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Askew Review 15

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THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE (Blue Underground) 1977. Giallo murder mystery. Not rated. Some nudity and a small amount of blood and gore. The film opens with a young girl finding a burned and mutilated body on the beach. The police immediately start an investigation and start looking for psychopathic serial killers. Retired Inspector Thompson (Ray Milland) is called in on the case and starts using old fashioned police techniques to find the identity of the girl so that they can find the killer. To help with the identification, the police embalm the corpse and put her in a glass display case. The public at large are allowed to view the body in the hopes that someone would come forth and identify the body. Naturally, there are charlatans who come forward, but it doesnít take long before the official case is closed and a murderer confesses. The only problem is that Inspector Thompson knows that the case is not solved and now itís left up to him to find the real killer even at the risk of his own life.
  The Pyjama Girl Case is another rare Giallo unearthed by the folks at Blue Underground. The film as it begins seems to follow two stories at the same time. Two stories that are not connected in any way. Itís as the end approaches that the two stories converge and you find yourself saying. ďAh, now I get it.Ē That alone makes for one of the more interesting films I have seen in quite some time. Add to that the wonderful Ray Milland. From the first scene where you see him watering the flowers in his greenhouse, he comes across as the embodiment of his character. Sure, we know heís Ray Milland, but he is also Inspector Thompson. His portrayal of the retired inspector is so dead on that you find yourself forgetting Ray Milland after a while. The beautiful Dalia DiLazzaro plays Glenda Blythe, a woman with a predilection for multiple partners. This is one of those movies that will play well a few times, but since it has such a bizarre scene construction I could see people getting tired of it after a couple of viewings. Itís not really a gimmick, but it does get a little confusing until the end. The Ďbased on a true storyí tag is slim at best. There was a case like this in Australia back in the 30ís and it still never has had a satisfactory resolution. This film uses the bare bones of the case and throws away a lot of the information of the case. So, not really a true story. Blue Underground gives us a beautiful Widescreen 1.85:1/16:9 print. As far as extras we get a 30 minute documentary on the author of the book this film was loosely based on and he goes into great detail on the actual case. Thereís a trailer of the film and the best extra is a small booklet of the comic TABOO that has the story by Eddie Campbell that deals with the Pyjama case. The Pyjama Girl Case is a quirky film that pays off at the end, but may confuse people as it tends to plod along with stuff that you have no idea of whether or not it is connected. -Douglas A. Waltz



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