Are you ready for another serving of Giallo and Gelato because What Have They Done to Your Daughters deserves the best flavor you can find in the freezer. This is one of the masterpieces of the Italian homicidal thrillers made in the ’70s. The Double Dark Chocolate gelato from Talenti didn’t survive my viewing of the Blu-ray. This tale of a school girl prostitution ring and what men will do to keep it a secret is double dark. Director Massimo Dallamano had made a film as equally enthralling as his previous gaillo What Have You Done to Solange?.
Inspector Valentini (The Bird With the Crystal Plummage‘s Mario Adorf) gets pulled into a case where a high school girl is found naked and hanging in an apartment building’s attic. At first this just seems a suicide, but the autopsy and initial clues make it appear to be a homicide. Even more disturbing is the girl was pregnant. Homicide detective Silvestri (The Suspicious Death of a Minor‘s Claudio Cassinelli) and assistant district attorney Vittoria Stori (The Mercenary‘s Giovanna Ralli) take over the case. They find out their victim came from a wealthy family, but she had become sexually active. The first suspect is her boyfriend who she’d be peeped on in the attic space by a nearby voyeur. This quickly turns into a dead end when the guy has a strange, but real alibi. However they discover where the girl really died and this opens up a larger truth as to what’s been going on in the city. Going around the area trying to tie up lose ends is a mysterious guy in leather and helmet hacking people up with a meat cleaver. Silvestri and Stori barely a grasp at how powerful are the people tied into this underaged prostitution racket.
Strictly speaking this is not a pure Giallo film since instead of an innocent bystander getting turned into a detective, we’re dealing with the law investigating the murders. This could easily qualify as a part of the Poliziotteschi genre that took over from Giallo at the Italian box office. But Daughters goes beyond the cop drama with the ever evolving darkness of the crime. There’s also the fact that our police offices feel like they will be victims at any moment. They are far from being protected as the authorities above them might be suspects. The big element to lend it a Giallo flavoring is the knife wielding stranger wrapped in leather.
Massimo Dallamano got his major break from being the cinematographer on the Spaghetti Western classics A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More for Sergio Leone. And when given a chance to step up he produces two classics of the Giallo genre with Daughters and Solange. The sad part is a few years after Daughters, Dallamano died in a car wreck. He was an amazing talent and shows so much of it in this film. Even after you see What Have They Done to Your Daughters and know the killers, you’ll get absorbed in the mystery when you watch it again. He brings so much to the film that it’s not a simple Whodunit.
The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks so nice that you get lost in the Italian locations. The audio is LPCM 1.0 mono tracks in both Italian and English. Seeing how the dialogue was all created in post production with ADR, you can take your pick on what to hear. The film is subtitled in English three ways including one that just translates the Italian prologue and epilogue on the screen.
Commentary Track is done by Troy Howarth who wrote the multi-volume So Deadly So Perverse guide to Giallo films. This is essential reading for fans looking for even more titles worth tracking down. It is so thrilling that in the last few years, many of the films he’s praised have received legit home video releases in America. He is well informed and tells us about the actors doing the English dub track.
Monsters and Slaves (19:44) allows Diabolique Magazine editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger dig deep into the themes of Dallamano’s filmography. There’s quite a few clips from titles that may hopefully get released soon.
Dallamano’s Touch (22:22) sits down with editor Antonio Siciliano. He started working with the director during post-production on What Have You Done to Solange? The major highlight is the look on his face as he sees the compromising footage that was shot for the film, but abandoned before editing for fear it would get the film banned or audience restricted around the globe.
Eternal Melody (49:39) interviews composer Stelvio Cipriani on how he reworked older material to create the notes for Daughters‘ forceful musical theme.
Hardcore Footage (5:05) is footage that seemed to have been shot to demonstrate a reel of blackmail material.
English Titles (3:09) are the opening and closing for the English release. The transfer is not great which explains why it’s not an option when you watch the movie properly. Does make you appreciate the care people went to for the Blu-ray transfer.
Theatrical Trailer (3:55) really gives you an intense taste of the shocking film.
Image Gallery (0:35) includes international lobby cards, a soundtrack single and the poster from when it was released as The COED Murders.
Arrow Video presents What Have They Done To Your Daughters?. Directed by Massimo Dallamano. Screenplay by: Ettore Sanzò & Massimo Dallamano. Starring: Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf & Franco Fabrizi Rated: Not Rated. Running Time: 91 minutes. Released: August 14, 2018.
Tags: Arrow Video, Giallo, What Have They Done to Your Daughters, What Have Your Done to Solange