"Where am I? Where are we?"
Georgio Darica (Stello Candelli) returns home from a shady business trip to discover that his wife has been murdered. With no alibi, and insisting that he is not the murderer, he turns to his lawyer, Savara (Tom Felleghy) for help and hides out with his girlfriend, Liz (Patrizia Viotti) in an abandoned hotel while things cool down. Their boredom soon turns to cabin fever, but when the hotel's owner (Antonio Anelli) shows up and asks Georgio to help him bury his murdered wife's body, things get crazy. Are the people Georgio encounters real or are they ghosts haunting the abandoned hotel? Is he alive or dead? And if he didn't murder his wife, who did?
Death Falls Lightly is a weird little movie. It starts out like a normal giallo with a great premise, but soon slows to a crawl when Georgio and Liz are sequestered in the hotel. Then, halfway through, the Hotel Owner and his family show up and things go bananas. It turns into a totally different movie, reminiscent of Lucio Fulci's The Beyond, or Umberto Lenzi's Spasmo, where we, along with the main character, get so disoriented that we're not sure if anything we're seeing is real. Maybe we're witnessing a manic fever dream, or the characters are dead, in some nightmarish afterlife. In this case, though, everything is eventually tied up and the movie ends exactly as you think it might.
- The most recognizable face in the crowd is Tom Felleghy as the lawyer, whom you might recognize from The Case of the Scorpion's Tail and Cat O'Nine Tails.
- The music in this movie is better than most, featuring a rock song from an unknown band, reminiscent of Deep Purple.
- Editor Otello Colangeli is a giallo veteran, having worked with Antonio Margheriti on the great film Naked You Die.
Pretty much the whole second half of the movie, up to the last eight minutes will make you question the filmmakers' sanity. Ominous characters who talk in riddles appear and disappear, get murdered, and come back to life. Strange noises fill the hotel. A monkey appears out of the darkness, swinging on a nearby bar. Someone commits ritual suicide on a Satanic altar. Georgio gets beat up by an invisible attacker. It's 40 minutes of crazy randomness.
I don't want to give too much away, but things are explained and lose ends tied up by the end of the movie and one thing is made perfectly clear: the police are inept to the degree that they're willing to risk several lives in the hopes of securing one murder confession.
Liz changes clothes no fewer than four times in the first 24 hours in the hotel, but the most eye-catching ensemble is the off-the-shoulder robe worn by Adele (Veronika Korosek) during her Satanic ritual.
If this brings to mind Manos: The Hands of Fate, then you and I should totally hang out.