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What Have They Done To Your Daughters? (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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4 beers

Director Massimo Dallamano (What Have They Done to Solange?) goes full steam ahead on the whole police procedural effort with his follow-up to the opening bell in his What Have They Done trilogy of films.  He never finished the third film in the proposed series, but what we have with these two giallo films is an effort to do something different from within the lurid stylings of the genre. 

With the middle film, now on blu-ray thanks to a fabulous release from Arrow Video, Dallamano does exactly that: What Have They Done To Your Daughters is a condemnation of sorts to the most powerful and influential in ANY society.  Turns out, there is no stopping the downward slash of a meat cleaver.  Secrets must be protected.  It is a bold statement to make, even if the giallo was quickly fading out of fashion.

"remastered in a stunning new 2K transfer from Arrow Video and looks better than it ever has before."


 

What Have They Done To Your Daughters is a flick with enough Mac and Sleaze to satisfy the hunger pains of a group of settlers.  I’ll start there.  The movie begins with the discovery of a dead teenage girl hanging suspended from the rafters.  It appears she’s taken her own life.  Nude.  Lifeless.  This should be an open and shut case.

But it isn’t.

It is soon revealed that this poor girl is pregnant and has semen in almost every orifice of her body.  Gross.  What is soon uncovered (started here) involves a teenage prostitution ring, a bunch of powerful old men, and a leather-clad biker with a meat cleaver offing everybody who knows ANYTHING about this bizarreness.  Secrets make enemies, remember?

This is a different flick when it comes to its genre: even the scenes with the girls servicing their clients is filtered through reels.  Smartly directed and unconventional in its message, the film produces a hybrid as the giallo surrenders to the demands of the police procedural.  Unlike most giallo films, What Have They Done To Your Daughters jabs its fingers straight at our throats.  This is distasteful smut, you say, and yet YOU allow it to happen.  Sadly, this sort of thing, especially among the most powerful, STILL happens. 

The story is key to the satisfaction here.  Sure, the meat cleaver kills helps with its cult following but this is a giallo that rises above the stylized violence.  At least it tries for over half of the movie.  That fifteen-year-old girl is only the beginning of this romp through Rome.  Hands get whacked and, thankfully, we get extended chase sequences through the Italian city.  The amount of sheer dumb luck might be its undoing, but it manages to remain afloat by doing something different.what have they done lg

The murder mystery – especially as this hard candy gets unwrapped by an astounding Giovanna Ralli as Deputy Attorney Vittoria Stori and Claudio Cassinelli as Commissioner Silvestri – rarely disappoints.  This is, as they come to understand, a sort of Pandora’s Box they are opening.  Ralli is adamant that the truth come out; her performance here is strong and memorable.  Note her reactions when all the male detectives come to realize that they are reporting to a female instead of a male! 

With a memorable soundtrack from Stelvio Cipriani and a performance from Farley Granger (RopeStrangers on a Train), What Have They Done To Your Daughters? has some memorable answers to its main question.  It has been remastered in a stunning new 2K transfer from Arrow Video and looks better than it ever has before.

Time to get chopping.

What Have they Done to Your Daughters (1974) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
96 mins
Director
: Massimo Dallamano
Writer:
Massimo Dallamano
Cast:
Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf
Genre
: Horror | Action | Crime
Tagline:
Just another suicide until the police discovered...A bloody bathroom. A maniac with a cleaver. A schoolgirl sex ring.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Sure, I know I'm just a child, but I'd rather not have a kid every nine months."
Theatrical Distributor:
Peppercorn-Wormser Film Enterprises
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 18, 1974
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 14, 2018
Synopsis: Police investigate apparent suicide of teen girl and uncover details of a teenage prostitution racket. They go on the hunt for a motorcycle riding killer.

what have they done lg

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- August 11, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Newly minted from the original 35mm camera negative, Arrow Video’s 2K handling of the new remaster is solid.  Night scenes are no longer blurry puddles of goo.  Lines have edges and black levels are STRONG.  The transfer has extensive color corrections and it shows with a blissfully sharper palette.  Details are strong and the night scenes of escape and pleasure have strong edges throughout.  Shadows are defined, too.  The film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and has an Italian/English Master Audio 1.0 Mono track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Film Historian Troy Howarth weighs in on the film with an audio commentary that shouldn’t be missed.

Special Features:

If the commentary and the 2K transfer isn’t enough, the supplemental material, which includes a video essay by Kat Ellinger, should satisfy.  We also get an interview from composer Cipriani, Dallamano editor, Antonio Siciliano, a look at the hardcore footage, the alternate English title sequence, a theatrical trailer, and a 35-second image gallery.

• Masters and Slaves (20 min)

• Eternal Melody (50 min)

• Dallamano's Touch (22 min)

• Hardcore Footage (5 min)

• English Titles

• Theatrical Trailer

• Image Gallery

What Have they Done to Your Daughters (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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