A... for Assassin

A... for Assassin

You got what you deserved, John Prescott

When millionaire John Prescott is found stabbed to death in his palatial manor, he leaves behind an unusual audio-taped will. Because he hated and distrusted his greedy heirs, John stipulated that only three would share his fortune and only after living together in his home for a month - sure that they would kill each other off in pursuit of his money. And sure enough, as police Inspector Matt (Gilberto Mazzi) looks into John's murder, he finds that with the heirs eager to frame each other, details of their alibis don't line up. Is Adriana (Aïché Nana) really the ditzy bubblehead she seems to be? Is Angela (Mary Arden) really innocent? And was Giacomo (Sergio Ciana, credited as Alan Steel) really a loyal employee?  The Inspector will need to sort out the lies and find John's killer before everyone ends up dead!

A... for Assassin is another snappy early script by Ernesto Gastaldi that relies on gothic atmosphere and leans heavily on the classic Agatha Christie template. It also sets the stage for later locked-room gialli like The Weekend Murders, Nine Guests for a Crime and, most notably, Twitch of the Death Nerve.  The setting is appropriately creepy, the cast is effective, and there are even a few good fight scenes, including a suspenseful rooftop chase during a thunderstorm.

  • You may recognize bodybuilder Sergio Ciani, a.k.a. Alan Steel, who took a break from playing Hercules and Samson in a popular string of sword-and-sandal adventure films to make this giallo.
  • The gothic trappings continue into the score, as an arrangement of Bach's famous Toccata in D Minor is used as the main titles music.
  • Cinematographer Aldo Tonti had a spectacular resume, having worked with Fellini and, a few years later, John Houston.
What the Hell am I Watching?

Giacomo takes a bullet to the corroded artery before finishing his fight with Armando,walking downstairs and confronting and attacking Angela before passing out.

Fashion Moment

There's not a lot going on, fashion-wise in this movie, but Angela does stand out in this mod color-blocked dress.

And it's interesting to see how they dressed Sergio Ciani, who spent his career up to this point shirtless, bearded and coated in baby oil.

I'd say they made him look pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. Watching this now, got a copy from European Trash Cinema, and I am surprised this wasn’t dubbed and popping up on TV in the states, so far it’s good, but they should have found a way to get Alan Steel out of his clothes!