My Dear Killer (1972)
From its first scene set at a rock quarry, My Dear Killer certainly knows how to grab your attention: with a decapitation via construction equipment. The prime suspect is, naturally, the crane operator, but he has no prior criminal record and soon is found hanged. The police prepare to close the case, but Inspector Peretti (George Hilton, Blade of the Ripper) has a hunch it’s murder, and proves it.
Taking only a little time out to romance his doctor girlfriend (Marilù Tolo, Marriage Italian Style), Peretti throws himself into his investigation. He finds that the case bears geographic ties to a still-unsolved one involving a little girl who was kidnapped and subsequently found murdered along with her father post-ransom. Peretti believes the cases, while separated by roughly 52 weeks, are linked, and is determined to bring closure to both.
In the process, a black-gloved killer is busy knocking off virtually everyone Peretti questions. Quips a fellow officer, “Soon, they’ll have enough bodies to make up an ice hockey team.”
Directed by Tonino Valerii (My Name Is Nobody), the Italian-made film is more of a police procedural with a touch of giallo vs. the other way around, title and cover art be damned. Aside from the opening beheading (rather tame, to tell the ruth) and one character’s unfortunate encounter with a circular saw, few elements dare take that path. The Ennio Morricone score helps guide viewers through the semisolid, but admittedly minor mystery. —Rod Lott