"High fashion. Craftsmanship. Only a high-class garment would have this button."
A mysterious and fashionable vigilante in a hooded coat and red pants has been eliminating the prostitutes and junkies of Milan and leaving a small dragonfly sculpture - a symbol of vice - on each body as a trademark. It's up to Inspector Paolo Scaporalla (Paul Naschy) to stop her, with the help of his girlfriend Silvana (Erika Blanc), whose connections to the fashion world provide valuable insights. The investigation will lead them to a prostitution ring, an amusement park, and an enigmatic drawing one of the victims left as a clue. Could the killer be Professor Campitelli (Eduardo Calvo), who hides a dark obsession, or Claudia Volpini (Susana Mayo), covering for her husband's infidelities. With pressure from the chief and the body count rising, Paolo and Silvana must race to find the killer.
A Dragonfly for Each Corpse is a really fantastic giallo with one of the highest body counts in the genre. It is, unfortunately, pretty obscure and could benefit with a remastering and a DVD release because it's a good addition to the genre. The twisty plot and large pool of suspects (most of whom are introduced in a party scene near the beginning of the movie) keeps suspicions shifting and the murderer's wide array of creative murder weapons keeps things interesting.
- The story was conceived by star Paul Naschy and it plays right to his strengths.
- The title "sort of" makes sense because only 12 of the killings can be attributed to the murderer. A more accurate title would be A Dragonfly For Most of the Corpses.
- It's an interesting idea to have the killer be a vigilante, targeting the city's criminals, Seven-style. In fact, at the start of the investigation, the police debate weather it's a good idea to find the culprit or let her keep up the spree.
- The investigation takes us to the hounted house ride at Luna Park - the same location as the opening murder in Naked Girl Murdered In a Park.
Paolo's investigation leads him to an ambush in an alley, where he takes on a group of thugs in Nazi uniforms. Because it's not a Paul Naschy movie without a three-on-one brawl.
Please to enjoy an appearance by the least-convincing drag queen ever. The hairy chest is a major giveaway.
If you're running from the cops, why would you go on a roller coaster? You know where it's going to end up and that they're all waiting for you at the station. The "roller coaster shootout" concept was done a few years later and 100 times better in Sergio Martino's The Suspicious Death of a Minor.
If you're laying there dying and you have time to sketch a picture of your killer's distinctive birthmark, maybe that time would be better spent just WRITING DOWN HIS NAME instead.
Later, Silvana is intently focused, poring over photographic evidence with a magnifying glass... while in bed, completely naked. What's that about? I mean besides being totally gratuitous.
Let's have a look at the killer's outfit: A black hooded pea coat, red straight-leg pants, and black platforms with a chunky heel. Tres chic.
Also, have a look at architect Volpini in his swanky white tux and peach bow tie.
Let this be a lesson to the gents: if you wear a light-colored shirt always always ALWAYS wear a white undershirt underneath. Always.