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La Morte ha Sorriso all'Assassino

Death Smiled at Murder
Die Mörderbestien / Sette Strani Cadaveri / Death Smiles on a Murderer

Italy 1973
produced by
Oscar Santaniello for Dany Film
directed by Aristide Massaccesi (= Joe D'Amato)
starring Ewa Aulin, Klaus Kinski, Angela Bo, Sergio Doria, Marco Mariani, Luciano Rossi, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Attilio Dottesio, Franco Cerulli, Carla Mancini, Giorgio Dolfin, Pietro Torrisi
story by Joe D'Amato (= Aristide Massaccesi), screenplay by Claudio Bernabei, Romano Scandariato, Joe D'Amato (= Aristide Massaccesi), music by Berto Pisano, cinematography by Aristide Massaccesi (= Joe D'Amato)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Fleeing from her incestuous & abusive hunchbacked brother Franz Holsten (Luciano Rossi), Greta's (Ewa Aulin) coach has an accident outside castle Ravensbrück, that butally kills her driver & renders her an amnesiac. Count Walter (Sergio Doria) & Countess Eva (Angela Bo) Ravensbrück however happily accept her as a guest in their castle, & their doctor, Sturges (Klaus Kinski) can at least establish Greta's name ... from an amulet she's wearing, that by pure chance also contains the secret of reviving the dead - a problem which Sturges has long been working on in his sparetime.

However, when he finally gets around to reviving a dead body, he is killed by some evil spirit ...

Greta meanwhile, unfazed by this, seems to enjoy her stay, & soon both Eva & Walter fall in love with her ... & soon Eva has sex with her ... but when Eva witnesses Walter having sex with her too, she lures her into the dungeon & walls her in.

When Eva the next day tells him that Greta has left all of a sudden - in her nighty, too -, Walter has the local commisssario (Attilio Dottesio) send out a searchparty, but to no avail, Greta remains missing. Eva's mood meanwhile couldn't be better, until - at a masque - she sees Greta. In panic she runs off, but everywhere she goes, Eva is already there, & time & again she turns into a monster too. As the only logic consequence, Eva throws herself out of a window to her death.

At Eva's funeral, Walter's father (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) turns up, & all of a sudden he sees Greta too ... as it turns out he has been her former lover, & now - after the funeral is over & he has stayed behind - she chases him across the graveyard right into Eva's crypt, who miraculously is resurrected & kills her stepdad.

Greta then returns to castle Ravensbrück, where she brutally kills not only Walter, but also his sevant Simeon (Marco Mariani), before she disappears for good ...

Only the poor commissario is left baffled, until he finds Greta's amulet in Walter's hand & takes it to the local scientist professor Kempte (Franco Cerulli), who can identify the symbol holding the secret of eternal life, & he tells the story of doctor Holsten (yes, it's Greta's brother Franz from the beginning of the movie), who sought, & apparently found, a way to revive the dead ... but then his sister - Greta - died, & he revived her. But far from being grateful, she then brutally killed him & since has been roaming the countryside ...


Joe D'Amato's early attempt at Gothic horror is seriously hampered by a way too tight budget for this kind of movie and a lack of real interest into the genre. What D'Amato instead does is throwing Gothic mainstays into his film (& out of it again) rather at will, be it raising the dead, ghost girls, spooky masques, forbidden (incestuous) love, girls (& cats) walled in, mad scientists and whatever else the genre might offer. However, this hefty stew, garnered with a dose of eroticism, comes across quite charmingly despite/because of all its incongruencies & plotholes, because of its over-the-top approach to its material.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
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
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD