Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 7th, 2018
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1972
Director: Roberto Bianchi Montero
Writer: Luigi Angelo, Roberto Bianchi Montero, Italo Fasan
Cast: Farley Granger, Sylva Koscina, Silvano Tranquilli, Annabella Incontrera, Chris Avram, Femi Benussi, Krista Nell, Angela Covello, Fabrizio Moresco, Andrea Scotti, Irene Pollmer, Luciano Rossi, Ivano Staccioli, Nino Foti, Jessica Dublin, Paul Oxon, Philippe Hersent, Nieves Navarro, Sandro Pizzorro, Bruno Boschetti, Benito Stefanelli, Luigi Ciavarro
BluRay Release Date: August 15th, 2017
Approximate running time: 101 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Code Red
Region Encoding: Region A
Retail Price: $22.95
So Sweet, So Dead was co-written and directed by Roberto Bianchi Montero a prolific filmmaker who career spanned five decades. His son Mario Bianchi directed the Satan’s Baby Doll. The cinematographer on So Sweet, So Dead was Fausto Rossi who other notable credits include Women in Cell Block 7 and The Real Emanuelle. The score for So Sweet, So Dead was composed by Giorgio Gaslini who is most known for his score for Dario Argento’s Deep Red. Some alternate titles for this film include Revelations of a Sex Maniac to the Head of the Criminal Investigation Division, The Slasher …is the Sex Maniac! and a X-Rated version was released under the title Penetration.
The giallo genre is one of the more resilient genres to emerge out of the Italian film industry. The genre first rose to prominence when Mario Bava directed Blood and Black Lace, a film which many critics consider the definitely giallo film. The giallo genre would reach the apex of its popularity in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. With film’s like Dario Argento’s debut film The Bird with the Crystal Plumage spawning countless imitators. By the time Roberto Bianchi Montero had directed So Sweet, So Dead the genre was in decline. Even though Roberto Bianchi Montero worked in just about every film genre. So Sweet, So Dead would mark his only foray into the giallo genre.
The film’s sleazy tone is quickly established in its opening scene in which a woman’s bloody naked corpse is on display while the police walk around her looking for clues. In fact of the women who are murdered in the film the camera often lingers on their semi nudes corpses. Unfortunately the killings are not as brutal as one would expect from a film as sleazy as this film. In fact the killings come off as clumsy as the killer haphazardly tries to finish off his victims. The film features many of the giallo genres archetypal cliches like a black gloved killer (who outfit looks a lot like the outfit worn by the killer in Blood and Black Lace), red herrings (some more obvious than others), homosexuality and inept law enforcement. The one area where this film slightly diverges away from most giallo’s from this era is that the main character investigating the killings is a policeman and not an amateur sleuth.
This film features many recognizable names like Nieves Navarro (Death Walks at Midnight), Femi Benussi (The Killer Must Kill Again), Annabella Incontrera (The Case of the Bloody Iris), Sylva Koscina (Hercules) and Luciano Rossi who once again turns in yet another delirious performance in the role of Gastone a morgue attendant. So much of the film relies on a character named Inspector Capuana who is effectively portrayed by Farley Granger who first rose to prominence as an actor in Rope and Strangers on a Train, two film’s directed by Alfred Hitchock. In the 1970’s he would appear in several Italian films like They Call Me Trinity, Amuck! and What Have They Done to Your Daughters?
Does So Sweet, So Dead bring anything new to the giallo genre that has not been done before, no. And yet despite its familiarity the film works as well it does because the way it exploits the genres cliches.
Slasher …Is the Sex Maniac! (So Sweet, So Dead) comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Though, this release uses this film U.S. theatrical release title Slasher …Is the Sex Maniac!. This release uses the alternate title card So Sweet, So Dead. The source used for this brand-new HD sourced transfer is in excellent shape. Colors are nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate, details are sharp and black levels remain strong throughout. Grain looks natural and there are no issues compression. Overall this transfer is by far and away, the best this film has looked to date on home video.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with distortion or background noise, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. It should be noted that there are newspaper headlines in Italian and English subtitles have been included for the newspaper headlines.
Extras for this release include trailers for Slasher …Is the Sex Maniac! (So Sweet, So Dead), 2019: After the Fall of New York, Hands of Steel, Cry of a Prostitute, The Big Alligator and The Death Dealer (Almost Human).
Overall Slasher …Is the Sex Maniac! (So Sweet, So Dead) gets a solid audio / video presentation from Code Red.