When it comes to 70s horror, the more I watch, the more I like. Aside from the fact that was the decade in which I was born, the 70s played an instrumental part in defining what horror is today. And thanks to excellent companies like Arrow Video and MVD Distribution, who are working to preserve many of these classics in HD, fans will have many more opportunities to enjoy these titles over the years.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? is considered by many to be an iconic film for the giallo genre, and thus a foundation for slashers to come. And although the title might sound peculiar, the film itself is a solid entry into the horror canon of cinema.
If you are not familiar with WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE?, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of MVD Distribution:
From director Massimo Dallamano, cinematographer on both A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, comes giallo classic What Have You Done to Solange?, the debut feature of actress Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave). A sexually sadistic killer is preying on the girls of St. Mary’s school. Student Elizabeth witnessed one of the murders, but her hazy recollections of a knife-wielding figure in black do nothing to further the police’s investigations. Why is the killer choosing these young women? And what does it have to do with a girl named Solange? Also starring Cristina Galbo (Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue) and Fabio Testi (I Spit On Your Grave), What Have You Done with Solange? features all the hallmarks of classic gialli – the amateur detective, the black-gloved killer – as well as a lush score from Ennio Morricone.
I confess this film starts off a bit slow, but about halfway through it really picks up steam. And because it only clocks in at 1 hour 42 minutes, the slow parts don’t eat up too much of the viewer’s time. For this reason, I am classifying this movie as “slow-burn horror”.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? is shot well and looks fine onscreen. The film is obviously dated, but the new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative looks great nonetheless.
The acting is very good, with a talented cast headlined by Fabio Testi. This film is also the debut of actress Camille Keaton, who would later go on to star in one of the most controversial films of all time, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (aka DAY OF THE WOMAN). Testi and Keaton are supported by some great talent that includes Cristina Galbo, Joachim Fuchsberger, Marco Mariani, and Karin Baal.
The special effects in WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? are minimal but effective. There are a few scenes that show a knife embedded in the vaginas of the victims, and this is well done for the most part (again, taking the film’s age into consideration).
The story is a bit slow, as mentioned above, but when it finally takes off, it vamps up nicely. I particularly like the big reveal because the identity of the killer threw me off. I was not expecting this person, so it is a nice twist.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? is another great win for Arrow Video and MVD Distribution, and I highly recommend it. In addition to the film, this 2-disc collection contains a bunch of nice features that include:
* Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
* Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
* Newly translated subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
* Brand new audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
* Newly filmed cast interviews
* Original Theatrical Trailer
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by MALLEUS www.malleusdelic.com (to be revealed)
* Booklet featuring brand new writing on the film, illustrated with original stills
The film is available now.