Retro-review: New on BluRay as part of The Shout Factory’s The Paul Naschy Collection II; help me out and pick it up on DVD/BluRay here on Amazon!
A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE (1975)
aka RED KILLER
Directed by León Klimovsky
Written by Ricardo Muñoz Suay (dialogue) (as R. Muñoz Suay), Paul Naschy (story) (as Jacinto Molina)
Starring Paul Naschy, Erika Blanc, Ángel Aranda, María Kosty, Ricardo Merino, Susana Mayo, Eduardo Calvo, Mariano Vidal Molina, José Canalejas, María Vidal, Ingrid Rabel, Frances O’Flynn
I’m diving into the second Shout Factory Collection of Paul Naschy films. Once again, this is a wonderful showcase of a talent that deserved more recognition. Paul Naschy, former circus strongman turned filmmaker and actor, starred in a ton of genre films ranging from monster mashups to giallo mysteries. I’ll be covering this new collection is going to be a treat. Here goes…
In A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE, Naschy plays Inspector Paolo Scaporella, a cigarillo chimping police inspector who is not afraid to wear an apron and make sweet love to his live at home hottie Silvana (Erika Blanc) who bides her time trying to figure out mysteries before her hubbie does. Meanwhile, a serial killer is murdering people he/she deems undesirables to society, leaving a jeweled dragonfly on each body. As the bodies of prostitutes, drug dealers, pornographers, homosexuals, & transvestites (remember this was the seventies when those things were less accepted by the populace) pile up, Paolo seems to be one step behind all the way.
First and foremost, this is the first time I have ever seen Naschy in a giallo. For that reason alone, it should be sought out. Naschy plays the beleaguered PI really well with his constant smoking and machismo pouring out everywhere. This is a pretty solid giallo whodunnit as well, as there are not only some awesome set pieces where the murder takes place, but there is also a well crafted scene where all of the suspects are lined up in one room for the audience to guess who the killer is. The way it is filmed, it’s pretty obvious that the killer is a man, despite the fact that he wears women’s clothing and shoes—this again is reminiscent of gender bending films like PSYCHO, but also adds a bit more psychosis to the killer as he is killing transvestites himself. All in all, even in the latter portion when the killer and his motive is revealed, the whole thing is one of the more entertaining giallos I’ve seen.
Still, there are some laughably awesome scenes I can’t help but point out. Naschy and Co. track down the killer’s apartment and there’s a quick zoom in on a picture of Hitler that is probably supposed to be shocking, but made me chortle a bit (it’s highlighted in the clip below). A locker full of the killer’s weapons is found and for some reason, all of the murder weapons are neatly stacked for display for the viewer to see clearly. Naschy, always one to brandish a karate chop, despite the era his movie is filmed in, manages to unleash a few on some baddies in a scene. And it’s downright adorable the way he refuses to believe in his girlfriend’s intuition about the identity of the killer, which probably would have saved both of them a whole lot of trauma experienced in the third act.
While there are a few archaic messages sent and some overly serious details worth giggling over, A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE is another look at the multifaceted awesomeness that is Paul Naschy. I had a ball with this little mystery which sports fun giallo music and a mystery that had me invested all the way through.
Other films in the Paul Naschy Collection Vol.2!
HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE
Other films in the Paul Naschy Collection Vol.1!
NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF
HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB
VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES
BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL
Other Paul Naschy Films!
A WEREWOLF IN THE AMAZON
If you like the review above, help me out and click on the link to buy it on Amazon here!!!