Director Aldo Lado had one previous title under his belt before Who Saw Her Die? and that was Short Night of Glass Dolls, a film I enjoyed. If you watch the two relatively close together, you can see a lot of similarities between the films. However, whereas Short Night had a captivating hook with the main character alive on a morgue slab reliving his past few days that led up to his currently dire situation, Who Saw Her Die? doesn’t have much of a hook to keep even the most die-hard Italian Giallo fans invested throughout the 94-minute runtime.
After a series of young redheaded girls are murdered, one of the fathers of the slain girls (George Lazenby putting in a solid performance just after playing an excellent James Bond – he really should have kept going with Bond) takes it upon himself to investigate the murder and figure out who is the killer. Unfortunately, the events leading up to the reveal is a convoluted mess of sex cults, oddly placed table-tennis matches, red herrings, and a wife (Anita Strindberg) who can’t figure out what the hell she wants. Once we come upon the reveal, a reveal which is both dull and hilarious, we (ed. note – speak for yourself!) are checked out of the movie.
Thankfully, things aren’t all terrible, as the score by Ennio Morricone is phenomenal, and as I mentioned above George Lazenby steals the show with a fantastic performance as the shattered father out for revenge. As was first evident in Short Night of Glass Dolls, director Aldo Lado has a keen eye and knows how to work the Italian settings with stylish camera angles and eerie fog-filled set pieces (praise should also be given to DP Franco Di Giacomo). Because of the stylish settings and solid acting, I can easily see why some people enjoy this film. Maybe if I give the film another watch down the road I’ll feel differently.
And I’ll be watching the film again on Arrow Video’s excellent Blu-ray release. The Blu-ray features both the Italian and English versions of the film. If you’re wondering what the differences are, it mainly comes down to the credit sequences. Other than that, the versions of the film are the same, both having been restored through a 2K scan of the original camera negative. The results are for the most part phenomenal, with an all-around reliable video offering (no blue tint!!).
Extensive screenshots from this Blu-ray
Who Saw Her Die? / Chi l’ha vista morire? is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 with Italian and English mono audio. Scanning and restoration work was completed at L’Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna. The original 2-perf Techniscope 35mm camera negative was scanned in 2K resolution on a pin-registered Arriscan. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, picture instability and other instances of film wear were repaired or removed through a combination of digital restoration tools and techniques. The mono Italian and English language tracks were remastered from the optical sound negatives. The audio synch will appear slightly loose against the picture, due to the fact that the dialogue was recorded entirely in post-production, as per the production standards of the period.
The film was graded on Digital Vision’s Nucoda Film Master at R3store Studios, London.
All original materials used in this restoration were accessed from Surf Film.
The Blu-ray offers an Italian and English LPCM Mono soundtrack, with the results varying between the two. I noticed on the Italian soundtrack there were moments of distortion when actress Anita Strindberg would speak. It didn’t happen all the time, but it was rather noticeable when it happened. Other than that, both audio choices are acceptably acceptable.
Extra features are a bountiful array of interviews with director Aldo Lado, actress Nicoletta Elmi, co-writer Francesco Barilli, and finally author and critic Michael Mackenzie. I won’t go into specifics, but the interviews range from 57-minutes with Lado, 27-minutes with Elmi, 31-minutes with Barilli, and 26-minutes with Mackenzie. As you can see, you’re going to be a bit getting through these. Add on the Image Gallery, trailers, the first run booklet, and commentary with Troy Howarth, you have a worthwhile Blu-ray on your hands.
NEW 2k restoration of the Italian version of the film from 35mm camera negative
NEW Limited edition booklet
NEW Reversible cover art
NEW Translated English subtitles for Italian soundtrack
NEW Audio commentary by Troy Howarth
NEW Interview with Aldo Lado (HD; 56:55)
NEW Interview with Nicoletta Elmi (HD; 27:26)
NEW Interview with Francesco Barilli (HD; 31:29)
NEW Interview with Michael Mackenzie (HD; 26:17)
Image gallery (chapter breaks; 1:40)
Italian trailer (HD; 3:13)
English Trailer (HD; 3:13)
I wasn't impressed with Director Lado's second effort, but who's to say my opinion isn't garbage. You ask around enough and you'll see there are plenty of people out there that like the film. Even our very own co-writer Ryne liked the movie. So, take what I say with a grain of salt and check the movie out for yourself, but make sure it's with Arrow Video's Blu-ray, as it's the best presentation of the film available today.