Thursday 13 June 2013

'The Weekend Murders' (1970)

Film of the day: 
The Weekend Murders (1970)
aka: 'Concerto per Pistola Solista'

A real oddity. This 1970 Italian production mixes the high-style, lurid-bloodstain, mod weirdness of the classic "Giallo" movie with the tongue-in-cheek British country-house whodunnit. Shots of tweeds and golf-clubs against shots of blood-filled bathtubs, crash zooms on off-kilter belfries and the trademark eyeball-tight close-ups.

Shot on location in East Anglia by the Italian crew in the underexposed saturated-colour style of the genre, it offers a weirdly vivid view of England through European eyes. Perhaps the strangest thing is seeing jolly old Lance Percival in a leading role as Scotland Yard's Superintendent Grey, albeit leavened with a bit of light comedy business involving stereotypical bumbling local copper Sergeant Thorpe – played by Italian veteran Gastone Moschin, complete with goofy 'English' false teeth. The only other familiar face is the dear old major from 'Fawlty Towers', Ballard Berkeley, as the butler.      

A saucy interlude. Note pin-up of George Best…

It doesn't seem to have ever had a UK release, so I imagine few people here have ever seen it, and to be honest, it's pretty hard going a lot of the time. It looks as if the Italian actors did their lines in Italian and the Brits did theirs in English, so presumably the scenes didn't make much sense to either on the set. Still, it's got some stylish moments. 

You can watch it on YouTube here: 'The Weekend Murders'       

The Weekend Murders - imdb

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