Tuesday 22 March 2016

Death Walks Twice - Ltd Edition box set review

Cult Italian director Luciano Ercoli’s violent thrillers “Death Walks on High Heels” and “Death Walks at Midnight” get the Arrow Video treatment this month, as they are released together in a special limited edition BD and DVD combo pack.

In the first film “Death Walks on High Heels”, a high class stripper, Nicole Rochard (Susan Scott) who’s working in Paris, is charmed by a middle aged Englishman (Frank Wolf) . But when she is attacked by a masked man with striking blue eyes, who speaks with a voice modulator, asking her about some diamonds her father stole, she suspects her drunken boyfriend Michel (Simon Andreu) may be behind it.

Fleeing to England with her new sugar daddy, she hopes to start a new life. But when her the ex-boyfriend comes to England looking for her, which coincides with a string of deaths and even an attempted murder on her new love, she realises her nightmare is far from over.

Bit of a strange one, featuring a Vicar with a similar voice modulator to the killer, a blind man who wears similar contact lenses to the killer, an interfering ex-wife, a peeping tom neighbour who likes watching Nicole undress at night, and a cross dressing manservant are all thrown into the mix to keep you guessing as to who the killer is.

The second film in the set “Death Walks at Midnight” is not a sequel as such, but borrows the title from its predecessor and features several cast members in different roles. Fashion model Valentina (Susan Scott) aggress to take an experimental drug as part of a scientific experiment being documented by her journalist boyfriend Gio Baldi (Simon Andreu).

Whilst under the influence, she claims to see a woman being murdered in the apartment opposite by a man with a spiked metal gauntlet. Despite the fact the apartment is empty.

As it turns out, a woman was murdered there several months previous in the very manner she described and now it seems the killer may be after her.

 Both films feature numerous twists and red herrings to the point it’s difficult to work out what’s going on, but both are hugely enjoyable and are a must for fans of Italian Giallo films.

This is a 4 disc box set, with both titles coming with both a BD and DVD copy of the film. Both films give you the option of watching them with the original Italian titles and audio with English subs, or the English dub with English titles. Both films also come stacked with a nice selection of extras as follows...


•Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
•Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
•From Spain with Love - featurette comprising newly-edited archive footage of director Luciano Ercoli and actress Nieves Navarro (Susan Scott), interviewed at their home in Barcelona
•Master of Giallo - screenwriter Gastaldi on the film and how to write a successful giallo
•Death Walks to the Beat - career-spanning interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani
•Original Italian and English trailer


•Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
•Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
•Extended TV version of the feature
•Crime Does Pay - screenwriter Gastaldi reflects on his career in the crime film-writing business, including a look at Death Walks at Midnight
•Desperately Seeking Susan - visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the distinctive giallo collaborations between director Luciano Ercoli and star Nieves Navarro

The audio commentaries with Tim Lucas provide an interesting insight into the movies, as he dissects each scene as he goes along.

The TV version of Death Walks at Midnight is also an interesting addition, though it looks like it was sourced from a video master tape, which was in pretty poor shape and is in fullscreen. But is still a worthy feature.

Both films come in cases featuring reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx and are Brand new 2K restorations of the films from original film elements and undoubtedly look the best they ever have. Sadly, director Luciano Ercoli died last year, so this box set is a fitting tribute to his legacy.

The box set is strictly limited to 3000 copies and is released March 28.

Pre-order the UK BD/DVD box set from Amazon.co.uk

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