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Luciano Ercoli's Death Box Set [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E6EK56
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,302 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Format: DVD
"Death Walks on High Heels" and its companion piece "Death Walks at Midnight" by director Luciano Ercoli make a perfect pair, featuring almost the same entire cast, in particular Susan Scott as the heroine both times. In "Death Walks at Midnight", she plays a model called Valentina who agrees to take a new drug as part of a medical experiment. Her initial trippy giggling soon gives way to horror as she witnesses an apparent vision of the brutal murder of a woman carried out by a man in sunglasses, using a spiked metal glove. When her head clears, no-one believes her, and to her dismay the story of her experience is reported and published in a newspaper. The result of this is of course that the murderer reads it and comes after Valentina.
What's most refreshing about the film is that Valentina is such a great character. She's feisty and confident, often in peril but always resouceful. Susan Scott gives a delightful performance and steals every scene she is in. The film also looks gorgeous and the No Shame DVD showcases it in stunning widescreen. It's also stuck well and truly in the seventies, and the collection of outfits and wigs that Valentina sports are a constant supply of amusement. The complex story takes a lot of concentration to figure out, and it can get a bit slow in the middle of the film, but luckily the viewer is most likely to remember the opening (the murder) and the climax (a rooftop brawl where the whole cast seems to muck in and slug it out with each other), and forget the draggy middle section. The spiked glove killing is the most extreme sequence in the whole film.
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Format: DVD
This was a great boxset from No Shame that features Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight, two offerings by producer turned director Luciano Ercoli from the early part of the 70's. Ercoli, who helmed three gialli in the space of as many years (his debut, Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion), may not be able to boast the artistic eye of Argento, the sheer nastiness of Fulci or the social commentary of Lado, but his great talent - the ability to make his films just plain fun - is not to be sniffed at. Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight have a great deal in common, and as such it is only right that the two are released as a single package. In addition to both films featuring largely the same cast in similar roles, they share a kitschy, laidback atmosphere which gives them a highly adventurous and almost farcical tone which contrasts sharply with the brutality taking place both on- and off-screen. As it happens, they are both also quite densely plotted, taking their cues not only from the giallo genre but also from soft-core erotica (in the case of Death Walks on High Heels), madcap comedies (in Death Walks at Midnight) and Spaghetti Westerns (witness the propensity for fisticuffs in both films).

Death Walks on High Heels, An infamous jewel thief is brutally killed on a train, police believe the assailant was after the jewels from a recent heist and so they seek out his daughter Nicole Rochard (Susan Scott) in Paris where she works as a nightclub dancer/stripper in the hope that she might know of the jewels whereabouts, she doesn't.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2b4d978) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2bea330) out of 5 stars Two rare films for fans of the obscure 4 April 2006
By A. Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"Death Walks on High Heels" and its companion piece "Death Walks at Midnight" by director Luciano Ercoli make a perfect pair, featuring almost the same entire cast, in particular Susan Scott as the heroine both times. In "Death Walks at Midnight", she plays a model called Valentina who agrees to take a new drug as part of a medical experiment. Her initial trippy giggling soon gives way to horror as she witnesses an apparent vision of the brutal murder of a woman carried out by a man in sunglasses, using a spiked metal glove. When her head clears, no-one believes her, and to her dismay the story of her experience is reported and published in a newspaper. The result of this is of course that the murderer reads it and comes after Valentina.

What's most refreshing about the film is that Valentina is such a great character. She's feisty and confident, often in peril but always resouceful. Susan Scott gives a delightful performance and steals every scene she is in. The film also looks gorgeous and the No Shame DVD showcases it in stunning widescreen. It's also stuck well and truly in the seventies, and the collection of outfits and wigs that Valentina sports are a constant supply of amusement. The complex story takes a lot of concentration to figure out, and it can get a bit slow in the middle of the film, but luckily the viewer is most likely to remember the opening (the murder) and the climax (a rooftop brawl where the whole cast seems to muck in and slug it out with each other), and forget the draggy middle section. The spiked glove killing is the most extreme sequence in the whole film. Seemingly inspired by a similar weapon in "Blood and Black Lace", the scene gives the viewer a powerful jolt with it's unflinching depiction of the assault (although the victim here takes a battering to the side of the head whereas the poor girl in "Blood And Black Lace" takes a full whack in the face!), and the rooftop fight sequence also features detailed depictions of pummelling that look pretty painful, so the bloodthirsty viewers out there should be satisfied.

The second film, "Death Walks on High Heels" features Scott as the heroine once again, but this time, her role is that of a stripper named Nicole which means we get to see more of her naked than we did in "Midnight". Scott is able to carry the film effortlessly once more, even though her character here is rather more hard-edged, and she still steals the show, especially in a couple of pretty loopy striptease numbers, as well as the many changes of costume and wigs she sports throughout. And although once again in peril, Nicole is a character tough enough to take what's thrown at her with panache.

The complicated plot this time involves a missing hoard of stolen diamonds that is being sought after by various greedy people. Nicole is the daughter of one of the original criminals responsible for the theft, so she soon finds herself threatened over the phone and then again in person by a masked attacker, who is sure that she can lead him to the jewels, even though she says she knows nothing. She flees Paris and makes her way to England with a rich admirer who promises to protect her - even her French boyfriend is one of the suspects in this mystery where no-one can be trusted. From here on, the plot becomes even more tangled and you'll need your wits about you to make it to the end knowing exactly what's going on. It's a credit to the writers that thay are able to carry on pulling new surprises out of thin air right up to the very last moments of the story, and Ercoli is able to keep you hooked due to the marvellous cinematography, and of course the beautiful women who populate the film, namely Scott and Claudie Lange. While the film is fairly low on action and long on conversations, it does dish up one particularly vicious murder in which the female victim is repeatedly sliced with a switchblade knife (This idea was taken to a far more nauseating extreme much later by Lucio Fulci in "The New York Ripper"). Ercoli also stages another spectacular punch up towards the end, in a similar vein to the roof top climax in "Death Walks at Midnight" ...when Ercoli films a fist-fight, his men hit HARD!

Speaking of those conversations, I watched both films in English, and the dubbing probably does the atmosphere a real dis-service, as none of the English script seems to adequately match the emotions the actors are trying to portray. Luckily the No Shame discs allow you to choose the Italian soundtrack with subtititles and I have a feeling that the translation might be quite a lot better in the subtitles than in the English dub, which probably robs the films of some of the subtler script nuances, and also makes the twists and turns harder to keep up with.

Getting these two together makes for an excellent purchase as they really are a pair. Giallo fans will be happy with the sleek violence on display, and retro fans will revel in the lurid fashions of the era and the sumptuous lounge/kitsch musical soundtracks of both films. Susan Scott is a statuesque beauty who throws herself into the proceedings with vigour, and I enjoyed both films on acoount of her performance, without which they would probably be only half as entertaining! Its very impressive to see two formerly very obscure European movies like these from the 1970's getting such a good DVD release by No Shame. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2a41630) out of 5 stars Death Walks All Over Susan Scott As If She Is A Floor Mat 2 Aug. 2008
By J. B. Hoyos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No Shame has issued a great double feature of Luciano Ercoli's Italian gialli entitled "The Luciano Ercoli Death Box Set." In both films, the beautiful blonde Susan Scott is victimized by a serial killer; unfortunately no one believes her.

In "Death Walks at Midnight," Scott is Valentina, a model who is tricked into taking an experimental hallucinogenic drug. While under the drug's influence, she witnesses a murder in the building opposite her own. Naturally, no one believes her, except for the killer. Soon it is learned that a girl was murdered in the other building, but the murder took place six months ago. What murder did Valentina witness? This is a very enjoyable giallo with gruesome murders involving a Medieval spiked glove, several plot twists, and a great surprise ending that threw me for a loop.

"Death Walks on High Heels" is the best of the two gialli in this collection. It is a classic Italian giallo. It is loaded with numerous twists and turns and red herrings. Everyone is suspected of being the killer. The ending wasn't quite as shocking as in "Death Walks at Midnight," however, it was a better thrill ride. It definitely kept me guessing. Scott plays Nicole, a stripper, whose jewel thief father is murdered. When the diamonds he was suppose to have been carrying aren't found, the killer threatens and attacks Nicole. Again, no one believes her. She leaves the county in the arms of a playboy doctor and travels to a secluded island, but the killer manages to find her.

Great 70's pop music and beautiful scenery accentuate both movies, which are prime examples of the Italian giallo. Susan Scott (Sergio Martino's "All the Colors of the Dark") is perfect as the heroine who is walked all over by death. Simon Andreu ("The Blood Splattered Bride") is good as the leading man in both features. My only problem is that so many of the same actors appeared in both movies that I thought the second feature was a continuation of the first. Nevertheless, "The Luciano Ercoli Death Box Set" is a great buy and a must have for all fans of Italian gialli!!!
HASH(0xa2a587ec) out of 5 stars This sells for 15.00 on auction. 4 May 2016
By Michael Dobey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This features two great giallo films. However these are now available on blu ray. Which I have and a new dvd set. So, you don't have to pay 89.00 to get these movies. they sell for 15.00 on a auction site. No Shame was a great company who went bankrupt. But they did manange to do a great job of putting out great movies. Susan Scott does a great job of leading the cast in these fun films. There is a disc of extras here too. However the ripoff artists on amazon. , want you pay huge amounts for oop items. Now you don't have to. Upgrade to the blu ray. , I sold this set when I got my blu ray set. But It was well done for it's day.
HASH(0xa2a588d0) out of 5 stars FANTASTIC 29 Mar. 2011
By T. A. Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It's hard to believe there are so few reviews of this great set. Both movies are fantastic and I find it hard to pick my favorite. The plots are intricate and the murders are messy. Nieves Navarro just sparkles. She demands attention. I really like the trailers. I can still hear the click-clack of the high heels. Great quality transfers.
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