What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (1974): 1972’s What Have You Done to Solange? was a grim, gruesome, and excellent Giallo from #massimodallamano
but, two-years later, it doesn’t have anything on how dark his follow-up film, What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, gets. This time around, Dallamano steps away, a bit, from the Giallo and injects elements of the Poliziotteschi subgenre into things for an interesting—yet disturbing—mélange. Predicated on real events throughout Italy, Dallamano isn’t messing around with this one and crafts a thoroughly unpleasant—yet still entertaining—film that, yet again, reveals him as an unsung master of this genre. Focusing on the apparent suicide of a 15-year old girl and following the fevered police investigation, the film does play out more like a police procedural with Giallo-like moments interjected in a murderous subplot that serves to support the other elements in solid fashion. To be clear, Dallamano does strong work in combining these two subgenres (they do lend themselves to one another) and it rarely feels like two movies careening into one. #claudiocassinelli
is tremendous here as the lead investigator while #giovannaralli #farleygranger
and the great #marioadorf
(so, so good in Fernando Di Leo’s Caliber 9) provide strong support. The film is violent and pretty gruesome in spurts, but it’s the film’s depiction of disturbing sexuality that really pushes the envelope. We see the aftermath of some truly heinous crimes with body parts everywhere and Dallamano not afraid to show it all. This does make the subject matter hit pretty damn hard and I will admit it being an effective tool to use here. We also get an enormously fun set piece that begins as a typical stalk-and-slash sequence but morphs into a damn exciting car vs. motorcycle chase. This is probably the highlight here as it happens in wonderfully organic fashion. The film is making some strong statements about police corruption, the state of Italy in the 1970s, and the generational gap between parents and children. The film ends on a cynical—yet somehow hopeful—note that perfectly punctuates what has come before it. Sleazy as hell but supremely entertaining!