Saturday, May 20, 2006

What is the police doing?

Police inspectors at work in Strip Nude for Your Killer.


Institutions falling apart - an underlying topic of Italian genre cinema, especially in Giallo and Poliziesco.

In Giallo, the police is either non-existent, like in Martino/Gastaldi's movies (The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, Case of the Scorpion Tail, Your vice is a locked room...), or ridiculously incompetent, like in the caricatural Strip Nude for Your Killer (A. Bianchi - 1975), or even evil and corrupted, like in Aldo Lado's Short Night of the Glass Dolls (1971).
In the best case scenario, it is so inefficient that it needs an outsider's help to do most of the job (like in Dario Argento's animal trilogy).

The figure of the stranger who happens to take the biggest part in the plot's resolution - the "hero by accident", which is already present in the very first giallo La Ragazza che sapeva troppo by Mario Bava - is so recurring that it's like an acknowledgement of a society which has completely lost faith in itself:
Good things can only come from outside of a deeply corrupted community.


More from this blog on Giallo's questioning of Italian institutions here.

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