What Have They Done To Our Daughters (1974)

La polizia chiede aiuto, lit. ‘The police ask for help”

Director: Massimo Dallaman
Starring: Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, Franco Fabrizi .Italy. 1h 30m

Genre blending can go horribly wrong be it apocalyptic horror and comedy which resulted in Sharknado or romantic comedy which results in boredom. You need to be careful how you mix and match established flavours, if dont right, it can birth a tremendous gripping film such as this stand out item from Italian maestro Massimo Dallamano, being a big contender with a host of really notable titles the classic cinematographer comes into his own with a trio of brilliant movies, for me the golden trio, for me at least are, Dorian Gray, What have you done to Solange and similarly titled, What have they done to our daughters? A film with takes a the best of the poliziotteschi movement, ultising daring police chases, shoot outs and crime sleuthing, and let’s lose a terrific Giallo serial killer, clad in leather this psycho deptaches their victims with a cleaver and rides a powerful motorbike.

Just another suicide until the police discovered…A bloody bathroom. A maniac with a cleaver. A schoolgirl sex ring.

After receiving an anonymous phone tip the police find a young teenage girl hanging in her room, the inspectors involved will struggle to piece two together the riddle behind the girls muder as a leather clad cyclist is intent on killing everyone involved, and thus keeping a lid on this insane cover up.

It would be logical to conclude that this is a follow up to the amazing Solange film. It’s at least in a similar vein, whereas Solange was full of dead women, there’s only one dead girl in Daughters and she dies before the movie even starts, but her death, while unseen, opens our eyes to the corrupt labteh of deceit in the city, she’s nearly 15 and pregnant and the patricical society around her are destroying themselves to keep the dark secret as to what happened to her underwraps.

The screams you hear may be your own!

Dallamano couldn’t leave the detection work up to the fellas, even though Adorf had starred in many of his films and is rampant in other poliziotteschi titles, he’s co starring with Giovanna Ralli, her middle age glamour brings a sense of intelligence and sensitive which is often missed in these hat hitting crime thrillers. Women usually hand in a touch of beauty and problems but in this instance she’s sorting everything out without the stereotypical baggage.

As a Father I have to admit that I’ve been rather lax, to tell you the truth, I never seem to have much time for Silvia..

With a masked killer trying to keep any witnesses or lose ends quote for life by sniffing them out and no one willing to talk about a potential underaged prositiution ring. There’s not a lot for the professionals to go on but they dig deep and read between the lines, but as soon as a sensible conclusion is put together it’s soon wiped out by the motorbike slayer and they are left in a haze as much as the audience, clambering around looking for the next clue. It’s disheartening and treacherous to think that something like this could manifest in a civilised society but it just makes the case that much more morally outrageous and the need for justice potentially sweeter.

Rating: 7/10

Related: Dorian Gray (1970), What Have You Done to Solange (1974)
Lists: A-Z of Giallo, 10 of my favourite
Spotlight: Mario Adorf,
Article: The AOFA Short Introduction and History to Poliziotteschi
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One thought on “What Have They Done To Our Daughters (1974)”

  1. I love your reviews…you alternate between well known and obscure films, you cover multiple decades, and you give each film a context and analysis that goes into depth without giving away too much – bravo!

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