Directed by Luigi Bazzoni
Produced by Manolo Bolognini
Written by Luigi Bazzoni, David McDonald Devine (novel), Mario di Nardo, Mario Fanelli
Director of Photography Vittorio Storaro
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cast: Franco Nero, Silvia Monti, Wolfgang Preiss, Ira Von Furstenberg, Edmund Purdom, Rossella Falk, Renato Romano

1971/93 minutes/Color/Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/Italy/NTSC Region 0

Review from the Blue Underground DVD

For the past few months, the black gloves, fedora, and steely blade have been hidden away; carefully and meticulously wrapped in a deep red shroud of velvet and stored in the shadowy confines of a closed room anxiously awaiting that one, sick individual with the key. Thanks to Blue Underground's recent giallo avalanche, the murderous desire of everyone's favorite faceless, heartless maniac has been re-ignited and the killer must kill again! (all cheesy puns intended). For this outing, let's examine the Franco Nero powered vehicle known as THE FIFTH CORD.

Alcoholic reporter Andrea Bild (Nero) is cast into a sea of suspicion as one after another, attendees of a swanky high class party that he was also in attendance of start to turn up brutally murdered all over the city. With each victim, the only common clue found is a single black glove with one or more of the digits cut off. One way or another, Bild is connected to all of the victims so the police have no choice but to make him one of the prime suspects. In the mean time, Bild starts his own investigation to try to prove his innocence but ends up putting himself and those around him in even more danger. Will he find the killer before he too becomes another victim?

While the plot is really nothing new or extraordinary in the giallo universe, it's executed with such precision and attention to detail that it elevates THE FIFTH CORD to what this black gloved killer feels to be a top tier giallo, easily on par with the great works of Bava, Argento, Martino, Bido, etc. Bazzoni's assured direction combined with DP Vittorio Storaro's razor sharp cinematography give the film a very professional and appealing look, not to mention creating abundant treats for eyes. There are copious amounts of shots and compositions that are so perfectly set up that they could literally be lifted from the screen and framed. Not only do said shots look nice, they actually serve a purpose in the film. Take the sequence of a particular character being pursued through a public park by the killer, point of view style with blade jutting out front. You can almost feel the fear and claustrophobia as he desparately attempts to elude certain black gloved death!

Performances are all above average, especially Franco Nero who does an almost too believable role as the alcoholic Bild. Add in the fact that he dubbed his own voice in English for the part and it only whets the appetite for more! Keep an eye out for Edmund (the dean from PIECES) Purdom in a somewhat small but important roll. Lets not forget the requisite bounty of hot euro-babes either: Silvia Monti, Agostina Belli, Ira Von Furstenberg, and Pamela Tiffin. No giallo would be complete without a memorable and fitting score and master composer Ennio Morricone was on hand to lend his legendary musical abilities to this already fine stew of Euro-cult greatness.

THE FITH CORD comes to DVD in North America courtesy of Blue Underground, who continue to build on their already solid case for DVD company of the year. The film is divided into multiple chapters, all accessible from the chapter menu. In the transfer department, Blue underground has done a magnificent job. The anamorphic, HD mastered image is pin sharp, colors are strong and solid, mpeg compression is not an issue, and there is no noticeable print damage. Once in a while there is a very slight amount of grain, but it's almost not even worth mentioning and certainly not distracting in the least. In the audio department, the dolby digital mono is clear and nicely balanced. It is nothing that will blow your mind or wow you in 5.1 or 6.1, but it works great for the film. No sub titles are inlcuded. For the extras we get a trailer and an interview with star Franco Nero and DP Vittorio Storaro. It's a nice featurette and both Nero and Storaro offer some good information about the film and their careers.

Overall, THE FIFTH CORD has received a fine DVD presentation from Blue Underground, but a little more in the extra department would have been welcome. Nonetheless, giallo fans will want to be sure to pick up this definitive release. It stands as a stellar example of genre and should be in every aspiring black gloved maniac's collection.





This Film Features:

Review by The Black Gloved Killer. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©

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