The Curator of Schlock #366 by Jeff Shuster
Death Walks at Midnight
Also known as Cry Out in Terror
I got my second vaccine shot yesterday and experienced some nasty fever dreams. I had a vision of Edwige beating me within an inch of my life to the delight of a cheering crowd in Madison Square Garden. Tomorrow, I’ll travel back up to Canada, but Edwige keeps giving me the stink eye. Maybe I’d better stop at an IHOP along the way. Edwige should like their Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity breakfast.
Today’s Arrow Home Video release is 1972’s Death Walks at Midnight from director Luciano Ercoli. This was included in Arrow’s Death Walks Twice set which included Death Walks on High Heels which I covered last week. And like last week’s movie, we have Nieves Navarro in the lead!
Supermodel Valentina (Nieves Navarro) decides to take some hallucinogenic drugs at the request of a reporter friend of hers, Giò Baldi (Simón Andreu). He’s writing a story about an anonymous supermodel taking hallucinogenic drugs, but not to worry, Valentina will have her face covered during the experience so no photos taken will identify her. While she’s tripping, Valentina sees a young woman getting murdered by a dude in sunglasses wearing a metallic glove with spikes attached to it. He proceeds to slam the spikes into her face as Valentina screams in horror.
When the story is published, Nicole’s drugged out face is plastered on a bestselling tabloid. She gets fired by her modeling agency for the negative exposure. Nicole is not pleased about the whole situation and tries assaulting Giò at the tabloid he works for. The police get called, but Giò doesn’t press charges. I guess he feels a little bad for ruining Nicole’s career and decides to help her figure out the mystery of that violent vision she had.
I think she meets a shrink at some point that believes the hallucinogenic drug she took unearthed a repressed memory of a murder she witnessed. Nicole is determined to solve this mystery as the murderer stalks her. He tries breaking into her apartment with that spiked glove of his. Her artist neighbor, Stefano (Peter Martell), runs to her aid after he hears her screaming. However, Stefano saw no sign of the killer.
Nicole and Stefano have a torrid affair. I suppose this is where I will spoil the movie so stop reading now if you want to watch. So it turns out that Stefano is a heroin dealer. The spiked gloved killings were the result of an elaborate plan to eliminate his competition. And now Nicole knows too much and has to die. Stefano and his cronies try hanging Nicole in her own apartment. They want to make it look like a suicide, but Giò busts in and interrupts their plans.
What follows is a genuinely thrilling chase scene on the rooftops of Milan as Nicole and Giò have to contend with Stefano and his psychopathic cronies. I got a chuckle when one of them got his head shoved into a pile of heroin. That stuff will mess you up. Death Walks at Midnight had a surprising twist as to who the killer was and that final chase scene made this worth my time. I recommend it.
Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, episode 284, episode 441, episode 442, episode 443, episode 444, episode 450, and 477) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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