Much like the slasher film, giallos of a certain quality are few and far between these days.
Only Luciano Onettti’s Francesca seemed worthy of standing alongside the likes of Tenebrae and Deep Red….well until Knife + Heart comes along.
Yann Gonzalez’s feature is pure Giallo but takes it to a very different setting; the gay porn industry of the 1980s.
As the film opens you may feel like you are watching an adult movie, but Knife + Heart quickly establishes a group of characters that rise above any sort of porn cliche.
Add to this the mystery of a whodunnit and our lead Anne, the head of the Studio, having weird visions and you will have a mystery that will keep you engrossed until the big reveal.
As this is set around the porn industry the killer uses this to his (or her) advantage, with some creative kills using sex toys with…..enhancements.
There is a camp element to Knife + Heart which helps the film during its slower moments and although it maybe could have trimmed off 10 minutes, there’s enough mystery and gore to keep the average slasher fan happy.
With its late 70s setting there is plenty of social commentary regarding homosexuality and possibly by setting this before the AIDs crisis of the 80s was a smart move by Gonzalez, as this may have distracted too much from the story at hand.
Shot on 35mm, Knife + Heart has a grimy feel to it, which knits with its narrative seamlessly, with an excellent throwback score from M83.
Because we have seen so many conventional Giallo settings, it’s clear from watching this film that creatives are looking to explore new areas and give us fresh stories to watch.
Watch the trailer for Knife + Heart below –