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Author Topic: Knife of Ice / Il coltello di ghiaccio (Umberto Lenzi, 1972)  (Read 10753 times)

ecc

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Carroll Baker plays Martha, a woman struck mute after witnessing her parents' death in a train accident when she was 13.  She is staying with her ailing uncle (giallo mainstay George Rigaud) at a villa in Montseny.  Her cousin Jenny (Evelyn Stewart), a Cambridge chorus singer, comes home to visit after touring and is soon murdered.  The inspector (Franco Fantasia, who also served as assistant director) informs them that another woman was discovered murdered nearby and he suspects a sex maniac.  Martha keeps seeing a man with strange eyes (apparently a sign of drug addiction - a similar visual cue was used in Sergio Martino's THEY'RE COMING TO GET YOU) who everyone suspects as the killer.  A satanic medallion and other signs of the devil suggest a devil worshipper (fortunately the uncle is knowledgeable enough to consult).  Other suspects include the chauffeur (another giallo/western regular Eduardo Fajardo), family doctor (Alan Scott), and village priest (Jose Marco).

A departure from Lenzi's other jet-set thrillers (mostly with Baker) of the late sixties and early seventies, this one is more of an old dark house thriller with the mute Martha being stalked inside and outside of the villa (her muteness is the only thing taken from THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE for those wondering though there is a reversal of the motives from that film).  The mountainous Spanish locations are attractive and the fog shrouded roads are suitably atmospheric.  The scope photography isn't as inventive as in Lenzi's other scope gialli but its still effective.  I have to admit that I didn't guess correctly who the killer was until just before the reveal.  As usual, Marcello Giombini's score is bombastic but effective in the suspenseful scenes.  The opening credits play over a bullfight which is disturbingly brutal and unpleasant and enough to convince me that to skip the arena if I ever end up in Spain.

The film is available on DVD in Japan from Trash Mountain Video.  It is non-anamorphic but the 2.35:1 image is beautiful (an even better anamorphic master could probably be struck from the same materials) and the audio very clear.  The Japanese subtitles are removable.  As with other Japanese discs, the price is pretty steep (I got a burn through a trader).  A trailer is included (I think its on YouTube).

Luca Canali

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Been a while since I watched this one but I thought that it was the least out of the Lenzi/Baker collaborations from what I remember. Still a nice Giallo though and I've always loved Ida Galli and will watch near enough anything she's in.
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ecc

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I think both Stewart/Galli and Franco Fantasia are dubbed by the same voice actors who dubbed them in MURDER MANSION which was also scored by Giombini.

Stephen Grimes

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I think this is supposed to be set somewhere around the border of Spain/France as at one point Alan Scott's character mentions coming 'straight from Perpignon' which isn't that far from where i live.There's also an interview with Dada Gallotti who played the wife of the mayor in which she says it was shot in and around Madrid and that Lenzi acted like a complete madman on the set :-\
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ecc

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There is a newspaper story about one of the murders that mentions Montseny which is a mountain range in Spain.

Stephen Grimes

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There is a newspaper story about one of the murders that mentions Montseny which is a mountain range in Spain.
I was close,Montseny is just north of Barcelona and about an hour from the border and Perpignon.

Love the locations in this,very similar looking to THE CORRUPTION OF CHRIS MILLER.
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Johan Melle

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I love this film! This off-beat Lenzi thriller is a personal favorite of mine. I love the score and the overall feel of the film. Carroll Baker does a great job that requires her to use her body language and facial expressions for all they're worth. Too bad Evelyn Stewart doesn't get a bigger part. She's a very underrated actress IMO.

I think both Stewart/Galli and Franco Fantasia are dubbed by the same voice actors who dubbed them in MURDER MANSION which was also scored by Giombini.

Haven't seen KNIFE OF ICE in a while now but from what I can remember, Stewart is dubbed by the ever-present Susan Spafford, who also dubbed her in THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY (1971), FOUR PISTOLS FOR TRINITY (1971), SYNDICATE SADISTS (1975) and probably others too.

ecc

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Quote
from what I can remember, Stewart is dubbed by the ever-present Susan Spafford, who also dubbed her in THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY (1971), FOUR PISTOLS FOR TRINITY (1971), SYNDICATE SADISTS (1975) and probably others too.

Did she dub Janet Agren in CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD?  If so, then you're right.

Johan Melle

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Yes, she did. She also dubbed Agren (with a southern Scarlett O'Hara-style accent) in EATEN ALIVE.

Inspector Tanzi

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Yes, she did. She also dubbed Agren (with a southern Scarlett O'Hara-style accent) in EATEN ALIVE.
First thing that popped into my head when i first saw EATEN ALIVE was Penelope Pitstop when Agren opened her mouth :-\
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ecc

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 Another MURDER MANSION connection besides Stewart, Fantasia, and Giombini is Eduardo Fajardo.

Johan Melle

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And George Rigaud too. He has a small role as Analia Gade's father in MURDER MANSION.

ecc

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They could've been made back to back.  They were both Mundial/Tritone co-productions.  There are probably common crew members too besides Giombini.

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I'm a bit of a late starter when it comes to Lenzi's Gialli. Went all out tracking down and watching the crime films and only in the past few years have started appreciating his early Giallo films. Recently managed to get the old Japanese Trash Mountain DVD - titled ICE OF KNIFE on the cover - and really enjoyed it. PARANOIA is still my favourite so far but this one's a close second.

Shame the DVD wasn't 16:9 enhanced as zooming in made the image a tad faded on my TV but overall it's a great looking print. I wonder if the BBFC would have any problems with the bullfighting scenes during the opening credits?





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IL COMMISSARIO

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A former friend of mine bought this a couple years back. Cased in a blue DVD box I think(?) I can't remember what language and sub options was on that one. It sounded good from his description at the time.
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