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La Porta sul Buio - Il Tram

episode 2 / Door into Darkness - The Tram

Italy 1973
produced by
Salvatore Argento, Dario Argento for Seda Spettacoli/RAI
directed by Sirio Bernadotte (= Dario Argento)
starring Enzo Cerusico, Paola Tedesco, Pier Luigi Arpa, Gildo DiMarco, Emilio Marchesini, Corrado Olmi, Maria Tedeschi, Salvatore Puntillo, Tom Felleghy, Luciana Lehar, Dario Argento (presenter)
music by Giorgio Gaslini

tv-series
La Porta sul buio

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The corpse of a girl is found on a tram, murdered it seems onj the tram's last ride for the night - which seems incomprehensible for detective Giordani (Enzo Cerusico), because in his view someone must have witnessed the m,urder. So he invites allt he passengers of the ride to reconstruct the crime - & soon he comes up with a tailor-made suspect, the conductor Magli (Pier Luigi Arpa), who - according to all testimonies -  at the end of the ride has been alone with the girl, & who had beeen attracted to the girl & tried to pick her up. In fact he was so persistent that the girl wrote a complaint to the tram-company. Magli is brought to court & convicted to 30 years in jail - claiming his innocent ot the very last minute ...

That's when Giordani's doubts start, & he decides to reconstruct the night of the crime once again with his girlfriend Giulia (Paola Tedesco), but this time under night-conditions - & he really comes up with a few interesting facts, that the tram's light goes out for a few seconds every time it crosses a switch, & when the tram goes into a curve, the front compartment is out of sight of large parts of the back compartment -  all providing the killer with enough time to hide the corpse. All Giordani & Giulia have to do now is hide her in the tram & having her go into the tram-depot, where Giordani promisees to pick her up.

What they don't know of course, is that the killer dknopws abouttheir little plan & is right behind them, knockin g Giordani out at a convenient moment & then chasing Giulia through the depot, only to be apprehended just before he can kill her, too.

& the killer turnas out to be - Marco (Emilio Marchesini), a colleague of the dead girl, who once was her lover but she dumped him ...

 

To build up a murder mystery to a logical conclusion, but after half way through the story throw that conclusion out of the window to come up with a different conclusion is always a valiant effort, & it makes this tv-featurette stand out from most other tv-crime-fare, unfortunately though the finale suffers from lack of believability - that the killer all of a sudden would be on the cop & his girlfirend's trail to kill them off is - mildly put - far-fetched, & somewhat - at least in retrospect - destroys the suspense it was supposed to build up, making the whole solution of the crime rather corny as the finale looks way too forced-upon.

On a technical/artistical level, this is a solid crime thriller, but a far cry from the visual feasts director Argento would become known for (especially since Profondo Rosso/Deep Red [1974], the movie he made immediately after this tv-series)

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD