My Dear Killer

“My Dear Killer” – An Italian Giallo by Tonino Valeri

“My Dear Killer,” directed by Tonino Valeri in 1972 and starring George Hilton, Patty Shepard, and Marilù Tolo, is considered one of the finest examples of the so-called “Italian giallo” genre. This subgenre of thriller is known for its intricate plots, suspense, nude scenes, and often imaginative and gruesome murders. Despite its title not alluding to improbable animals or suggestive erotic references, it has earned a respectable place in the collective memory of genre cinema due to its solid narrative structure, more reminiscent of a police procedural than a typical giallo, while still nodding to the style of Argento. In this sense, suspense and tension are certainly not lacking, especially when the killer enters the scene. Morricone’s soundtrack impeccably seals the atmosphere, as do the eerie nursery rhymes.

Recalling the Story of this Film:

When an insurance investigator is found dead, decapitated at the edge of a swamp due to an excavator, the police are at a loss. Subsequently, the operator of that vehicle is found dead, hanged. It is initially believed to be an accidental death followed by suicide out of guilt, but Police Commissioner Luca Peretti (George Hilton) is not convinced. He discovers that the man operating the excavator was killed by someone else… but that’s not all. While investigating, he finds himself shedding light on a terrible event from a few years earlier, characterized by the kidnapping and death of little Stefania and her father.
“There once was a little girl, and every child that dies is like the last flower of the world…”

As the investigation continues, important witnesses are targeted by a ruthless killer who doesn’t hesitate to commit brutal crimes (pay attention to the murder of a young teacher) to conceal motive and identity.

Production and Behind the Scenes:

Tonino Valeri stated that the role was “difficult” for Hilton and that many people told him he wasn’t suitable for the part.
Hilton considered the role of his character a “challenging task” as he found Valeri to be a “very demanding director.”

The film was shot in English. This included the final scene in which Hilton has a long monologue, a scene that was altered, giving Hilton only half an hour to memorize the new dialogue.

Hilton later spoke positively about the film, saying that of all the films he had made, he would save about four, including “My Dear Killer.”

“My Dear Killer” continues to be a reference point in Italian thriller cinema, appreciated for its gripping plot, suspense, and the performances of the actors.

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