Gialloween Day 20: What Have They Done to Your Daughters?
The second of Massimo Dallamano in our series— What Have They Done to Your Daughters? Many elements from What Have You Done to Solange? are present and can be seen as a kind of companion piece. Aside from the title, both entail a police investigation of teenage school-girl murders / sex scandal. This effort focuses a lot more on the police side of things. People have often classified this as a hybrid between the giallo / poliziottesco (police/crime) genre, but to be honest the only elements I’m seeing here is a string of murders.
The polisiottesco elements in the film are really entertaining to watch. The chase where the cops are following our killer motorcycle was surprisingly engaging, even by today’s standards. Most of the murders are off screen but the few shots that happen were done very well, with a more pronounced ‘splatter’ effect, one would expect to find in the giallo / horror genre.
The giallo elements I usually like to see are difficult to find in this film. Since the film follows mostly schoolgirls and cops, there is not much in the realm of fashion that brings attentions. Suits and skirts galore, but that’s about it. The music, which combines a child choir vocals with a militaristic marching melody suits the film's story but didn’t really capture my interest as something I’d be going back to listen to one my own. Definitely doesn’t evoke emotion as well as Solange’s Theme but in its defense, few can.
A lack of interest in many of the stylistic elements of the film (save for that car chase, it’s the highlight for me) didn’t get me to connect with the story either. By the time the reveal at the end came, it felt more of an underwhelming ending rather than a climax. Most of the bad vibes I’m attributing to this film may be because I’m finding it difficult to treat it as its own film instead of comparing it to the much better Solange. I almost want to put this one into the ‘completists only' category, but that would be too harsh. The focus on the more police procedural side of things may be a welcome change of pace for some giallo fans, just don’t go in expecting a snazzy glass spiral staircase. The one you’ll get is an old wooden one that needs to be cleaned.