(Hell of a Gal explores the films of the ever luscious Euro Vixen Helga Line.)
It’s always nice to introduce a new color into one’s wardrobe for hire. In fact, even the irreproachable Helga Liné turned her back on the villainous seductresses and medieval monsters that she was best known for with her appearance in the rock solid giallo My Dear Killer.
As the confused (yet surprisingly calm) Mrs. Paradisi, Liné does her best to assist George Hilton’s determined detective as he investigates the brutal murder of her common law husband. Adding glimmers of humor and classic world weariness to their conversations, our deductive damsel eventually sets out to retrieve a clue from a post box that may provide the identity of the killer. Alas, even though she is surrounded by other customers, Liné is strangled to death by a quick moving assailant, allowing the film’s mysteries to proceed to full boil.
Hilton’s Inspector Peretti soon realizes that Mr. Paradisi had discovered the identity of the killer of a young girl and her father in a kidnapping scenario gone wrong and he is soon giving investigative chase to others who may lead him to the murderer. Naturally, each meets a particularly gruesome end. Especially notable is the savage annihilation of the young girl’s former school teacher, played with saucy bravado by gorgeous Euro-regular Patty Shepard.
What is, perhaps, most notable about this entry, though, is director Tonino Valerii’s hard boiled take. He provides a slightly more realistic edge to the film’s outrageous acts of violence and twisted turns of plot, setting My Dear Killer a step or two above other black gloved entries of that era. Nicely, his efforts gave Hilton, best known then for sex comedies, a new lease on life, career-wise, and, even more importantly for viewers such as myself, allowed the world to see an established actress like Liné in an entirely different light.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan
I just watched her in Horror Rises From the Tomb the other day. She’s not in it much, but she makes her presence felt.