Director – Aldo Lado
Cast – George Lazenby, Anita Strindberg, Adolfo Celi, Dominique Boschero, Peter Chatel, Piero Vida, José Quaglio, Alessandro Haber
Release Year – 1972
Reviewed by John of the Dead
While searching for a horror flick to watch my girlfriend and I came across this rare Italian “giallo”, which I had never heard of and after reading its storyline decided to give this a go due to its rarity, which sadly resulted in mediocre results. I really wanted to like this one, as I do with all giallos, but the story held things back and gave us a very slow moving and dull horror effort.
When the daughter of a sculptor is brutally killed by a secretive stranger, her father begins a vengeful quest to track down her killer, which leads him down a dangerous path of lies and murder.
Seeing that this was a giallo film I knew what to expect going into it, but I had no idea that it would be as dull as it was. The opening sequence is great and had me thinking that I was going to really enjoy this one, but from then on out the story focused heavily on character play and uninspired mystery elements that never achieved my full enjoyment. To make matters worse the horror took a back seat to both things just mentioned, which is where the majority of the dullness came from. There were way too many long bouts without any horror, and with so few kills in the film, most of them coming during the final act, the pacing was off and had me bored for the vast majority of this 95 minute watch. For a film at only a mere 95 minutes to be as dull s this one reflects on poor filmmaking, in which the film’s four writers failed to keep things interesting.
Director Aldo Lado(Short Night of Glass Dolls, Last Stop on the Night Train) did a fairly good job with this film, employing awesome sets and positive kill sequences (especially the opening one) that made for the best the film had to offer. We get decent gore, although nowhere near the effectiveness of gore in more prominent giallo films, and that is where Lado’s positives hit a dead end. While the storyline was overly dull, Lado’s direction was dull at times as well, and he failed to achieve proper tension during the scenes that called for it. The kills were cool but were not as tense as they could have been, and the iconic scenes of the father chasing the killer through numerous buildings failed to hit me as hard as it should have.
Overall, Who Saw Her Die? is a rare giallo film that remained rare for a reason: it isn’t that good. The story is the usual enjoyable giallo template but never comes with anything worthwhile lasting more than a few seconds, and suffers pacing issues due to a strong lack of anything interesting going on. Lado’s direction is fair, as are the kills, but overall this was a very underwhelming effort that could have been much better.