Directed by: Michele Lupo
Stars: Anna Moffo, Ida Galli, Gastone Moschin
Also known as: Concerto per pistola solista, Story of a Crime
Description: Members of a family go to a British estate to hear the reading of a will and while there, they are murdered one by one. When only one person is left alive, Scotland Yard finally gets the truth about why the crimes were committed.
A success in just about every aspect, The Weekend Murders is a good old Giallo with a healthy does of humour thrown for good measure. Nice!
It’s one of those ‘reading of the will’ type set-ups too, with a family converging on an English manor to find out if they are going to get any of the loot. Relatives of the deceased Earl are daughter Ida Galli, niece Barbara (or something), Nephew Giacomo Rossi-Stuart and a few other that I’ll stop naming because I got bored. Of note is the crazed Georgie, who keeps pranking the group by pretending to be murdered, dresses up in full Giallo uniform (black gloves etc), and keeps hallucinating his mother.
Gastone Moschin is the local seemingly bungling policeman who, in attendance at the reading of the will, learns that all the money has been left to the Earl’s niece. This leaves the rest of the family furious, and when the fake killings stop and the real ones start, it’s up to Gastone to get to the bottom of the problem. Only thing is, he’s got a detective from Scotland Yard with him who doesn’t think Gastone is up to the job. Oh, and when the butler is found dead, someone quips “At least they can’t say the butler did it!”
It’s mostly played for laughs, so don’t expect gore and sex, but everything else is so well done and presented the whole thing was a delight to watch. Gastone Moschin, most famous for being The Black Hand in the Godfather Two, is brilliant here as the cop who comes across as harmless and clumsy, but who turns out to be smarter than all those supposedly in the Upper Classes who look down on him. The expression he wears on his face the entire time is priceless. The whole look of the film is a stand-out too, with inventive camera angles and a slightly psychedelic vibe to everything.
It also has a bit of social commentary thrown in too – Just see the scene where Giacomo Rossi Stuart reveals his new wife is black. Michele Lupo was a talented man, no doubt.