The Curator of Schlock #365 by Jeff Shuster

Death Walks on High Heels

One of these days these heels are gonna walk all over you. 

Just one more week of Edwige, my kangaroo traveling companion, and I camping out in this abandoned shopping mall somewhere on the outskirts of Pittsburg. Next week, I get my second vaccination shot. Then we’ll be back in the big rig, hauling factory equipment through the Canadian border to save a small town in Saskatchewan.

There may be rumors flying around that a kangaroo killed a man in an illegal street fight, but that wasn’t Edwige. Trust me.

It’s Giallo Month here on this humble blog. Tonight’s Arrow Home video release is 1971’s Death Walks on High Heels from director Luciano Ercoli. This movie was featured in fancy set Arrow put out a couple of years ago called Death Walks Twice. It was featured with another movie called Death Walks at Midnight which I’ll be covering next week.

The movie begins with a mysterious mustached man getting his throat slashed on a moving train. Next, we see a lovely young French woman named Nicole (Nieves Navarro) and her boyfriend, Michel (Simón Andreu), being interviewed by the police. Turns out her father was a diamond thief and was found with his throat slit on a train. The police want to know where the diamonds are, but Nicole has no idea what they’re talking about.

Did I  mention that Nicole is an exotic dancer? Yes, that’s how she earns a living, taking her clothes off for mouth-breathing audiences. In between performances, she gets phone calls from a creeper wanting to know where the diamonds are. Later, she’s alone in her apartment after having a fight with Michel. The creeper shows up, clad in some kind of ski mask and glaring at her with bright blue eyes. He speaks to her with an electronic larynx attached to his throat. He asks her where the diamonds are. Nicole says she doesn’t know. The creeper threatens to slice her up with a straight razor if she doesn’t have the diamonds the next time he visits.

The next morning, Nicole discovers a pair of blue contact lenses hidden in her apartment. Thinking Michel is the creeper, she wants to high tail it out of town. She decides to have an affair with a Dr. Robert Matthews (Frank Wolff), one of her many admirers, and runs away to the English countryside with him. Dr. Matthews introduces Nicole as his wife to all of the local villagers. Then, Dr. Matthews buys some fresh fish from the local fishmonger and makes Nicole a fancy dinner. We see extended shots of Nicole pulling off bits of moist fish and delicately eating them. I think it’s supposed to be an erotic scene, but it weirded me out.

Later, while Dr. Matthews is performing fancy eye surgery, an individual in high heels shoots him. He survives the assault, but the assailant is still at large. I immediately suspected Nicole, but she turns up dead in a fisherman’s net. A couple of bumbling English inspectors are on the case, but they only suspect Michel as he’s a drunken playboy who nobody seems to like so it would be great if he turned out to be the killer. Also, Dr. Matthews’ actual wife looks like a slightly more mature Nicole. Very strange indeed. Look for many twists and red herrings.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find a Long John Silver’s.

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, and 477) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.