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us title: Death Laid an Egg
italian title: La morte ha fatto l'uovo
year: 1968
director: Giulio Questi
composer: Bruno Maderna
full details: IMDB
overall score: 40

Bottom Line: A Worthwhile Deviation
Breaks some important rules and comes out on top as a result.

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

Frankly there's no need to evaluate Death Laid an Egg against the Giallo Score. It's such a strange and fascinating film that it should be required viewing for anyone interested in the history of the genre. 

In 1968, the formula that would eventually be used to establish the Giallo was still being explored and experimented with. So instead of a black gloved killer, multiple suspects and an amateur detective chasing clues, Death Laid an Egg offers a somewhat surreal alternative with a barely coherent plot. 

The film features a-tonal guitar compositions juxtaposed with countless camera pans of egg laying hens in cages, preposterous conversations by business executives concerning the future of poultry farming, mutant headless and wingless chickens, and version of the adolescent party game "7 minutes in heaven" where "truth" is the only thing that exists.

But just when you've convinced yourself that this is just some crazy Godard-inspired experiment, the film veers slightly into reality and presents a loosely coherent whodunit that features a couple of twists and resolves itself a rather interesting way.

Death Laid an Egg isn't a high scoring Giallo, but it really shouldn't be. Instead it offers glimpse into how Italian  filmmakers of the late 1960s were reacting to the artistic and cultural stimuli around them. If Blood and Black Lace is the grandfather of the classic Giallo, this film is the wacky uncle of the family. 

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 20/60
Italian Director10 points
Black Gloves5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Standards : 16/30
Flashback Revelation3 points
Italian Location3 points
Mistaken Identity2 points
More than one killer or accomplice4 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 4/10
Animal, Number, Color, or "Death" in title1 point
Death from Falling1 point
Odd Clue1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Total Points : 40/100



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Published: 2013-02-22