"If we don't find the third girl in that photo fast,
we're going to have another corpse on our hands."
When Emma Giorgi is attacked in her home late one night by a razor-wielding woman wearing black stockings, Inspector Laurina (John Richardson) and his partner Sergeant Panto (director Tano Cimarosa) are on the case. Before long, a second murder occurs and the victim is one of Emma's close friends. Why is the killer targeting this group and who will be next? The answers will lead the Inspector from Leondra (Dagmar Lassander), the wife of a powerful politician, to a drug smuggling hairstylist to lesbian photographer Contessa Orselmo (Magda Konopka). What secrets do the victims share and who will be the next to die?
Reflections in Black (also commonly called Vice Wear Black Hose) is a classic mid-70's giallo complete with a gloved killer, gratuitous nudity, lesbian love scenes, and a groovy soundtrack featuring a harpsichord, thumping electric bass and jazz drumming. The plot comes into focus late in the game and an overlong but necessary summary of the storyline by one of the survivors may fill in the details, but it drags the ending down. Other than that, the cast of giallo all-stars shines and benefits from expert editing by Romeo Ciatti.
- Director Tano Cimarosa cast himself as Sergeant Panto, the short, wisecracking sidekick to the noble Police Inspector. Could "Sergeant Panto" be a reference to Sancho Panza from Cervantes' Don Quixote?
- This movie features a classic "lovers alone in the woods stalked by the killer" scenario, which first appeared in 1973's Torso and was inspired by the true events of the Zodiac Killer case.
After being questioned by police about Emma's death, Leondra goes to her room. Her maid soon follows and, in an effort to console her, silently starts to undress. Leondra is too upset for grownup time and tells the maid to leave. It's a revealing scene, to be sure, but it's staged in a very strange way.
Leondra then flashes back to a poolside makeout scene with Emma and, rather than using the traditional hazy focus, the flashback looks like it was shot through a glass of milk.
When I started this blog, I decided not to have a checkbox for "horribly misogynistic" because that's sort of a given in the giallo genre. But it's never been so overtly stated as when Sergio (Marco Busciala) tells Anna (Ursula Davis) "Try to keep your impulses to the bedroom and supermarket."
Fast-talking drug dealer Sandro (Ninetto Davoli) illustrates everything that was wrong with 1970's fashion:
A tight muscle shirt under a glaringly loud cropped shirt with nine-inch cuffs and a collar fashioned from a couple of airplane wings. Add tight polyester high-wasted bell-bottoms and a Juan Epstein hairdo and you've got yourself a look.
Later, he tops it with a full-on Disco Stu rhinestone denim jacket that reads "OHIO BASE 47."