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us title: What Have They Done to Your Daughters?
italian title: La polizia chiede aiuto
year: 1974
director: Massimo Dallamano
composer: Stelvio Cipriani
full details: IMDB
overall score: 64

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


WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

In 1974, the Giallo as a film trend was on the decline. Italian film directors were abandoning the artistic style of the murder mystery in favor of more realistic crime dramas which eventually came to be known as Poliziottesco. These films, while typically just as violent as Gialli, placed much less emphasis on mystery and suspense and focused more on action and the linear investigation of the police to solve the crime.
Giallo veteran Massimo Dallamano saw this as an opportunity to craft the unique thriller, What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, which is typically regarded as a Poliziottesco/Giallo hybrid. Expanding on the theme of innocence lost (first explored in his seminal Giallo, What Have You Done to Solange?), Daughters is a fast paced, large budget crime action/drama with a tight script that deals with teenage runaways, prostitution and corruption within high levels of the government.
But Daughters also features a mysterious leather-bound, black-gloved killer who stalks his victims with a large butcher knife. And while these suspenseful sequences are very Giallo-like, there are some major omissions within the film that force it to earn a score below 70. 
The two big plot devices that distinguish the Giallo are the mystery of the killer's identity and the role of the amateur detective in solving this mystery. Neither of these are present in Daughters. The butcher-cleaver-wielding killer is identified by name and photograph half way through the film and when he's finally captured, his unveiling is merely an afterthought. What's interesting, however, is that the real mystery of who is involved in the underage prostitution ring remains unsolved as the credits roll.
Once the Poliziottesco had established its popularity many of the other Giallo directors (including Umberto Lenzi, Sergio Martino, Lucio Fulci and even Mario Bava) rushed to cash in on the trend. Oddly enough, only Argento continued to make more Gialli (two of the best ever I might add) and horror in the midst of this trend. But regardless of scores and trends, Dallamano's film is very effective and entertaining. Poliziottesco is a genre that I have very little exposure to. But if Daughters is any indication, I look forward to discovering more of these films.


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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 35/60
Italian Director10 points
Black Gloves5 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Avoid Capture: Killed by Police or other character5 points
Director > 15 points
Standards : 21/30
Body Count >= 34 points
Flashback Revelation3 points
Italian Location3 points
More than one killer or accomplice4 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 8/10
Attend Funeral1 point
Bathtub Murder1 point
Car or Motorcycle Racing1 point
Chase scene1 point
Pathologist1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Spiral Stairs1 point
Taunting1 point
Total Points : 64/100



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Published: 2015-10-13