Watch Me When I Kill

Watch Me When I Kill

"The Police are useless, Lukas. And besides, I hate their stupidity, their questions.
I wanted to handle it my way."

Looking to buy aspirin, cabaret performer Mara (Paola Tedesco) stumbles onto the murder of a pharmacist and accidentally hears the killer's voice, putting her in danger.  Mara's boyfriend, cigar-chomping sound engineer Lukas Carmine (Corrado Pani) soon becomes obsessed with the case and the subsequent murder of a spinster and the attempted murder of his elderly neighbor, Giovanni Bozzi (Fernando Cerulli), who has received threatening tape recordings with the sounds of screaming, barking, and fire. Lukas discovers that the two victims and Giovanni all served on the jury of escaped murderer Pasquale Ferrante (Franco Citti) but is Ferrante the killer? Or is there some other link between the victims? The investigation will lead Lukas and Mara to uncover long-held secrets from a dark time in history.

Watch Me When I Kill is a really strong giallo from director Antonio Bido, who clearly learned  a lot from Dario Argento's early films. Bido appropriates (okay, copies) a lot of the young master's favorite tricks, including macro lens tracking shots, modern settings, and a "slowly exploring a creepy abandoned building" scene. Even the score (credited to the band Trans Europa Express) is a blatant copy of Claudio Simonetti's score to Deep Red with its tingling, mechanical ostinatos and thumping electric bass line.  The plot is very well thought-out and isn't afraid to get a little heavy when it veers into the tragic events of actual 20th Century history.
  • None of the various titles make any sense. No one is forced or even invited to watch anyone kill. There are flashes of a cat's eyes during some of the murder scenes, but a cat doesn't enter into the plot and few frames of the movie don't warrant the title Cat With the Jade Eyes. Clearly, this was another attempt to copy Argento by using a verbose animal-centric title like Cat O'Nine Tails or The Bird With the Crystal Plumage.
  • On a related note, the cover of the DVD and the poster image on show a screaming woman reflected in the mirrored sunglasses of a killer (in effect, watching her own murder). Nothing resembling this scene actually occurs in the movie.
  • Director Antonio Bido makes a Hitchcock-esque cameo as the director of the cabaret where Mara works.
  • I love the handles on the pharmacy's front door. They're shaped like a caduceus - snakes wrapped around a staff, used as a symbol of medicine.
What the Hell Am I Watching?

We're treated to a tone-deaf and lead-footed performance of  "Tango Argentina" from Mara's cabaret act.

The dubbing on the DVD version is pretty good, but just before witnessing the first murder, Mara asks her cab driver to pull over at the farmacia (pronounced "farm-a-chee-ah"), using the Italian word for Pharmacy for some reason.

In a scene that probably had Argento kicking himself for not thinking of it first, Lukas gets an old senile woman to remember details about the past by playing old records from the 1940's.

Fashion Moment

Girl, what is on your head?

I have no idea what they were discussing in this scene because I was so distracted by that turban.

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