George Hilton heads this 1972 giallo by director Tonino Valerii, in the role of Luca Paretti, an inspector drawn into a series of murders that begin with the decapitation of an insurance investigator who was dredging a quarry, for reasons unknown. When the hired dredger is found hanged, all evidence points to suicide, but clever Luca deduces that the man had also been murdered, likely by the same person. A previously unsolved double-homicide and a kidnapping are soon linked to the new deaths, providing Peretti with a surplus of witnesses, most of whom are knocked off just before they can reveal their secrets.
My Dear Killer is a typical giallo that leans a bit more towards cop drama than horror. It's a bit talky, and the majority of the film is spent following the police's investigation, as well as Peretti's relationship with his girlfriend Anna. I'm not implying that it's a boring film, but there is a major lack of action despite a few nifty death scenes, one of which features a power saw. Here Valerii seems more concerned with creating a film with a relaxed feel to it, occasionally punctuated by scenes of violence. Ennio Morricone's simple, chilling score, paired with the rather flat colour scheme, lend to this theory. And on a final note, I might mention that there's a bit of self-aware humour inserted into the story, and a couple of false starts involving gloves and fedoras toy with giallo conventions. I wouldn't advise one to rush out and acquire My Dear Killer immediately, but it's suitable for the more experienced viewer.
I feel I have to somehow justify the hours, nay, years I've spent watching some of the best, worst, and most unique horror and thriller movies ever made. I hope casual browsers might just catch on, and that experienced Italian horror fans might come across new and unheard-of titles to track down. If nothing else, please enjoy the pretty (and occasionally frightening) pictures.