|Franco Nero and Pamela Tiffin|
After a New Year's Eve party, a young man named John Lubbock (Maurizio Bonuglia) is attacked in a tunnel by an unknown person and nearly killed. Investigating the case is reporter Andrea Bild (Franco Nero of Killer Mermaid), who has an ex-wife, Helene (Silvia Monti), a little boy, Tonio, and a girlfriend named Lu (Pamela Tiffin of The Pleasure Seekers), and who drinks way too much for his own good. Then there is a series of murders, with a doctor's wife being the first victim (in a well-handled sequence), as we hear an unidentified person on the soundtrack talking about how much he likes to kill people. The Fifth Cord is a non-bloody giallo film that has a nice look (thanks to cinematographer Vittorio Storaro) but which doesn't compare to the best of Dario Argento. The story is completely confusing (Nero's thick accent doesn't help), and the motivations of the killer seem ridiculous (and homoerotic in a strictly old-fashioned sense). There is one very creepy and suspenseful scene when the little boy winds up alone in a house with the lights out and is stalked by the killer. Wolfgang Preiss plays the inspector on the case and Edmund Purdom is a minor character. Nero began a long relationship with Vanessa Redgrave when they worked on Camelot; they married in 2006.
Verdict: Second-rate giallo with some interesting aspects. **1/2.