'What Have They Done to Your Daughters?'
(Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1974) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Police investigate apparent suicide of teen girl and uncover details of a teenage prostitution racket. They go on the hunt for a motorcycle riding killer.
Blu-ray Verdict: In 1972, director Massimo Dallamano ('Colt 38 Special Squad', 'The Night Child') broke new ground in the giallo genre with the harrowing 'What Have You Done to Solange?' Two years later, he followed up with an even darker semi-sequel the chilling 'What Have They Done to Your Daughters?'
A teenage girl is found hanging from the rafters of a privately rented attic, pregnant and violated. Hot-headed Inspector Silvestri (Claudio Cassinelli, 'The Suspicious Death of a Minor') and rookie Assistant District Attorney Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli, 'Cold Eyes of Fear') are assigned to the case, the scope of which grows substantially when they discover that the dead girl was part of a ring of underage prostitutes whose abusers occupy the highest echelons of Italian society.
Meanwhile, a cleaver-wielding, motorcycle-riding killer roars through the streets of Brescia, determined to ensure that those involved take their secret to the grave.
Also starring Mario Adorf ('The Bird with the Crystal Plumage') and Farley Granger ('Strangers on the Train') and featuring an insanely catchy score by Stelvio Cipriani ('Death Walks on High Heels'), 'What Have They Done to Your Daughters?' is a fast-paced, brutal and unforgettable thriller from a director at the peak of his creative powers.
Now released via Arrow Films (UK) along with MVD Visual, 'What Have They Done to Your Daughters?' has gotten itself a lovely 2K restoration from the original camera negative, as well as a High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation.
As aforementioned, Dallamano, director of 'What Have They Done To Solange?' again returns to his schoolgirl-in-peril themed story and like its predecessor it's a highly controversial topic that is handled professionally and intelligently.
Despite its topic, there's very little in the way of visual sleaziness here, the offense's against the girls are confined to tape recordings the police have and its from these that they build their case.
The film is in fact only half Giallo and plays more like a Poliziotteschi (Italian police procedure film), we only get brief glimpses of the leather clad killer as he tries to cover up his identity by killing those who might be able to give him away.
Stelvio Cipriani again provides an excellent score, the film looks good visually, no more than you'd expect from a director who used to ply his trade as a cinematographer, and there's also a very memorable chase scene that livens up the film immensely.
Claudio Cassinelli and Cortese provide some fine acting in their respective roles, with Cassellini excellent as the investigating homicide detective Silvestri. The beautiful Giovanna Ralli also fits very well in her role of a young female assistant district attorney.
Indeed, for those in the know, Ralli may also be known to Italian movie buffs for films like Sergio Corbucci's revolutionary Western 'Il Mercenario' or Enzo Castellari's Giallo 'Gli Occhi Freddi De La Paura.'
I mean, if there is such thing as a "high brow" Giallo this must surely be it. The film is so stylistically driven that this is a strong feature with that in mind, but what elevates it more is the unexpectedly serious-minded tone and story which also comments on political corruption.
Its cynicism and downbeat nature are mediated, however, with more typical gruesome touches such as a man having his hand hacked off and an autopsy scene involving a torso cut into many pieces.
In closing, its ultimate mystery thread is consistently compelling and it's directed with considerable skill. Well worth tracking down now here on Blu-ray from Arrow Films (UK). This is a Widescreen HD Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
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
Masters and Slaves: Power, Corruption & Decadence in the Cinema of Massimo Dallamano, a new video essay by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine
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
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Mackenzie