Seven Murders for Scotland Yard

Seven Murders for Scotland Yard

"It's alarming how many crimes of a sexual nature are being committed at the moment."

A killer is stalking the red light district of London, murdering women and removing organs – just like Jack the Ripper did a hundred years ago. Commissioner Henry Campbell (Renzo Marignano) is on the case and his primary suspect is Pedro Dorian (Paul Naschy), a washed-up Spanish trapeze artist, prone to boozing and brawling, who was the husband of the second victim. As the list of murdered women grows, the killer taunts the police with escalating messages, from notes and threatening phone calls to his victim's severed body parts, all the while calling himself "Jack." Could Pedro be the killer or is he being framed? Could it be Campbell's friend, schoolteacher Winston Christian (Andres Resino), who sexually blackmails his own students? Or could it even be Commissioner Campbell himself, using his power at Scotland Yard to frame an innocent man?

Seven Murders for Scotland Yard is a crazy, bloody mess of a movie that exemplifies the low-budget, trash aesthetic of many gialli. It's poorly made but fun to watch. Just check out that body count! Paul Naschy (whom you may remember from The Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll) is put to good use with three big fight scenes and the mystery is appropriately twisty.
  •  The killer actually commits nine murders (the rest were either accidents or self defense).
  •  In the first fight scene, please enjoy the sight of Paul Naschy beating up two hilariously wimpy street thugs.
  • You'd think that a movie featuring prostitutes being killed in a red light district would be racy, but not a single naked bewb is to be found in all of Seven Murders for Scotland Yard.

What the Hell Am I Watching?

For the better part of the film, Commissioner Campbell is perhaps the most inept police detective ever in a genre known to feature inept police detectives. Until the last 25 minutes, he spends exactly zero percent of his time in the field examining evidence and tracking down the culprit. Instead, Campbell can be found in fancy chairs in cozy wood-paneled drawing rooms with his fingers tented, discussing the case as if it were a hypothetical puzzle. Meanwhile, out on the street, the bodies stack up like cord wood.

Campbell refers to the surgical precision with which the killer slices open his victims, but all that stabbing looks pretty haphazard to me.

The scene where Winston Christian lures his female student into his office for a chat at 10pm is absolutely abhorrently creepy. The fact that she shows up in a nightgown makes it twice as difficult to watch.

At 17:14, a little kid runs into the frame and mugs at the camera. This might be my favorite thing in the entire film.

Fashion Moment

What's that, Winston? I can't hear you over your fancy silk robe and mismatched ascot.

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