Film #295: A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE
A Dragonfly for Each Corpse
2.5 out of 5 stars
Paul Naschy (NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF, FRANKENSTEIN’S BLOODY TERROR and about a million other genre flicks) shill, Leon Klimovsky (VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES, DR. JECKYL AND THE WEREWOLF, WEREWOLF VS. VAMPIRE), directs this Spanish giallo (filmed oddly enough in Italy) about a killer targeting sexually promiscuous women and male drug addicts and leaving behind a trademark dragonfly pin. The film, of course, stars Naschy as well as Erika Blanc (KILL BABY KILL, THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE) and Angel Aranda (Bava’s PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES) and all do a sufficient job. Naschy sports an awful comb-over and does his best “Dirty Harry’ all while chewing nothing but scenery (and some eternally unlit cigars). As for the script… like most Naschy films, it hits all the right beats, but feels like a copy of a copy of a copy of something else that was far more original back when it was originally made. I mean, the proceedings just feel heavy-handed and clumsy. For example, Naschy (as The Cop) goes to a dinner party with some people his girlfriend works with. During drinks, he openly discusses the case he’s working on… with complete strangers. Luckily, Captain Exposition™ is there to help give everyone the background they need to understand what the hell is going on. Anyway, things lumber along, but nothing of import seems to ever really happen. The murders are bloody, but they lack import. People appear only to be swiftly dispatched. You just don’t care about anybody. The standout performance is by Erika Blanc as the girlfriend. She’s natural and her performance is well done without ever degenerating into the ‘crying femme fatale.’ As for the film’s ending, of course, the girlfriend is taken, the boyfriend cop arrives in the nick of time, and it all ends predictably / poorly for the aforementioned killer. Blah, blah, blah… credits. All in all, A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE is notable for a couple of reasons: a) it’s a Paul Naschy film, and b) it’s a prime example of the mid-‘70s Spanish / Italian giallo (the film was made in 1975). Worth getting your hands on especially if you’re either a Naschy fiend or a giallo completist. Just go in knowing the film’s limitations.