Five Women for the Killer
"When you've stared death in the face, you never forget it."
Writer Giorgio Pisani (Francis Matthews) rushes home to see the birth of his son, only to find that his wife has died in childbirth. On top of that, he discovers that the baby isn't his - medical tests show that Giorgio is sterile. But as he pieces his life together, the police are investigating a gloved killer whose victims are all pregnant women - or women believed to be pregnant. Could Giorgio's grief and confusion be driving him to murder? Or perhaps smarmy pediatrician Dr. Betti (Georgio Albertazzi), who has just impregnated his mistress, is covering his tracks? The Police Inspector (Howard Ross) must find out before more women die!
Five Women for the Killer (not to be confused with Six Women for the Killer, a.k.a. Blood & Black Lace) is a decent post-Argento giallo that follows a pattern: a woman character is introduced, the woman reveals that she's pregnant, the woman is killed. By the fourth time this pattern plays out, the audience knows what to expect (and may find it a little boring) but the filmmakers pull the rug out from under our expectations in the final scenes. The script is cleverly set up to let the audience figure out the identity of the killer about two minutes before it's revealed on screen.
- Director Stelvio Massi was the cinematographer on one of my favorite gialli, The Case of the Bloody Iris.
- Composer Giorgio Gaslini, who would go on to contribute music to Deep Red, imitates the noisy, funky bebop of Ennio Morricone's Bird with the Crystal Plumage soundtrack.
- The title "sort of" makes sense because while only four women ended up dead, there were five intended victims.
What the Hell am I Watching?
If you're a main suspect in a series of murders and find yourself at a fresh crime scene before the police arrive, don't be like Giorgio and pick up the murder weapon. Major facepalm.
Nothing to report here. The plot doesn't include any cocktail parties, receptions or gallery shows, so none of the characters have a reason to dress up in anything fancier than sport coats and ties. 1970's casual wear abounds.