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Film / Watch Me When I Kill

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Watch Me When I Kill is a 1977 Italian Giallo film directed by Antonio Bido. It is also known under the names The Cat's Victims, The Jade-Eyed Cat, The Cat with the Jaded Eyes, and Il Gatto Dagli Occhi Di Giada.

The plot revolves around a cabaret dancer named Mara, who becomes the target of a killer when she accidentally hears his voice after the murder of pharmacist. Realizing she's in danger, Mara goes to live with her boyfriend, Lukas Karmen, who is determined to find the killer to keep her safe.


This film contains examples of:

  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Upon realizing that Carlo is too far gone, Judge Pastore shoots him with a pistol, shedding a tear while doing so. Afterwards, he uses the same pistol to kill himself.
    • Carlo could also qualify, due to him shedding his own tears during his Motive Rant, and his face upon realizing his own father shot him.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Lukas Karmen, normally a music producer, decides to investigate when he realizes Mara's in danger.
  • Animal Motifs: Two of the alternate titles refer to a cat, and each time someone is killed, an image of cat eyes is flashed. The cat eyes are later revealed to belong to the sister's plush cat.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Biagio Dezzan, the pharmacy owner who is revealed to have been a friend of the Nazis and was responsible for arresting Judge Pastore's family.
    • Esmeralda Messori, Bozzi's mistress who apparently convinced Bozzi to betray Judge Pastore's family.
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  • Big Bad: Carlo Pastore, Mara's script-writer is the killer.
  • Cat Scare:
    • Esmeralda Messori gets spooked by a coat and fedora hanging on a coat rack.
    • Mara gets spooked by a mannequin.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The killer wears a black trenchcoat, and seems to sport a fedora during the murder of Dezzan.
  • Cop Hater: Mara, Pesquale Ferrante, and Ferrante's wife.
  • Covers Always Lie: Neither of the American covers for Watch Me When I Kill have really anything to do with the film. In fact, the killer pictured on both covers isn't at all what they look like and the blonde woman the killer is shown grabbing doesn't even appear anywhere.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The killer burns Esmeralda Messori's face in a frying pan of hot stew before stabbing her with a cooking fork.
  • Exposition Cut: Lukas travels to Bozzi's old home in Padova to find out about the Jewish family he took in. He ends up meeting one of Bozzi's relatives who explains to him who the family was and what happened to them. However, it's all done offscreen as it cuts away to Mara.
  • Freudian Excuse: During The Holocaust, Judge Pastore hid his family in a house belonging to Giovanni Bozzi and Esmeralda Messori. Through unspecified means, they were captured by the Nazis and put into a concentration camp. While his mother and sister perished, Carlo somehow survived and escaped. Scarred by the memories and believing that his family was murdered, drove Carlo into seeking revenge on those he felt were responsible for their capture.
  • Giallo
  • Hand of Death: The killer's scenes before the reveal are usually focused on their white surgical gloves.
  • Harassing Phone Call: Multiple are made to Bozzi, and are followed by a tape recording of Dobermans barking, sirens going off, and German shouting.
  • Heel Realization: Judge Pastore, upon hearing Carlo trying to justify his murders. Even complete with Judge Pastore saying "Only now I've begun to understand."
  • Hidden Villain: Judge Pastore and Carlo
  • Killed Offscreen: Marco, whose throat was slit with a switchblade and is later found by Mara.
  • Knife Nut: The killer uses a switchblade to slit Dezzan and Marco's throats.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The killer decides to go after Mara, because she heard his voice through a door after killing Dezzan. Likewise, Carlo tells his father that Lukas and Mara can't go on, and tries to convince him to shoot them.
    • There's also Marco, who interrupted the killer while they were stalking Mara.
  • Motive Rant: Both Judge Pastore and Carlo get a couple.
  • Murderer P.O.V.: Pretty much a given, since it's a giallo.
  • Never One Murder: The killer murders four people.
  • Never Trust a Title: Watch Me When I Kill, doesn't have really much to do with the film's premise. Neither does the tagline.
  • No Name Given:
    • Carlo's sister and mother.
    • The madman in the abandoned mansion.
    • The old woman and her relatives in Padova.
    • Averted with Judge Pastore, whose last name can be heard when Lukas calls out to him.
  • Only One Name:
    • Mara
    • Marco
    • Michele
    • Santoro
    • Averted with Carlo, as his father's last name is said.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Marco, Mara's dance partner at the night club, whose corpse falls out from behind a clothing rack.
  • Poorly Timed Confession: Carlo calls Mara at Lukas' villa in attempt to lure her out, but it backfires as she ends up being able to match his voice with the one on the tapes. This, along with him knowing how to contact her at a private villa, allows Mara to piece together that he's the killer.
  • Police Are Useless: The reason Mara doesn't want to go to them for help.
  • Red Herring: Pesquale Ferrante, an escaped prisoner who was convicted of murder by Judge Pastore, two months before the events of the film. So much so, the actual killer intended to use him as a scapegoat.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The killer's motive.
  • Sadist: The people on the radio reporting on Messori's death, suggest the killer is this, due to the torture inflicted before the killing.
  • Serial Killer: Carlo
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Opera music is played over Bozzi's murder and scenes leading up to the murders are accompanied by music that sounds similar to Goblin's Profondo Rosso.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Carlo, who manages to outmuscle Pesquale Ferrante.
  • The Reveal: Two, actually.
    • Judge Pastore is revealed to be the killer's father and the patriarch of the Jewish family that Bozzi took in.
    • Carlo is revealed to be the killer, and the little boy in the photo.
  • Wham Line: "Oh, and by the way, how did you find this number?"
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Despite being a serial killer willing to murder anyone to cover his tracks; it's hard not to feel bad for Carlo, as he was a holocaust survivor who likely watched his mother and sister perish in front of him as a child, and it's implied that he can't forget. All he really wanted was to kill everyone he blamed for his family's death.


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