So, you happen to witness a murderer disposing of a corpse, and figure he might be able to help you deal with your unsympathetic wife, who just doesn't understand your sleazy, womanizing ways? Makes sense, particularly if you're George Hilton, something of a mainstay of such films. And when the killer submits to your blackmail and does the deed, so much the better. Everything's worked out as planned.... until a pair of young joy-riders steal the killer's car, complete with the body of your wife in the boot, to which they are entirely oblivious.
Welcome to `The Killer Must Kill Again'... and indeed he must. Though putatively a giallo, this film avoids most of the standard giallo clichés: we know who the killer is (even if we never find out his name or history), and we know exactly what's going on at every stage of the film. Argento this is not. Instead, Luigi Cozzi, director of the wonderful `Contamination' takes the reins and presents us with a cast of twisted, self-motivated characters all of whom sink to various immoral depths, with one clear exception in virginal joy-rider Cristina Galbo of `Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue' fame. Antoine St. John, one of the creepiest and most cadaverous looking gents in Italian exploitation cinema plays the deliberately nameless killer, and does so with a cold, unhinged charisma that makes him a compelling central figure. Possibly best known as everyone's favourite ungodly warlock, Schweick from `The Beyond' , St. John is a captivating presence, all cheekbones and menace, and dominates every scene he is in. His whole character is expertly defined in one simple, nasty gesture at the start of the film: getting ready to dispose of a female corpse, his hand lingers perversely on the unfortunate girl's bosom, which is delivered a parting squeeze...
Tonally, the film is odd and indeed fairly uneven: it veers between grimly twisted and oddly comic, often within the same scene, usually for deliberate effect. The best example occurs when St. John finally catches up with his quarry in a coastal village. Whilst The Killer forces Galbo to submit to his vengeful desires, her boyfriend is locked in an unlikely clinch with the stereotypical blonde dolly-bird he's picked up. Indeed, whilst the former sequence is shot in harrowing close-up, with a lot of camera time given to Galbo's tormented gaze, the latter is more akin to the sort of romp Robin Askwith might have enjoyed during his `Confessions Of A...' days. Similarly, there is something deeply and blackly amusing about The Killer's pursuit of his stolen car: he shows a palpable sense of frustration at the way his well-planned murder has been derailed, and in the process becomes almost sympathetic. It recalls that brilliant scene in `The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' when Leatherface sits down and puts his head in his hands in domestic despair. Yes, they're both mentally deranged killers, but we've all had one of those days when something that seemed so straightforward goes so wrong.
The film itself looks great for such a marginal slice of cinema, and the DVD contains a commentary, an interview with Cozzi and a giallo mini-feature. The soundtrack is available either in dubbed English or Italian with English subtitles: the latter is definitely the recommended option. Overall, whilst this may not quite be the `lost Giallo classic' the DVD box hails it as, and is not a good starting point for the newcomer looking to encounter the typical genre tropes, it is certainly worthy of your time and attention, and creepy little moments will certainly worm themselves into your consciousness.