La morte cammina con i tacchi alti


Action / Mystery / Thriller


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bensonmum2 7 / 10

More plot twists than a mountain road and boatload of red herrings.

A jewel thief is brutally murdered on a train by a masked assailant. But when the murderer is unable to locate any diamonds, the murderer immediately suspects that the thief's daughter, a Parisian stripper named Nicole (Nieves Navarro aka Susan Scott), may have the diamonds. Nicole, however, claims to know nothing of the diamonds. After a series of threats, both verbal and physical, Nicole decides to flee France with a man she hardly knows. The pair begin a seemingly ideal relationship in a secluded seaside village. But Nicole is unaware that the killer has followed her to England and will stop at nothing to get his hands on the diamonds.

What a fun Giallo! Death Walks on High Heels has one of the most convoluted plots I've run into – even by Giallo standards. While the movie may lack the quantity of murder scenes found in other Gialli (although at least one murder scene is as violent as they come), Death Walks on High Heels makes up for this shortcoming with more plot twists than a mountain road and boatload of red herrings. It had me guessing (incorrectly, I might add) up to the very end. It's all about the mystery and director Luciano Ercoli skillfully casts the shadow of suspicion on just about everyone in the cast. Much of the movie is told quite nicely in flashbacks with bits and pieces of the story being revealed as each person confesses to what they may or may not have seen. There's even a pair of bumbling Scotland Yard detectives who are (surprise, surprise) actually funny. Overall, Death Walks on High Heels is very well done.

The acting is a notch or two above what I've come to expect in a Giallo. The highlight, at least for me, is Nieves Navarro. She is amazing as Nicole. I didn't think I would ever say this, but I think she might have been capable of challenging Edwige Fenech in my mind as the Queen of the Giallo had she made a few more of these movies. I'm looking forward to checking out more of her work.

As much as I enjoyed Death Walks on High Heels, it's not without its flaws. Chief among them, at least to me, is a "cheat" with respect to one of the murders. I don't want to give anything away, but there is one particularly nasty murder that the killer could not have committed given the circumstances immediately following the murder. Hopefully, with repeat viewings, I can reconcile this point in my mind and just enjoy the movie for what it is.

Finally, and I'm really starting to sound like a shill, NoShame's new DVD is fantastic. I would have never dreamed that a movie like Death Walks on High Heels would look this good. Bravo NoShame!

Reviewed by Coventry 9 / 10

Plot twist to the left, red herring to the right…. Giallo Giallo Giallo!!!

Back in the early seventies, during the absolute most glorious years for the Giallo sub genre, I guess it must have been some sort of intense and obsessive competition between the eminent Italian directors to come up with the most exaggeratedly convoluted plots. These movies distinguish themselves from the other sub genres in horror by continuously misleading the audience when it comes to the revealing the identity of a sadistic and (usually) masked serial killer, who barbarically slaughters gorgeous and preferably naked ladies with sharp & shining weaponry. If the directors really did try to surpass each other with complex plot-structures and far-fetched denouements, then I bet Luciano Ercoli was one of the genuine winners of that game! He only made three Gialli and, even though they're not as famous as the works of Dario Argento or Sergio Martino, his films easily rank among the most twisted and extraordinary genre efforts I've ever seen. Ercoli's movies can be recognized by their awkward and flamboyant titles already. Fans of Italian cult-cinema from the 70's are most likely to be intrigued by titles like "Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion", "Death Walks at Midnight" and – of course – "Death Walks in High Heels". Such appealing titles already hint at eventful crime-stories, and by God does Luciano Ercole ever deliver! "Death Walks in High Heels" is easily my personal favorite of his, as it's a tasteful and well-filled Giallo dish containing all the right ingredients such as graphic murders, beautiful music, suspense and copious amounts of female nudity, demented characters and crazy red herrings. The story opens with the brutal stabbing of a guy with an eye-patch who's fleeing from Paris on the night train. We quickly learn the victim was a notorious criminal who recently stole a valuable loot of diamonds from a bank safe in Paris. When his assailant can't find the diamonds in the luggage, he begins to stalk and threaten the jewel thief's beautiful daughter Nicole, who works as a popular striptease dancer in several Parisian nightclubs. Nicole suspects her drunkard boyfriend to be the culprit and she promptly flees to a little British seaside village with an eye-surgeon she hardly knows. The two enjoy a vivid and highly sexual relationship for a short while, but Nicole's aggressor followed her to England and the death toll rapidly increases. The already fascinating plot of "Death Walks on High Heels" even gets more compelling when a couple of important characters perish and the witty inspectors of Scotland Yard interfere with the investigation.

What a thoroughly engaging and exhilarating crime/thriller! The script doesn't always make sense and I counted at least three major holes/errors in the plot (situations that are pretty much impossible given the explanation during the climax), but "Death Walks in High Heels" is a tremendously entertaining film that you won't mind watching several times without ever getting bored. Luciano Ercoli cleverly sustains a fast pacing as well as a high tension-level, mainly by constantly switching locations, introducing new yet fundamental supportive characters and even implementing insightful flashbacks. The film starts in Paris with only three main characters, yet during the climax in the little English village there suddenly is nearly a dozen people involved in the mystery and several others have already died. Granted, this isn't the most violent Giallo available on the market (although one particular killing sequence is effectively nauseating), but the lack in bloodshed is widely compensated by the insane number of red herrings and ingenious little details to improve the mystery. Ernesto Gastaldi, whose pen literally was a nearly inexhaustible source for Italian cult classics, largely scripted "Death Walks in High Heels" and this also partly explains the film's success. The photography is stunning and extremely stylish, Stelvio Cipriani's score is more than enchanting and – last but not least – the acting performances are very pleasing. Susan Scott is an adequate actress and, moreover, a truly ravishing woman! She's probably the only living female creature who can turn you on simply by eating raw pieces of fish. No kidding! The others (male) actors do a fine job too, including Frank Wolff, Simon Andreu and the always suspicious-looking Luciano Rossi. The absolute best role is for Carlo Gentilli, as the cynic Scotland Yard inspector Baxter. Priority-viewing for the rapidly increasing number of Giallo-fans.

Reviewed by andrabem 8 / 10

death walks and stalks dressed like ....?!?!

"La Morte cammina con i tacchi alti" (Death walks on high heels) features another of the giallo goddesses: Susan Scott (aka Nieves Navarro).

Like many giallos, this is a sensuous film. It's not fast paced as today's movies, where car chases, bombs exploding, bullets flying taking toll etc.. succeed each other non-stop.

But "La Morte cammina con i tacchi alti" is a thriller alright - right from the beginning we see a murder on a train. A black-hooded killer (dressed in black) kills a patch-eyed man. He searches the victims's cabin, but he doesn't find what he was looking for.

There was a big robbery. A safe was cracked and valuable jewels were stolen. The man killed in his cabin was thought to be in possession of the jewels. Cut.

Paris. Nicole Rochard (Susan Scott) is the daughter of the man that was killed in the train. She is a dancer and strip-teaser. Now the killer will go after her. He wants to know where are the jewels, but Nicole doesn't (?) know. She will flee to England (first to London and then to a small village on the English coast), but death is following her. Needless to say, killings will happen and the Scotland Yard will step in. I've tried not to give away much of the story so as not to spoil your fun.

The Italian cinema had at the time very good technicians. The soundtrack, lighting effects, costumes and decor etc.., were taken care by masters of the craft. For many giallo films, even if they had average directors, the atmosphere and charm were created by the combined effort of the film crew. Just check out "La Dama Rossa uccide sette volte" to see what I'm meaning.

Susan Scott (like other giallo goddesses) is a perfect damsel in distress. Whatever she does (no matter what, as another reviewer pointed out), is arousing, be it dancing, bulging her eyes in fear, painting her nails etc.. The other actors do a good job as well - Simon Andreu as Michel, Nicole's Parisian boyfriend soon to follow her to England; Frank Wolff, as the classy Dr. Robert Matthews, with whom Nicole elopes to England; Carlo Gentile and Fabrizio Moresco, as inspector Baxter and his faithful assistant Bergson; the beautiful Claude Lange, as Vanessa..., and last but not least, the actors playing the local villagers - the people of the pub; Luciano Rossi, as the sinister Hallory; the strange street fish seller; the wandering and curious Captain Lenny (George Rigaud)..... Scenery and actors work in perfect harmony.

"La Morte cammina con i tacchi alti" is an entertaining and sensual thriller, but if you only like non-stop "bang bang sock boom crash" , then avoid this film.

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