Film #312: THE CRIMES OF PETIOT aka LOS CRIMENES DE PETIOT
The Crimes of Petiot aka Los Crimenes de Petiot
1.75 out of 5 stars
Spanish auteur Paul Naschy (NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF) stars in this meandering and empty murder thriller from director Jose Luis Madrid (SEVEN MURDERS FOR SCOTLAND YARD, VAMPIRE OF THE HIGHWAY). Billed as a giallo, but clearly isn’t one… CRIMES tells the story of a killer who is stalking a group of people and killing them. Based on the true tale of Marcel Petiot, a man they found 26 bodies on his property and suspected him in the deaths of nearly 60 others, CRIMES is a bloodless and very dated-looking affair which is boring from its first frame and it doesn’t get much better as it rolls its story out. The film’s direction is uninspired and lacks any imagination or creativity. Basically, a police procedural that takes wild off-ramps to tell a second – equally boring – story of Petiot and his deeds, the main gripe against CRIMES is that it is soulless. Characters are introduced only so that they might be murdered, never giving the audience enough time or information to get to a) know them or b) care about them. And so, by the time the killer is revealed, no one really cares. Cinematography is shit. Acting is wooden. FX… nearly non-existent. Heck, even the overly-long flashback does little to alleviate the boredom. The story meanders along until its inevitable and wholly unsurprising ending. Overall all, CRIMES OF PETIOT is a minor entry in the meandering career of Paul Naschy. Uninteresting… pedantic… and is only important as a footnote in an otherwise spotty career. Recommended for Naschy freaks ONLY!