Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Pyjama Girl Case (1977)

Loosely based on one of Australia's greatest murder mysteries, THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE is a Docudrama-turned-Giallo with split personalities. The film opens with the discovery of a badly burned corpse which two police detectives are attempting to identify. The focus then shifts towards Linda, a cheating wife with a growing list of lovers. As the police continue their search for the killer, Linda bounces back and forth between the arms of her many suitors, with little clue as to how the two stories come together in the end. Flavio Mogherini's twisted sexual thriller is likely to disappoint since it is commonly thrown in with other more prominent Gialli, but this film lacks nearly every defining characteristic of the genre. It is not particularly stylish or engaging, and in fact becomes quite dull as the love triangle quickly overtakes the police investigation, with no murders or eminent danger used to drive the suspense. The faults in the film are more likely the cause of the viewer's unfulfilled expectations than any shortcomings in the production, as both Dalila Di Lazzaro and the great Ray Millard put in strong performances. As the retelling of true events that THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE is supposed to reflect, it is a decent film that may hold more appeal outside of the Horror genre.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE, check out:
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE BEACH, DIE SCREAMING MARIANNE, DELIRIUM.

2 comments:

  1. Yeah a very distinctive and offbeat giallo; an Australian setting, a very effective double narrative, and based on true events. The highlight is an incredibly weird and disturbing scene in which the badly charred corpse is put on public display, an aspect of the original case which did actually happen. The key theme of the film is social displacement, both Milland and the immigrant workers are desperate for a sense of purpose and belonging.

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  2. That certainly is the only scene that I am likely to carry with my Shaun, this was an interesting attempt that just didn't hold much appeal for me.

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