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After a heist, the notorious jewel thief Rochard is murdered in a train. In Paris, his daughter Nicole Rochard Susan Scott , who is a stripper, is summoned by the police that wants to know the whereabouts of valuable diamonds that her father had stolen. She goes with her boyfriend Michel Aumont Simon Andreu and tells that does not know anything about the missing diamonds. During the night, a blue eye masked man breaks in her apartment and threatens her, asking where the diamonds are.
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Nicole seeks protection with Michel but in the morning she finds contact lens in his bathroom and she suspects Michel may be the masked man. She seeks out her costumer Dr. Robert Matthews Frank Wolff , who had hit on her, and she asks him if she could go with in to London. Matthews, who is married, brings Nicole to a house by the sea in a village and she poses of his wife.
But soon the masked man comes to England and begins a crime spree. The conclusion is well-resolved.
My vote is seven. Coventry 28 March Back in the early seventies, during the absolute most glorious years for the Giallo sub genre, I guess it must have been some sort of intense and obsessive competition between the eminent Italian directors to come up with the most exaggeratedly convoluted plots. If the directors really did try to surpass each other with complex plot-structures and far-fetched denouements, then I bet Luciano Ercoli was one of the genuine winners of that game! He only made three Gialli and, even though they're not as famous as the works of Dario Argento or Sergio Martino, his films easily rank among the most twisted and extraordinary genre efforts I've ever seen.
Ercoli's movies can be recognized by their awkward and flamboyant titles already. Such appealing titles already hint at eventful crime-stories, and by God does Luciano Ercole ever deliver! The story opens with the brutal stabbing of a guy with an eye-patch who's fleeing from Paris on the night train. We quickly learn the victim was a notorious criminal who recently stole a valuable loot of diamonds from a bank safe in Paris.
When his assailant can't find the diamonds in the luggage, he begins to stalk and threaten the jewel thief's beautiful daughter Nicole, who works as a popular striptease dancer in several Parisian nightclubs. Nicole suspects her drunkard boyfriend to be the culprit and she promptly flees to a little British seaside village with an eye-surgeon she hardly knows. The two enjoy a vivid and highly sexual relationship for a short while, but Nicole's aggressor followed her to England and the death toll rapidly increases. The already fascinating plot of "Death Walks on High Heels" even gets more compelling when a couple of important characters perish and the witty inspectors of Scotland Yard interfere with the investigation.
Luciano Ercoli cleverly sustains a fast pacing as well as a high tension-level, mainly by constantly switching locations, introducing new yet fundamental supportive characters and even implementing insightful flashbacks. The film starts in Paris with only three main characters, yet during the climax in the little English village there suddenly is nearly a dozen people involved in the mystery and several others have already died. Granted, this isn't the most violent Giallo available on the market although one particular killing sequence is effectively nauseating , but the lack in bloodshed is widely compensated by the insane number of red herrings and ingenious little details to improve the mystery.
Ernesto Gastaldi, whose pen literally was a nearly inexhaustible source for Italian cult classics, largely scripted "Death Walks in High Heels" and this also partly explains the film's success. Susan Scott is an adequate actress and, moreover, a truly ravishing woman!
She's probably the only living female creature who can turn you on simply by eating raw pieces of fish. No kidding! The others male actors do a fine job too, including Frank Wolff, Simon Andreu and the always suspicious-looking Luciano Rossi.
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Priority-viewing for the rapidly increasing number of Giallo-fans. Like many giallos, this is a sensuous film. It's not fast paced as today's movies, where car chases, bombs exploding, bullets flying taking toll etc.. But "La Morte cammina con i tacchi alti" is a thriller alright - right from the beginning we see a murder on a train. A black-hooded killer dressed in black kills a patch-eyed man. He searches the victims's cabin, but he doesn't find what he was looking for. There was a big robbery. A safe was cracked and valuable jewels were stolen.
The man killed in his cabin was thought to be in possession of the jewels. Nicole Rochard Susan Scott is the daughter of the man that was killed in the train. She is a dancer and strip-teaser. Now the killer will go after her. He wants to know where are the jewels, but Nicole doesn't? She will flee to England first to London and then to a small village on the English coast , but death is following her. Needless to say, killings will happen and the Scotland Yard will step in. I've tried not to give away much of the story so as not to spoil your fun. The Italian cinema had at the time very good technicians.
The soundtrack, lighting effects, costumes and decor etc.. For many giallo films, even if they had average directors, the atmosphere and charm were created by the combined effort of the film crew. Just check out "La Dama Rossa uccide sette volte" to see what I'm meaning. Susan Scott like other giallo goddesses is a perfect damsel in distress.
Whatever she does no matter what, as another reviewer pointed out , is arousing, be it dancing, bulging her eyes in fear, painting her nails etc.. Scenery and actors work in perfect harmony. In this one, sexy redheaded stripper Nicole appealingly played by Scott gets into major-league trouble when a masked killer with a mechanical voice box starts to target her, whilst looking for some stolen diamonds.
Jews and Shoes
You may think that you know where this stylish thriller is headed and Ercoli DOES direct with style to spare , but trust me, you're dead wrong. A shocking twist of plot around halfway through really does pull the rug out from the viewer's expectations here, sending us into very strange and uncharted waters indeed. Gastaldi has here provided us with yet another ingeniously plotted story that hangs together marvelously unlike--for me, anyway--Ercoli and Scott's follow-up film, 's "Death Walks at Midnight" ; composer Stelvio Cipriani has contributed a chic and catchy score; and some great-looking lensing of Paris, London and the English countryside provides some elegant backdrops for the film's very sinister doings.
Add some touches of welcome humor in the film's latter half , one genuinely nasty slice-and-dice sequence for the gorehounds, and some fairly brutal fisticuffs at the film's conclusion and you have one extremely satisfying giallo indeed. Good luck trying to figure out the killer's identity in this one! As icing on the cake, the DVD that I just watched comes to us courtesy of the fine folks at No Shame, who continue to impress with pristine prints of lost Italian wonders, and with excellent subtitling, to boot.
Here Are All the Ways High Heels Are Death Traps, According to Science
Grazie, No Shame! Two years later, he made her the star of Death Walks on High Heels, the first half hour an extended and highly exploitative declaration of love to the stunning beauty and her ravishing assets; see Navarro with her thighs wide open in the taxi scene right at the beginning, the gorgeous strip sequence soon after, and certainly Miss Temptation doing her toenails — a ball for foot fetishists for sure, the superb soundtrack by Stelvio Cipriani serving as the sonic seducer.
Sadly, the movie also has a script, penned by the Man with the Steal Claw, Ernesto Gastaldi, as usual an insipid whodunit proving once again that the often reveled "giallo" was nothing but the spaghetti variation of the reeking German Edgar Wallace "Krimis", the bratwurst smell suppressed with some squirts of rosso sauce.
As a devout Catholic, Ercoli very well knew that the profane could only be dispelled by the sacred, and that's why Navarro made the difference: A work of unadulterated worship, High Heels leads directly to the inner sanctum of the Holy Church of Nieves. A famed jewel thief named Rochard is slashed to death on a train. His daughter Nicole, a famous nightclub performer in Paris, is questioned by the police about some missing diamonds but she claims to know nothing about this.
Nicole is then terrorized by a masked man with piercing blue eyes who demands to know where her father has hidden the stolen diamonds.
So long, old, uncomfortable friend
The film is written by no less a figure than Ernesto Gastaldi, who is considered by some to be the father of giallo. The director, Luciano Ercoli, is interestingly perhaps better known as a producer or production designer. He more or less fell into directing as a cost-cutting measure -- one less person to hire.
Who doesn't love composer Stelvio Cipriani, probably among the top composers in Italy behind perhaps Ennio Morricone and Goblin for genre film. What we get here is rather sparse many scenes have no music at all but the man does what he does well. Not surprisingly, his work has been used by Quentin Tarantino, the champion of such films as this.
A note on the lead actor, an American. Director Ercoli obviously does not have the name recognition of Mario Bava or Dario Argento, but he still knows how to make a great giallo with a dollop of influence from Argento's "Bird With the Crystal Plumage". A masked and gloved killer, a bit of mirrors, and an unhealthy fascination with eyes -- close-ups of eyes, false eyes, windows that look like eyes. Nobody knows eyes like the Italians! The Arrow Video blu-ray allows the viewer to watch either the Italian or English versions because sometimes you need a dub, and sometimes you don't.
The disc also comes with: Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas, by far the most knowledgeable non-Italian scholar of the Italian genre film. Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi. A featurette comprising newly-edited archive footage of director Luciano Ercoli and actress Nieves Navarro. A career-spanning interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani. Italian genre fans which includes pretty much all horror fans will love this disc, part of Arrow's "Death Walks Twice" set. Luciano Ercoli is famous for making three Giallo films; two of which are among the best that the genre has to offer, and along with The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, Death Walks on High Heels is among the best of the director's films.
It would be fair to level criticism at this film, as it is slightly overlong and I guessed most of the major points before they happened; but that doesn't change the fact that this is a fun film and well worth seeing. One common element of the Giallo is a convoluted plot - and this film delights in featuring one of the most convoluted of the whole genre. The plot picks up after the attack on Nicole Rochard. The attack seems to have something to do with a stash of diamonds, but when questioned; she appears to know nothing about them.
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She decides to travel to England along with an eye doctor, and gets followed by her French boyfriend; a man that she believes may be the attacker. They move to a quaint English seaside village, where all appears to be safe Luciano Ercoli does a good job of setting the scene for this film, and the English village at the centre of the story provides a nice tranquil location for a murder fuelled film like this one. The vast amount of characters involved do bring the film down a little bit, but they also ensure that there's always something going on; and most would agree that it's better to have an overcomplicated plot than an underdeveloped one.
Unfortunately, however, there isn't a great deal of gore in the film. The ensemble cast do well, and once again Ercoli's then spouse Susan Scott heads the cast. Scott does well at delivering the seductive and sultry lead performance that we're used to from her; although it's unfortunate that she doesn't get a great deal of screen time. It's fairly easy to get confused during this film, but unlike many other Giallo's, at least almost everything here makes sense by the end.
Ercoli tops the film off with a strong ending that sees all the characters get their comeuppance, and overall; this is a strong film and comes highly recommended! Red-Barracuda 23 May The convoluted plot revolves around the whereabouts of some stolen jewels and the involvement of a strip tease girl.