Watch Me When I Kill DVD review

Highbrow eurotrash? Holger checks out a giallo with a purpose...

Watch Me When I Kill

After becoming a witness to a murder in a pharmacy, a young dancer (Paola Tedesco) is in danger of becoming the next victim in a chain of killings that seem to point towards an escaped convict taking revenge on the jurors responsible for his incarceration. Together with her boyfriend (Corrado Pani) she attempts to solve the mystery before it is too late for her.

Watch Me When I Kill is a rather daft English title that insinuates a non-existing voyeuristic angle to the killings that doesn’t exist. Then again the original Italian title of this giallo – Il Gatto dagli occhi di giada (The Cat With the Jade Eyes) – is equally misleading and an obvious attempt to create a connection to Dario Argento’s initial Animal Trilogy.

Though all the trailers and ad materials seem to highlight a lurid slasher, this film is one of the more serious and mainstream giallos ever produced. Yes, it does have a couple of killings though they’re generally very light on either gore or style. And don’t expect a single moment of titillation! Antonio Bido, the director and co-writer, quite clearly envisaged a more mature approach to the genre and had higher aspirations for his debut production than to be known as just another Eurotrash director churning out one exploitational feature after the other. The final solution to the mystery even has tragic overtones that are rarely ever explored in similar productions.

Though the plot is actually somewhat more coherent than that of most other gialli, it has instances that will have you shaking your head in disbelief. In one scene our hero establishes a very convoluted reasoning as to why a suspect appears to be left handed and hence not the killer, just to then remark that of course that character was also otherwise known as “Lefty”. D’oh! Our amateur detective then spends an entire sleepless night sleuthing and coming up with evidence that the track leads to Padova. Needless to say in that very moment he also gets a phone call from another possible victim asking him to meet him in that very city. Sheesh, I guess that was one wasted night without sleep!

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In a very average production the one aspect of this production that sticks out as 5-Star is the music score by Trans Europa Express (composers Mauro Lusini and Gianfranco Coletta). It can only be described as the best Goblin score not actually written by Goblin and just needs to be played at full blast.

Extras include a 20 minute interview with the director, trailers for this movie as well as for some other Shameless DVDs, two different versions of the opening credits, a picture gallery and what is advertised as a commentary, but is in fact nothing more than sporadic text based nuggets of info that are very often highly irreverent, add very little to the understanding of the picture and lead one to wonder why the company even bothered to include this as an extra at all.

Watch Me When I Kill is certainly not a bad film. Acting, plot and cinematography are all by and large faultless. The trouble is that for a genre that is known for its often outrageous plot devices and imagery, this film comes across as far too pedestrian, average and indeed ordinary to really register highly on the fun scale. Still, Shameless is fast becoming one of my favourite DVD companies and again needs to be congratulated for finally making a decent print of this otherwise rarely known Eurotrash production available to a wider audience.

3 stars

Watch Me When I Kill will be released on 23rd February


3 out of 5