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Author Topic: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)  (Read 8537 times)

Paul

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aka Morte sospetta di una minorenne

Sergio Martino is definitely one of the most interesting filmmakers to rise through the ranks of Italian exploitation cinema. During his most prolific period during the 70s, he managed to work successfully across different genres; trying his hand at cop flicks, gialli, a spaghetti western and even a cannibal film. There’s a lot more to Martino than meets the eye and he’s certainly a better director than many of his contemporaries, as evidenced in THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF A MINOR, which has just been released on DVD in Germany by Sazuma Trading.

During his introduction on the new DVD, Martino mentions that the film had been set for release as MILANO VIOLENTA, obviously to cash in on the then-popular police films that had risen to prominence since Castellari's HIGH CRIME in 1973. The MILANO VIOLENTA title itself aspiring to capitalise on Marino Girolami's ROMA VIOLENTA (1975) that had come out in the same year. The giallo had lost much of its popularity in Italy until Argento blasted back on the scene after a four year absence with PROFONDO ROSSO, an instant box-office success that lead Italian producers back on a giallo-making mission, and hence Martino's film was retitled to make the best of it’s lurid murder mystery plotting.

THE SUSPECTED DEATH OF A MINOR is a real stand-out giallo; it features an impeccably crafted performance by the late, great Claudio Cassinelli (who later died in a helicopter crash while making FISTS OF STEEL for Martino) and one that is by turns tough, vulnerable and humorous. The subject matter (the plot revolves around a teenage prostitution syndicate) echoes Massimo Dallamano's WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS which had been released the previous year – another film that sophisticatedly blended the police thriller with the giallo, and as much as this reviewer loves Dallamano's film, it’s hard to pick which is better. Coincidentally, Cassinelli stars in both.

PROFONDO ROSSO's influence upon the film is great; so much so that Martino and co indulge in some ill-advised humour (an aspect that failed in Argento's film) and a Goblinesque score that borders on plagiarism but this aside, THE SUSPECTED DEATH OF A MINOR is still an excellent film and one that should be top of the "to buy" list for all exploitation enthusiasts.

Sazuma's disc is presentable and considering the film had been seldom seen outside of Italy, it’s wonderful that it has been released at all. The film is presented in anamorphic 2.35 and although the print exhibits some grain, wear and tear is minimal. The film is in Italian, with optional English, German and Dutch subtitles. Extras of note include an introduction and interview with Sergio Martino, an audio commentary by two leading genre critics and the original Italian trailer.

Martino has made some cracking films, and his previous gialli: YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY, ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK and THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS WARDH are some of the best examples of the genre, just as THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS is one of best cop flicks. THE SUSPECTED DEATH OF A MINOR bridges the gap between the giallo and Euro crime and succeeds in being an excellent entry in both genres.
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Gary B.

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #1 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 18:05 »

This is one of my all time favorite Euro-Crime films, and definitely Martino's best film.  Again, I could watch this everyday and never tire of it!  Somebody please release the soundtrack!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it...
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Stephen Grimes

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #2 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 18:12 »

Somebody please release the soundtrack!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it...
Yeah it's a great soundtrack,goes with the film perfectly.
Sazuma spoiled us with this lovely release and topped it with LA SETTIMA DONNA,wonder what they'll hoist on us next?
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Gary B.

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #3 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 18:47 »

I can't wait...whatever it is, I'm sure it will be top notch (deep down I'm hoping it's FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON or DEATH LAID AN EGG).  The soundtrack included with LA SETTIMA DONNA was the icing on the cake.
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Paul

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #4 on: 08 Jul 2007 - 21:47 »

Gary, didn't you pick up the Japanese release of DEATH LAID AN EGG?
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Gary B.

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #5 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 03:25 »

yes, I own the Japanese disc, but it's supposedly cut (and it's also non-anamorphic).
I love the film, and would love the DVD/soundtrack CD combo like the last Sazuma disc. 
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Paul

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #6 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 08:24 »

yes, I own the Japanese disc, but it's supposedly cut (and it's also non-anamorphic).
I love the film, and would love the DVD/soundtrack CD combo like the last Sazuma disc. 

I had no idea that the Japanese release was cut - any idea what's missing from it, mate?
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Jonny

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #7 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 09:01 »

I had no idea that the Japanese release was cut - any idea what's missing from it, mate?

It's not cut, as in 'censored', it's the usual thing like with 'One On Top' & 'Lizard' different edits for various regions. Though with 'Death Laid an Egg' nobody has solid proof of a longer/different edit, it's only speculation due differing running times listed in various books... I might be wrong but no one has come up with a home video version of this film that is any different to the Japanese DVD...
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Paul

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #8 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 09:04 »

I had no idea that the Japanese release was cut - any idea what's missing from it, mate?

It's not cut, as in 'censored', it's the usual thing like with 'One On Top' & 'Lizard' different edits for various regions. Though with 'Death Laid an Egg' nobody has solid proof of a longer/different edit, it's only speculation due differing running times listed in various books... I might be wrong but no one has come up with a home video version of this film that is any different to the Japanese DVD...

It's always wrong to assume a Japanese version is cut, just because it has a shorter running time- there have been many isntances when they have released time-compressed versions of films in Japan, with similar time discrepencies to that of NTSC-PAL.
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Kevin Coed

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #9 on: 05 Aug 2007 - 11:30 »

Watched this last night with the Mrs. It passed the time but it's certainly not a film that I'll return to again in a great hurry. The amount of blatant theft from PROFONDO ROSSO was ludicrous. Someone should have sued.
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vigilanteforce

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #10 on: 05 Aug 2007 - 15:06 »

I love Martino but this is the only film from his 70s era that I didn't like at all. I'd rather have one of his pure crime films or one of his pure gialli- mixed things don't really work for me. Plus I hated the comedic situations.
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Stephen Grimes

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #11 on: 05 Aug 2007 - 19:39 »

Anyone notice that the film showing at the cinema is Martino's own YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY?Also check that opening roof. :'(
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Kevin Coed

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #12 on: 05 Aug 2007 - 19:42 »

Anyone notice that the film showing at the cinema is Martino's own YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY,and check that opening roof :'(

Yep, and, what was that all about???
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #13 on: 05 Aug 2007 - 20:51 »

I love Martino but this is the only film from his 70s era that I didn't like at all. I'd rather have one of his pure crime films or one of his pure gialli- mixed things don't really work for me. Plus I hated the comedic situations.
I've seen most Martino Crime & Giallo movies but i haven't seen this one yet.

I think crime mixed with giallo makes a great combination, a good example of this is "What have they done to your daughters" :-\
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Jonny

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Re: The Suspected Death Of A Minor (Sergio Martino, 1975)
« Reply #14 on: 05 Aug 2007 - 20:56 »

And what's with the comedy clown man spinning on his head?



And the guy with the bicycle that splits in half?



I still really love this film though, I don't get the comedy acrobatic elements. They really threw me out of the story for a moment when I saw them, no point in having them in the film at all as far as I'm concerned...
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