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La Porta sul Buio - Testimone Oculare

episode 3 / Door into Darkness - Eyewitness

Italy 1973
produced by
Salvatore Argento, Dario Argento for Seda Spettacoli/RAI
directed by Roberto Pariente, Dario Argento (uncredited)
starring Marilu Tolo, Riccardo Salvino, Glauco Onorato, Altea de Nicola, Dario Argento (presenter)
written by Dario Argento, Luigi Cozzi, music by Giorgio Gaslini

tv-series
La Porta sul buio

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Roberta (Marilu Tolo) drives home one night when an obviously murdered girl is pushed in front of her car. She manages to brake just in time, but when she wants to take a closer look at the corpse, she is chased off by the killer - whose face she of course can't see.

When later the police arrives, detective Rocchi (Glauco Onorato) very much doubts everything she tesifies - because neither the corpse nor any traces of the crime can be found. When her husband Guido (Riccardo Salvino) comes to pick her up, he too thinks she might be a bit off the hook ...

However a few days later, Rocchi has Roberta go over the missing persons files that fit the description of the corpse she allegedly found - with no results. But something definitely is wrong, & somebody - the killer - is after her, as Roberta has to conclude when her house is broken into & she is pushed in front of a car, that manages to brake just in time though.

But though all the witnesses of this insist on the fact that she slipped, Rocchi now starts to believe her & suggests that she locks herself into her own house - which she does, & her husband comes up with an incredibly stupid plan to hide himself in order to guard her ... to which she agrees. Then though she hears her husband being overcome & her house being broken into ... & she finally faces her adversary - the girl she saw killed in the beginning of the movie (Altea De Nicola) and her own hubby Guido - them 2 having bewen lovers for years & wanted to get rid of Roberta.

Fortunately the police arrives just in time to apprehend the criminals ... even though Rocchi only came by to show Roberta the photograph of another missing person that might fit her description ...

 

Excellent camerawork & use of music make this a fine piece of suspense. On the other hand, the screenplay is something of a mess, it's overly constructed, makes little sense when it comes to the characters' motivations, uses the backdoor of coincidence just once too often, & to top it all off, it gives away Guido as the killer way too soon. Pity, could have been much better.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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