Sunday, 1 August 2010

La casa de las muertas vivientes / An Open Coffin ... an Empty Tomb

Oliver Bromfield arrives at his ancestral home with his new wife Ruth (Daniela Giordano); as we soon learn his previous wife Helen died in somewhat mysterious circumstances a year before.

Perhaps for this reason, or perhaps because of the alcoholism he suffered from at that time but now claims to be over, Oliver seems reluctant to reveal Ruth's status.

The truth is quickly apparent to his sister and step-mother, such that there is no point in maintaining any pretence anyway

Amidst a backdrop of voyeurism and perversity Ruth comes to believe that someone in the house is out to kill her, be it one or more of the aforementioned, the gardener or the maid.

Accordingly she hires a private investigator, who soon meets a sticky end at the hands of a black gloved, knife-wielding killer...

As the synopsis suggests, this Spanish-Italian co-production is one of those borderline giallo entries that bears a heavy debt to the Gothic in general and Du Maurier / Hitchcock’s Rebecca more specifically.

While intermittently strong on atmosphere and benefiting from good production values, it’s all a bit too by-the-numbers and obvious, with the killer’s identity and motive pretty obvious.

Despite its origins the film, written and directed by Alfonso Balcazar, eschews Latin locations and characters in favour of that typical not quite realised England.

A slumming Pierro Piccioni provides the soundtrack.

1 comment:

Ben Marriage said...

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