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us title: A Dragonfly for Each Corpse
italian title: Una libélula para cada muerto
year: 1974
director: León Klimovsky
composer: CAM
full details: IMDB
overall score: 73

Bottom Line: Entertaining
Nothing ground breaking here, but a fun time nonetheless.

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

It's safe to say that by 1974 the Giallo had garnered enough attention from the international audience that non-Italian production companies were getting in on the fun. One very memorable example of this is A Dragonfly for Each Corpse staring the hardest working horror movie actor in Spain, Paul Naschy. This film along with Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll from the same year (and also starting Naschy) prove that the Italians aren't the only ones who can make an entertaining Giallo.

Dragonfly is a trashy romp through the classic Giallo formula. A black gloved killer is loose in an urban Italian city where the suspects are many and the clues are very odd. But of course the difference here is that the investigation is led by the machismo-oozing, yet very likable, Inspector Paolo Scaporella (played by Naschy) while Paolo's girlfriend Silvana fills the role of the amateur detective working in parallel to the investigation.

In terms of the Giallo Score Dragonfly performs as well as any classic Giallo, scoring a perfect 10 in the Signatures section. But the film suffers a bit due to its Spanish origin. Replace director León Klimovsky with say, Sergio Martino and add a Morricone soundtrack and now we've got a 90+ scoring film.

This last point is really the main problem with the film. The Spanish production seems to be a contributing factor to the film's lesser-than-Italian quality. The overall production value of the film is a bit lackluster, with cheap looking sets, uninspired camera work, horribly bad English dubbing and a recycled soundtrack. There's also the problem of every male suspect looking exactly the same and all having names that end with "o". This makes for a bit of a head scratching situation when the killer is finally revealed.

But so long as you don't watch the film with too critical of an eye, none of this really matters too much. Dragonfly is a ridiculous romp with plenty of memorable set pieces and, of course, a commanding performance by Naschy.  If trashy Gialli is your thing, I'd place this right in the middle of the pack, outperforming Eyeball and Sister of Ursula, but not as good Strip Nude for Your Killer or Case of the Bloody Iris,

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 45/60
Hidden Identity10 points
Black Gloves5 points
Amateur Detective5 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Psychological Trauma/Revenge10 points
Avoid Capture: Acciental Death/Suicide10 points
Standards : 18/30
Body Count >= 34 points
Italian Location3 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Suspects >= 34 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 11/10
Animal, Number, Color, or "Death" in title1 point
Chase scene1 point
Comic Relief Character1 point
Death from Falling1 point
Dolls/Dummies1 point
Gay/Lesbian1 point
J&B1 point
Odd Clue1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Taunting1 point
Visual Misinterpretation1 point
Total Points : 73/100



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Published: 2016-04-05