L'Etrusco Uccide Ancora
Sales Title: The Etruscan Kills Again
US Title: The Dead Are Alive
D: Armando Crispino
P: Camillo Teti for Mondial Film (Rome), Inex Film (Belgrade), & CGC Filmkunst (Berlin)//St & Sc: Armando Crispino & Lucio Battistrada//DP: Erico Menczer//E: Roberto Gallitti/M: Riz Ortolani//Art D: Benito Burchiellard//Costumes: Sabatelli//Color
Cast: Alex Cord, Samantha Eggar, John Marley, Horst Frank, Enzo Tarasci, Enzo Cerusica, Carlo De Mejo, Daniela Gurini, Vladn Milasinovi, Cristiane Von Blank, Nadja Tilley.
Professor Jason Porter and his crew have discovered an unknown Etruscan burial sight. Inside are paintings representing Tuchulcha, an ancient Etruscan demon. Nearby, a couple making love inside an archelogical exhibit are brutally murdered with a tool taken from Professor Porter's work area. Jason's project is being funded by Nikos Samarakis, a megalomaniac composer/conductor who, it just so happens, is living with Jason's ex-wife Myra. Another victim turns up with a pair of shoes from Samarakis' latest production, throwing suspicion his way. Samarakis' son Igor barely survives when the killer decides to attack him and his girlfriend (she was not so lucky). The police suspect Jason since he is an ex-alcoholic with a violent past (he beat Myra which is why she left him). Nikos dies from a heart attack and leaves behind a confession, but it's obvious he's protecting someone. Jason and Myra discover who the killer is but almost pay for it with their lives.
One thing can be said for films that try and disguise the fact that they are part of the Giallo tradition, they are all failures. THE ETRUSCAN KILLS AGAIN attempts to have you believe the killer is an ancient demon, returning from the dim past to wreck havoc on the living. What the film ends up accomplishing is upsetting the audience by misleading them. As if this weren't enough, the film suffers from many other problems. It's peopled with a bunch of unlikable people who spend the majority of the film acting like red herrings. The only character halfway sympathetic is the police inspector played by Enzo Tarascia (see THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE for a completely different type of performance by Tarasci). The film also leans too heavily on its soap opera type origins as each character suffers from emotional flaws and endlessly rehash these problems till we are sick of them. There are only so many times we want to hear about Porter's alcoholism. At times we feel like we're watching a propaganda film for Alcoholics Anonymous. The Etruscan burial grounds are impressively used as sights for the murders as DOP Erico Menczer helps Crispino breathe some life into the mostly dull surroundings. Crispino has proven with MACCHIE SOLARIE he knows how to make a successful Giallo. I have to believe the derailment of this film can be credited to it's over wordy script. The only other bright spot is Christiane (A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD) Von Blanc's nude scene.