Giallo meets procedural.
I was expecting something sleazy with this film, but actually got an effective little Police procedural. I found myself comparing it, favourably, to casa Spinneyhead guilty pleasure Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It’s like an episode of the series that had the balls to show you some of the sleaze and horror rather than being all worthy about the subject.
When a teenage girl is found hung, naked, in an attic room it’s assumed that she has committed suicide. However, it quickly becomes obvious that she was murdered. Piece by piece, her relationships and movements are tracked until it’s revealed that she was part of a schoolgirl prostitution ring with some rich and powerful clients. (Magnum Cop centred on a schoolgirl prostitution ring, was this a recurring theme in 70s Italian crime flicks.) As the cop in charge and the female DA he’s working with get closer to the truth more bodies start piling up, victims of a motorbike riding, meat cleaver wielding enforcer.
All of the appropriate tropes are present- ketchup red blood, nudity and sleaze and a car chase- but they’re deployed intelligently rather than to cover cracks in the story. There’s a rather lofty and self-congratulatory bit at the beginning where we’re told that this is an honest and unflinching study of the subject. Though that’s an overstatement, I can forgive it.
Possibly the best of the Italian thrillers I’ve watched in the last few months, I recommend this film.