Synopsis from RaroVideo
An astute mix of classic Italian crime and giallo, Duccio Tessari’s Death Occurred Last Night is a dark slow burning murder mystery. A mentally handicapped woman is kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, sending her distressed father and a jaded police detective on the hunt for clues in Milan’s underworld. Tessari (THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY) keeps a tight rein on the action, focusing on the characters and their collective desire for justice and revenge. An unforgettable, disturbing and fascinating thriller.
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I urge you not to sit down to DOLN and expect an Argento or Martino picture. Duccio Tessari did Puzzle and The Bloodstained Butterfly, but he was more over noted for his involvement in the founding of the spaghetti western genre. He co-wrote a Fistful of Dollars, and this type of feature wasn't exactly a regular occurrence in his forty plus movie filmography. He was make movies well in advance of this, and Death Occurred Last Night is a competently shot feature with real intrigue, balance and although not riveting, it will certainly keep your attention over its 98 minute run time.
RaroVideo's transfer looks great from a 35mm negative. 1920 x 1080 @ 23.976 1.75:1. It's in Italian with English subtitles and has linear stereo audio. Plenty of grain and the preservation didn't go over the top with the DNR. It isn't a smeared painting of a mess. It's crisp and tight. The extras include both the Italian and English theatrical trailers. The interview with Chris Alexander is a treat. Alexander does quite a few of these introductions and brief summations on other titles. He'll help to put the picture in perspective. While he's the editor of Fangoria, Gorezone and Delirium magazines, it is in this capacity that I find his work most valuable. If you're new to Italian cinema or giallo, make sure to pay attention to this special feature. The booklet, also written by Alexander, reinforces his points and fleshes out the cinematic landscape during the early 70's as well as provides a nice well-rounded background on DOLN. It's handsome. The cover art for both the slip and the insert are perfect and traditional.
Death Occurred Last Night isn't necessarily the best starter movie when it comes to delving into the world of giallo, but once you've seen a few it will fill in the spaces between early Bava and movies like Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Deep Red. RaroVideo fanatics, another good one. Nothing wasted and everything you've come to expect from this boutique distro company. It's great to see such care taken with a film that is considered a cult fan favorite. It's a great age when movies like this are being taken care of quite well and even given the royal treatment.
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