio Massi, cinematographer turned director better known for all-action poliziotteschi films like Emergency Squad (1974), The .44 Specialist (1976) and Fearless Fuzz (1978), is no Dario Argento. Admittedly his roving camera adds a mounting sense of menace while other eye-catching stylistic flourishes enliven some scenes (including a graphic if superfluous sex scene). Yet the murders are staged in a clumsy and crass fashion.

Between murders scenes consist largely of obnoxious rich folks being ghastly to each other with Massi's tendency to crash-zoom onto actors' faces enhancing the tacky daytime soap opera tone. Co-authored by Roberto Gianviti, Gianfranco Clerici and Vincenzo Mannino, the script makes no attempt to draw sympathy for any of its characters including ostensible 'hero' Giorgio who serves as one of the more obvious red herrings. Indeed the plot routinely ditches imported British lead Francis Matthews, veteran of many a Hammer horror (e.g. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)), to focus on the swarthy Police Commissioner (Howard Ross) and his idiot comedy relief sidekick interrogating suspects. Or a subplot with arrogant womanizing surgeon Aldo Betti (Giorgio Albertazzi) and his frankly weird tarot card-reading wife Elena (another redhead) that at least feeds back into the main story. While the killer's identity serves as a genuine surprise their motive only serves to underscore the film's patronizing contempt for women. As if to acknowledge that lapse the climax springs a double-twist, seemingly slamming the misogynistic attitudes of its male characters. Yet all too tellingly the film still fades out on the line: "You filthy whore."

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 1629 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (1)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: