Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


THE WIFE KILLER (aka Eglima sto Kavouri/The Rape Killer/Death Kiss/1976). Director: Kostas Karagiannis.

Jim (Lakis Komninos) is married to the wealthy Elena (Dorothy Moore), but he is much more interested in his younger mistress, Laoura (Jane Paterson). Jim has an old acquaintance named Mike (Vagelis Seilinos), who -- we learn at the very beginning -- has been committing a series of violent rape-murders. Jim offers to pay Mike a large sum if he will make Elena his latest victim. Things seem to be proceeding nicely for greedy Jim, but Mike, as well as a doctor who is in love with Elena, may throw a hitch in his plans ... The Wife Killer is an absorbing Greek thriller, modeled on Italian giallo films, that certainly has an interesting premise with some good (if perplexing) twists, but then leaves way too many loose ends to make sense. The acting is good, and Seilinos offers a striking portrait of a conscienceless sociopath who is more clever than his partner-in-crime would imagine. This was loosely inspired on the real-life murder of Ann Chapman, who at first seemed a victim of a sex murderer until others determined that she was possibly killed by corrupt policemen.

Verdict: Colorful and macabre if ultimately unsatisfying. **1/2.

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