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My Dear Killer
My Dear Killer
Actors: George Hilton, Salvo Randone, William Berger, Manuel Zarzo, Patty Shepard
Director: Tonino Valerii
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2003     1hr 36min

A spectacularly graphic decapitation and a questionable suicide sets the stage for a police inspectors search for a deranged killer responsible for a series of gruesome murders and a kidnapping! Studio: Media Blasters Inc...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: George Hilton, Salvo Randone, William Berger, Manuel Zarzo, Patty Shepard
Director: Tonino Valerii
Creators: Manuel Rojas, Tonino Valerii, Franco Fraticelli, Franco Bucceri, José Gutiérrez Maesso, Roberto Leoni
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Shriek Show
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 04/29/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Mundane Giallo
cameron-vale | Seattle, WA | 07/29/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)

"MY DEAR KILLER (MIO CARO ASSASSINO , 1971): Police Inspector Perreti (George Hilton) investigates a series of bloody killings, all seemingly linked to an earlier kidnapping/murder of a young girl. The body count mounts as the black gloved assassin eliminates all those who seem to have acquired knowledge of a dark secret in his past. Finally, Perreti assembles a carefully chosen group of suspects in a small room in order to cleverly unmask the murderer.An extremely minor giallo, MY DEAR KILLER is lacking in the genre's signature outrageous violence and kinky sex so dearly loved by fans of euro-trash. Only one of the killings (the one depicted on the DVD cover) has any of the nervy shock value expected from this type of film, and despite all the buildup its pretty much a throwaway of a scene. While competently directed by Tonino Valerii, a former assistant to Sergio Leone, and featuring a fine, tension-swelling Ennio Morricone score, the film suffers from an incredibly draggy pace and a deficit of the kind of fascinatingly quirky characters that usually populate such fare. Italian horror fans will surely be disappointed. That said, this mundane thriller just might be quaint enough to provide fairly diverting entertainment for connoisseurs of Agatha Christie-styled murder mysteries, as it contains all the expected clichés including the manner in which the killer's identity is ultimately revealed. The Shriek Show DVD gives the film a very nice presentation, with a widescreen (1.85:1) transfer providing a decent showcase for cinematographer Manual Rojas' colorful imagery. Extras include two short interview segments with director Valerii and star George Hilton (who has aged remarkably well). Trailers for some other Shriek Show releases, including SPASMO, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE and SEVEN BLOOD STAINED SHADOWS, all of which are superior to MY DEAR KILLER in every way, are also included."
Understated Giallo - Nice change of pace for diehards.
frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 06/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Tonino Valerii's 1971 giallo "MY DEAR KILLER" is quite understated, leisurely paced, and a bit talky, but overall, it remains captivating and delivers a strong seamless progression of events that keep unravelling until the inevitable denouement. We all know that the "identity" of the killer in these things is the key ingredient in the mystery, but getting to that point is where the fun is. "My Dear Killer" offers up a few brutal murder setpieces (the circular saw killing being the most memorable - similar to the blood spraying severed arm scene in Argento's "Tenebre"), but the investigation and unraveling of the mystery takes more of the center stage here (which may disappoint some giallo or horror fans). But the script, acting, and pacing is actually a refreshing change of pace from some of the more hyper giallos out there. And another excellent Ennio Morricone score adds to the atmosphere. Definitely worth a look for diehard giallo fans - gorehounds may be disappointed, though. Although, seeing a man lifted up by his neck by a construction crane and then decapitated will definitely please those who need some blood to get things going. Shriek Show's DVD offers up a fine anamorphic presentation of the film along with some brief current interviews with star George Hilton and director Valerii. Also included are some trailers for other SS titles including "7 Bloodstained Orchids" and "Hitcher in the Dark".A nice package overall for a basically forgotten and somewhat obscure giallo. Keep 'em coming!"
Very confusing but clever
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 09/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Anyone who used to follow my movie reviews knows how much I love a good giallo. Mario Bava and Dario Argento are the ultimate masters of this intriguing film genre that dominated the Italian box office back in the 1970s, but plenty of other directors stepped up to the plate and took a swing at the genre, too. Before moving on to a review of Tonino Valerii's "My Dear Killer," let's look at the defining elements of a giallo thriller. "Giallo" means "yellow" in Italian, and the term comes from the color of the cover of certain cheap pulp paperback mysteries that were popular in Italy several decades ago. The defining elements of a giallo (plural: gialli) film include but are not limited to: a crazed black-gloved killer, lots of bloody killings carried out in unusual ways, a convoluted plot loaded down with red herrings so as to confuse the viewer about the identity of the murderer, and lots of very beautiful Eurobabes. Sometimes we also see flashbacks within the film that hold clues about the motivation of the killer. We almost always see inept police officers bumbling around trying to solve the case. I could list more elements, but you get the general idea.

So, what we have here is Valerii's entry in the giallo genre. "My Dear Killer" stars Italian film staple George Hilton as Inspector Luca Peretti, a good cop about to embark on the strangest case of his career. It all starts at the beginning of the film, when we see a man attempting to dredge a body of water out in the sticks. He directs a crane operator to start the work only to discover far too late that said operator wants him dead. The workman accomplishes this feat by using the crane to separate the man's head from his body. Ouch! Enter Inspector Peretti, whose job it is to investigate this gruesome crime. The cop soon discovers the identity of the dead man, along with another find that leads him to the body of the crane operator. It appears he hanged himself, but Peretti points out to the other cops in elaborate detail that suicide is out of the question. Now we have two murders and no solution in sight. Not to worry, however, as Peretti is not your typical giallo detective. He's good, and he smells something extremely sinister in the air, something that runs far deeper than a couple of random murders.

It turns out the dead man was an insurance investigator working on the case of a murdered girl, and Peretti learns from the man's wife that the object he found in the investigator's pocket, a key, opens a mailbox down at the post office. The wife perishes at the hand of a black-gloved killer while retrieving the box's contents. Our hero finds a child's drawing in the woman's hand, and he's able to track down the school where the picture came from. Aha! Now we know that the girl who drew the picture is the same one whose death the investigator was working on. Interesting. Peretti begins investigating the girl's family and friends in an effort to track down the killer. Or something like that. I'm not sure since "My Dear Killer" contains one of the most byzantine plots I've ever seen in a giallo. And that's saying something, my friends. Anyway, our hero discovers that almost anyone could be guilty of the crime, a lot of money was involved, and that the black-gloved killer continues to strike people down with frightening, and extremely graphic, regularity. To solve this case Peretti must discover the location of a specific clue that will blow the thing wide open.

To say "My Dear Killer" ranks as one of the most confusing giallo films I've ever seen is an understatement. It's terribly confusing, to the point where I was pretty much lost during the last thirty minutes. I'm glad I took notes on the film while I watched it. Without those, I'd have had a better chance of memorizing the New York City phonebook than I would describing the plot of Valerii's giallo. In fact, it's less a plot than an all-out attack on logic and reason. Red herrings abound, and there are so many suspects in the crime that the mind simply boggles at the possibilities. Who killed the little girl? The question ought to read: who didn't kill the little girl? That one has an easy answer: Peretti. Everyone else is fair game. I was so busy trying to figure out where this movie was going that I almost didn't notice how Marilu Tolo is totally wasted in the role of Anna Borghese, Peretti's voluptuous girlfriend. Almost. It's a shame when such a fine example of womanhood takes a backseat to the proceedings. More face time from Tolo and a clearer plot would have greatly enhanced the viewing experience.

Enough with the complaining. "My Dear Killer" does offer up some good stuff on occasion. Tolo, of course, but also Hilton doing what he does best. Too, the carnage stands out. The crane tearing off the cranium bit stays with you, as does a bludgeoning involving a statue. The absolute capper, immortalized on the cover of the DVD case, involves the black-gloved kook going after a girl with a circular saw! Oh yeah! It's bloody and convincing all at the same time. Extras included on the DVD include several trailers for other gems, including "What Have You Done to Solange," "Spasmo," and "Hitcher in the Dark." Interviews with Valerii and Hilton also grace the disc. The best part of these interviews comes when Valerii explains how they pulled off the circular saw murder. With these extras, a nice picture transfer, decent audio, and another haunting Ennio Morricone score, you can't go wrong with "My Dear Killer". Just pay real close attention to the plot as you go along!