We open with the murder of a prostitute by a black gloved, razor wielding killer.
Soon after a second lady of the night is murdered, but manages to whisper a vague, fragmentary clue to a colleague before dying.
With the police both unconcerned and ineffectual, the prostitutes take it upon themselves to unmask the killer...
An evaluation of the situation that may prove to be of particular significance
Around about this point the film moves into more of a dramatic mode, to examine the womens’ lives more generally. It’s an interesting shift in focus and not intrinsically negative, but does make for a lack of stalk and slash thrills if these are what you were expecting and after, although it does return to more generic territory towards the end.
If however you want a quasi-documentary look at a collective of prostitutes, or just something different, then it might appeal.
This assumes, however, that the sleaze and exploitation won’t cut against the serious intent too much, though the film is quite light on these counts compared to Rino Di Silvestro’s Red Light Girls and Carlo Lizzani’s Teenage Prostitution Racket from the mid-1970s – or, indeed, the third part of Massimo Dallamano’s schoolgirls in peril trilogy, Rings of Fear, to which director and co-writer Franco Ferrini also contributed in the latter capacity and which ultimately proves most intertextually significant here.
A Bava-style angel and some symbolic yellow
Ferrini is best known as an Argento collaborator, of course, with that director’s long-time editor of choice, Franco Fraticelli, also handling duties here.
With a tongue of fire?
Arthouse favourite and two-time Bava favourite Laura Betti has a small role as an old-time, independent prostitute who falls victim to the killer.