This is not a cheap film. It's art. The art of crime.
During a photo shoot, photographer Carlo (Lou Castel) and his girlfriend Olga (Beba Loncar) secretly witness two men removing a dead body from their car and staging an accident to cover up their crime - mafia enforcers disposing of the body of a state prosecuting attorney. Carlo gets the whole event on film and goes to his boss, noted pornographer Ivan "Uncle Fifi" Smirkov (Massimo Serato) for advice. Instead of taking the photos to the police, they try to sell the photos to crime boss Don Salvatore (Fortunato Arena) but when he refuses to pay, they sell the evidence to the local newspaper. Unfortunately, a gloved assassin shows up after the sale to kill the reporter and steal the photos and he isn't done yet - everyone involved with the photos is on his list. Who could the killer be and who does he work for? Inspector Vezzi (Adolfo Celi) has three ideas, but can he stop the killings in time?
Who Killed the Prosecutor and Why? (not to be confused with Who Saw Her Die?) is a fantastic and rare giallo with a well-crafted mystery plot, lots of gratuitous nudity, stylish camera work, a variety of kills, and some well-crafted suspense scenes. It has just about everything that defines the genre in its heyday, grabbing the viewer from the beginning and engaging with an easy-to-follow investigation. If you can find it, check this one out.
- It's weird to see Adolfo Celi playing a cop - he's usually cast as the suave villain.
- The haunting musical theme that plays throughout the film is reminiscent of the They Might Be Giants song "Where Your Eyes Don't Go."
- Two million Lira (the asking price for Carlos's photos) was a little over $11,000 USD.
- Inspector Vezzi is a stamp collector, just like Commissioner Enci in The Case of the Bloody Iris. Two stamp-collecting police inspectors in movies released less than three months apart. Could it be a coincidence?
I suppose the craziest thing that happens in this movie is the Roman orgy-themed photo shoot at Uncle Fifi's studio. It's mostly chaste, but still superfluous, incongruous fun as the models grope each other while Uncle Fifi barks orders from his wheelchair.
Olga makes a bold first impression during the opening credits of the movie, wearing a poncho, boots and nothing else.
Those are the actual camera angles in the film, by the way. The other notable fashion moment is mafia boss Don Salvatore, who spends most of his screen time in this richly patterned pink and gold silk robe.
This is a man confident in the knowledge that no one will mock his fashion choices.