What Have They Done to Your Daughters? – Italy, 1974 – reviews

‘Pray you can take it!’

What Have They Done to Your Daughters? – aka The Co-ed Murders – is a 1974 Italian giallo and poliziotteschi feature film directed by Massimo Dallamano (The Cursed Medallion; What Have You Done to Solange?; Dorian Gray) from a screenplay co-written with Ettore Sanzò. It forms part of a sordid sleazy trilogy about the corruption of teenage girls that began with the aforementioned Solange and ended – after Dallamano’s premature accidental death – with Rings of Fear in 1978. The movie stars Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, Franco Fabrizi and Farley Granger.

The infectious soundtrack score was composed by Stelvio Cipriani.

Plot:

Police are investigating the case of fourteen-year-old Silvia Polvesi who, after receiving an anonymous phone call, has been found hanged. After interrogating suspects and witnesses, a tape in which several illicit carnal encounters are recorded is discovered. This leads the police to a sleazy crime racket ring…

Reviews:

“In true giallo fashion, the film mixes mystery and brutality with raw sexuality, accentuated with top-notch handheld cinematography by Franco Delli Colli. What sets this film apart, however, is the focus on the procedural aspect, following the investigation more than the victims and perpetrators […] It’s an excellent film and ranks high on the list of many giallo films to be released in this era…” Adam Patterson, Film Pulse

“Dallamano doesn’t shy away from the red stuff either- heads quite literally roll, hands are lopped off and noggins are split by a killer keen to keep secret what continues to remain undiscovered. Dallamano also displays a hard-nailed edge so typical of early 70’s crime flicks, carrying it through to the horror elements…” Hysteria Lives!

“Whether tearing at frightening speed down a corridor or veering through the city streets on his bike, this is one of the more memorable ’70s psychos […] One sequence involving his cleaver and a light switch will have jaded gorehounds squealing with glee…” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

“Ultimately if this isn’t quite as good as Solange, it comes damn close. A very worthy follow up made by a talented cast and crew, this is a film that deals in some very unpleasant subject matter – but it does so by providing plenty of food for thought alongside its expertly directed action set pieces and hard-edged mystery tropes.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

“While it may be true that elements of the police procedural subgenre occasionally threaten to dominate the bulk of Daughters, both the sleazy schoolgirl atmosphere and enough giallo conventions remain to ensure that followers of black-gloved slashings will receive their necessary dose of chills.” The Terror Trap

Release:

Arrow Video released a comprehensive Blu-ray release of the film on August 14, 2018, with the following special features:

  • 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless Italian and English mono soundtracks
  • English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
  • Eternal Melody, an interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani
  • Dallamano’s Touch, an interview with editor Antonio Siciliano
  • Unused hardcore footage shot for the film by Massimo Dallamano
  • Italian theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
  • Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Mackenzie

Cast and characters:

  • Giovanna Ralli … Deputy Attorney Vittoria Stori
  • Claudio Cassinelli … Commissioner Silvestri
  • Mario Adorf … Commissioner Valentini
  • Franco Fabrizi … Bruno Paglia
  • Farley Granger … Mr Polvesi
  • Marina Berti … Miss Polvesi
  • Paolo Turco … Marcello Tosti
  • Corrado Gaipa … Prosecutor
  • Micaela Pignatelli … Rosa
  • Sherry Buchanan … Silvia Polvesi
  • Attilio Dottesio … the Coroner

Filming locations:

Dear Studios, Rome, Italy

Release:

What Have They Done to Your Daughters? was released in Italy on 10 August 1974 and was distributed by P.A.C.

Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!

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