"You know, Kitty, I think you read too many detective novels."
While showing relatives the sights in Rome, photographer Kitty Hoffman (Neves Navarro, credited as Susan Scott) witnesses a brutal murder through an observation point telescope. Though she can't make out the killer's face, she does notice a few important details – including the fact that the killer walks with a cane. As Kitty and her husband Robert (Alberto Marosini) are working on a musical revue with composer Marco (Simon Andreu), she continues to follow the case as more young women and witnesses to the crimes are murdered. Inspector Merughi (George Martin) and Marco's girlfriend, reporter Lidia Arrighi (Anuska Borova) are also keen to solve the case. What do the victims have in common? Does he know that Kitty was a witness – and if so, is her life in danger?
Death Carries a Cane is a classic-style giallo with several bloody murders, a twisty plot, a black-clad killer, a little humor, and lots of completely gratuitous sex scenes. I only wish it had a better resolution. The opening is a clever take on Hitchcock's Rear Window, though. It should be noted that Anuska Borova plays both good-girl reporter Lidia Arrighi and her twin sister, the petulant Silvia Arrighi. Most of the time, Lidia wears glasses, but sometimes it's difficult to tell who we're looking at.
- The original Italian title is Passi di Danza su una Lama di Rasoio, which literally translates as Dance Steps on a Razor Blade.
- The clues lead to a Russian dance academy, which I'm counting as an "All-girl school."
- Though we don't see it, the murder of an Australian ballerina occurs before the action of the movie starts. It's included in the body count above.
What the Hell am I Watching?
Two words: glitter bewbs.
In one completely baffling scene, Marco is distraught over the death of a dancer from his show and he mournfully plays her song on the piano. Things turn weird when Lidia arrives and the two start making the sexy eyes at each other. Nakedness ensues.
The film's big comic moment comes when Kitty agrees to lure the killer out by pretending to be a hooker. When a suspicious cane-wielding John picks her up the police swarm in... only to discover that the man is the Chief of Police.
What kind of grown-ups use the word "toodle-oo" to say goodbye?
Before (and during) a break-in at the dance academy, Kitty takes a pee-break. And we just sit around and wait until she's done. There is no reason for this to have been included in the movie.
This purse turns out to be an important way to lure the killer out of the shadows.