Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 2nd, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1974
Director: Massimo Dallamano
Writers: Massimo Dallamano, Ettore Sanzò
Cast: Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, Franco Fabrizi, Farley Granger
DVD released: August 8th, 2005
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Koch Media
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (Germany)
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: When a young girl’s apparent suicide uncovers a teenage prostitution network that leads the police to believe the girl was murdered. Inspector’s Silvestri (Claudio Cassinelli) teams up with assistant district attorney Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli) to uncover the truth. The killer dressed in black motorcycle attire stalks Vittoria as she gets closer to the truth. Will Inspector’s Silvestri and Vittoria unravel the mystery before they become the next victim?
What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, is more of a crime thriller then a giallo like its predecessor. What Have You Done to Your Daughters?, Is a sequel to Massimo Dallamano’s hugely successful giallo, What Have They Done to Solange? Stelvio Cipriani’s has composed several classic scores like Rabid Dogs, Twitch of the Death Nerve, The Frightened Woman and Execution Squad. Farley Granger has a cameo in, What Have You Done to Your Daughters? He is best remembered for his portrayal of Guy Haines in Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. Granger role is all to brief and he is never given enough screen time to make his character nothing more then a plot device that furthers the story.
Dallamano for Daughters takes the violence up a notch as he expands on ideas and themes he explored earlier in Solange. Daughters moves a brisker pace then its predecessor Solange and Massimo Dallamano many years as a cinematographer is evident as every frame is filled with interesting compositions that add to the films dark undertones. What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, also tackles some controversial issues like birth control, underage sex and abortion.
One of my favorite moments in the film is when assistant district attorney Vittoria Stori is being stalked by killer in a parking garage. The Film Noir like lighting sets the mood as tension filled game of cat and mouse ensues with Vittoria narrowly escaping the killers’ meat cleaver on more then one occasion. Massimo Dallamano uses this shadow like lighting to great effect many times through out the film.
Stelvio Cipriani’s score echoes Morricone’s from Solange and it is one of Cipriani’s best scores as a composer. The films main theme is the closest I have heard anyone come to mimicking Ennio Morricone excluding of course Bruno Nicolai many collaborations with Ennio Morricone’s. What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, feature’s a strong cast of euro regulars Giovanna Ralli (Cold Eyes of Fear, The Mercenary), Claudio Cassinelli (Flavia the Heretic, Suspected Death of a Minor) and Mario Adorf (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Short Night of the Glass Dolls). What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, has everything one would expect from a giallo. It has a black gloved killer dressed in biker gear and the paring of a male and female who are throw together to solve the mystery. This hybrid giallo uses police as the sleuths instead of your typical giallo which you’re your average Joe as the amateur detective.
Even though What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, is a complete departure from its predecessor What Have You Done to Solange?, I still found it to be just as engaging and in many ways more disturbing. Massimo Dallamano only made a handful of films before his untimely death due to a car accident, still it is evident in every film that he directed or worked on as a cinematographer that he was a gifted filmmaker.
Koch Media presents What Have They Done to Your Daughters? in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The colors are in great shape and look nicely saturated as they never bleed into each other. Flesh tones look healthy and black levels look solid. The image a few times looks soft as there is some noticeable edge enhancement, still nothing that ever becomes to distracting. There are no problems with artifacts or compression. The print used is in excellent shape and print damage in non-existent. The progressive scan transfer is superior to Salvation’s What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, DVD in every way.
This release comes with three audio options that films original Italian language track, a German dubbed language track and an English dubbed language track. The German language track is nearly flawless and sounds the best of the three. The Italian language track has some minor background noise and doesn’t sound as full as the German language track. For this review I watched the film with the English dubbed language track which of the three included is in the worst shape. Just like the Italian track the English track has some minor background audio noise and the dialog sounds a bit to thin at times. The effects and especially the music on the English track sound superb and have never sounded better. Considering the age of the film and the limitations of the mono audio source the English language track is above average at best. English and German subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include three trailers one in German, Italian and English no subtitles have been provided. Other extras include a still gallery that is essentially screenshots taken form the movie. Rounding out the extras is an eight page booklet that includes liner notes and photos from the film. The text for this extra is only in German. Too bad Koch Media decided not to give this title the red carpet treatment after all the work they put into this releases audio/video presentation. Koch Media’s DVD is uncut and contains a few seconds of footage missing from the Salvation DVD. What Have They Done to Your Daughters? is a first rate giallo and Koch Media’s release is its best home video release to date, highly recommended.