My Dear Killer (1972)
By: J.R. McNamara on July 29, 2012  | 
Shameless Films | All Regions, PAL | 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 92 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Tonino Valerii
Starring: George Hilton, Salvo Randone, William Berger, Manuel Zarzo, Patty Shepard
Screenplay: Roberto Leoni, Franco Bucceri
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This film opens with the greatest murder ever put to celluloid. I kid you not: it has to be the most original murder weapon any killer has ever used in a film, and I will have no argument.

The weapon of choice?

A bucket digger mounted on an earthmover (they call it a dredger in the film, but that is wrong) picks up a guy by his head and squeezes until it pops quicker than a bra in a titty bar. My reasoning for claiming its 'best' status is twofold: one, the inventiveness of the killer to think 'Mmmm, opportunity is knocking, why not answer?' when suddenly deciding to grab the victims head, and two: his/her sheer chutzpah to actually use it. I mean, an earthmover? It is hardly stealth, kill-in-an-alley kind of a weapon!! Colour me impressed!

This film was directed by western/Trinity Brothers director Tonino Valerii from a script by Roberto Leoni (Santa Sangre) and Franco Bucceri (Gli Esecutori), based on a story by them, along with Velerii himself and Django co-writer José Gutiérrez Maesso (which is nodded to in a scene where Django is played on a TV).

My Dear Killer tells of police investigator Luca Peretti (Giallo regular George Hilton) who is assigned to a murder case when an insurance investigator has had his head removed in the aforementioned murder. As the layers of the case are revealed he finds himself caught up in an older investigation involving the kidnap and death of a young girl, and of course as the investigation gets deeper the bodies start piling up. But can Peretti figure out who the killer is with the unusual clues he has?

As a fan of Giallos I looked forward to this, especially as its male lead was in other Giallos such as The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh and All The Colors of the Dark, and I was much more than pleasantly surprised. Even though the story is quite detailed, it never becomes a victim of its own cleverness, nor does it become convoluted as some Giallos do. The investigation goes from A to B without any long-shot hunches that these films can sometimes contain.

There is some well played violence though it's somewhat silly at times, a prime example being when the killer sits and chats with one victim before searching her house, whilst she quizzically watches, for something to kill her with, and finds a circular saw!! This guy is clearly a disorganised serial killer to not have a weapon handy. Being an Italian film of its era, there's also some cute patootie for the boys.

I should also point out that this Shameless release is the first time it has been released uncut, which should add to the joy for those who like the bloodier side of things.
My Dear Killer is presented in its original 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio and apart from regular film damage it is a fairly decent image. One can be forgiving though, as it is 40 odd years old.
Only a mono track here, but it is clear. The English dub can become a bit comical on occasion, but not so much as it becomes detrimental to the tone of the story.
Extra Features
Not the greatest ever extras from Shameless on this disc. We have the trailer for the film, and a bunch of trailers of other Shameless releases, including What Have They Done To Your Daughters?, Night Train Murders, Torso (Carnal Violence), Baba Yaga: The Devil Witch, Ratman, and The Black Cat.
The Verdict
I think this film is a great Giallo, and it is truly a shame that Valerii never made another as his direction is really solid. Also, it being a part of the Shameless collection (number 11 in fact) gives it some collector swagger as well, with the spine of the amray forming the word 'Shameless'.
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