Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 10th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, March 9th, 1972
Director: Massimo Dallamano
Writers: Massimo Dallamano, Bruno Di Geronimo
Cast: Fabio Testi, Karin Baal, Camille Keaton, Cristina Galbó
DVD Released:August 12th, 2002
Approximate Running Time: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Shriek Show / Media Blasters
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Enrico ‘Henry’ Rossini (Fabio Testi), is a teacher in an all-girl Catholic school in London and he is having an affair with one of his students Elizabeth (Cristina Galbó). The two lovers are on a rowing boat floating down the river. When Elizabeth thinks she sees a young girl being chased by a mysterious figure wielding a knife in hand. Enrico later finds out that ones of his students has been murder and when more students fall victim in the same way Enrico becomes the police’s #1 suspect. Will Enrico solve these horrific crimes and clear his name and will he discover who is Solange and what have they done to her?
Massimo Dallamano was a Cinematographer before becoming a director and he was the Cinematographer on the first two films in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More). He would go on to direct 12 films before his untimely death; “What Have They Done to Solange?” was his most successful film. What Have They Done to Solange? Falls into a genre know in Italy as Giallo (Thriller/Murder Mystery), which was in part inspired by the novels of Edgar Wallace.
Cinematographer Aristide Massaccesi (Joe D’Amato), lends a visual eye to What Have You Done to Solange? That lifts the film above a generic gaillo clone or mere entertainment. Another strong point in the film is Ennio Morricone’s beautiful pulsating score that gives the film a distinctly classy feel. In most gialli’s the actors are mere tools that enable the director to forward the plot and communicate the necessary exposition. Massimo Dallamano’s direction is restrained as he keeps most the excessive violence off screen by implying it instead of showing it. Still there is a fair share of sleaze and naked Catholic school girls. Camille Keaton plays Solange and she would go on to star in the Rape Revenge classic I Spit on Your Grave. The film is loosely based on the novel written by Edgar Wallace.
What Have You Done to Solange? Is presented in its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio and it has been enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The picture is razor sharp with only some minor grain at times. The Colors are solid and the flesh tones are natural this is a pretty good transfer for a thirty year old film.
The DVD comes with only one audio option a Dolby Digital English Dubbed Mono track. The dialog is clean and easy to follow the mono track gets the job done. Ennio Morricone’s haunting score comes through crystal clear and to bad Shriek Show didn’t include a music only track.
Shriek Show has put a lot of effort into the packaging for What Have You Done to Solange? Inside there is a well-done 12-page booklet featuring stills, biographies of Massimo Dallamano, Ennio Morricone, Fabio Testi and Camille Keaton, and a excellent short essay about the film by Robert Marcucci. Also included on the DVD is an Art Gallery with various still photographs, advertisement’s and bonus trailers for Sweet House of Horror, Spasmo, House on the Edge of the Park and House of Clocks as well as the original trailer for What Have You Done to Solange? Shriek Show adds another classic to their giallo collection giving it an excellent A/V presentation and some informative extras. What Have You Done to Solange?, is one of the best examples of what the giallo genre has to offer and If you are a fan of giallos highly recommend this DVD.