Death Occurred Last Night

Production Year: 1970
Release Date: 05/05/2014
Studio: Raro Video

Death Occurred Last Night is the latest in a slew of Euro genre pictures Raro will be unleashing upon film fans over the next few months. A lonely widower (Amanzio; Raf Vallone) enlists the help of two detectives to track down his missing mentally disabled daughter (Donatella; Gillian Bray). Donetella is a voluptuous twenty-something with the mind of a child while Amanzio is the typical overbearing father. The two detectives (Lambert; Frank Wolff and Mascaranti; Gabriele Tinti) become entwined in this mystery after the local police department prove incompetent in the matter.

The film soon launches into a full murder mystery with hints of gialli and poliziotteschi. The two detectives will do anything to solve the case, this includes occasionally stretching the limits of the law and bypassing their own moral boundaries. Occasionally you do have to plant drugs on a former pimp if it means catching a kidnapper...Right?  That's what I thought.  In one of the more colorful scenes of the film Mascaranti "resigns" during an interrogation to give one of their suspects a nice beating.

With a cast of colorful characters and Duccio Tessari's (Don't Turn the Other Cheek) distinct direction Death Occurred Last night is an extremely satisfying European thriller. The story does a great job at drawing the viewer into the case and Gianni Ferrio's unforgettable score is a character unto itself.

Death Occurred Last Night is a pretty solid release from Raro Video, I'd even claim that it stands ahead of the pack as far as their last few releases go. Pulled from the original 35MM negative the film has a very natural look with a solid grain intact. No signs of digital tampering are present and (thankfully) the film is devoid of any major age-related damage. Unfortunately the sound doesn't fair quite as well as a definite hiss is heard throughout the film however it's really only noticeable in the few moments of silence throughout the movie. Two lossless 2.0 tracks are available (English and Italian) and the dialogue is always clear with the marvelous score taking center stage.

Introduction by Chris Alexander (7:12 HD) - Chris Alexander has a clear love for the film and this was an extremely informative seven minutes.  Alexander (enthusiastically) discusses the depressing tone of the film along with the actor's performances and Tessari's direction.

Trailer (2:38 HD)

Death Occurred Last Night pulls from a variety of different aspects over a wide range of genres making it hard to place in a specific class. Fans of Euro-crime will enjoy the hard-edge detectives while fans of Gialli will dig the mystery surrounding the case.   It truly is an enjoyable slice of Euro-cinema and I'm extremely happy I was given the opportunity to review the film.