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What Have You Done To Solange?

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    Ian Jane
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  • What Have You Done To Solange?



    Released by: Arrow Video
    Released on: December 15th, 2015.
    Director: Massimo Dallamano
    Cast: Camille Keaton, Fabio Testi, Cristina Galbo, Karin Baal, Joachim Fuchsberger
    Year: 1972
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Massimo Dallamano's1972 giallo What Have You Done To Solange? was previously released on DVD by Media Blasters. That disc has been out of print for a while but the film is no back in circulation and looking better than ever thanks to Arrow's new Blu-ray release, restored from the original camera negative.

    The film follows a London high school teacher named Henry Rossini (Fabio Testi). He works at a boarding school for girls, the same school that employs his wife, Herta (Karin Baal). The spark in their marriage, however, is long gone as is made evident when we learn that Henry is having an affair with one of the students, the beautiful Elizabeth (Cristina Galbo). While flitting about with Henry, Carol witnesses the murder of a fellow student in the park at night. Fearful for her life, she flees but soon enough, the same killer begins picking off other members of the student body in increasingly grisly fashion and Henry is, in the eyes of some, the prime suspect…

    Beautifully shot by none other than Joe D'Amato and set to one of Ennio Morricone's finest early seventies scores, What Have You Don't To Solange? might not be the fastest paced giallo ever made but stick with it, it builds beautifully. Based on a novel written by none other than Edgar Wallace, the plot is careful with its character development, pulling us further into Henry's rather sordid little world so that once he seems to be on the hook for all of this, it winds up making sense that he'd need to resort to some unorthodox measures to clear his name. The fact that his wife, who he is clearly cheating on behind her back, helps him out in this measure is maybe a bit of a stretch but outside of that there aren't a whole lot of logic gaps here, the story plays it pretty straight and it's all the better for it.

    And then there's that ending… wow. Even if you've seen this one before, the finale still packs a serious punch. But we won't go there.

    The performances are also quite good. Karin Baal is well cast as Harry's German wife. She's definitely been given the short end of the stick as far as their relationship goes and Baal plays the part well, she looks the part too. Cristina Galbo is beautiful here but more than just a pretty face, her performance is also quite good. She's convincing enough in the part to work. Testi is the one who really stands out, however. He's really strong here, running through a reasonably large gamut of emotions before the movie is finished and handling all of it quite easily. Also be on the lookout for a supporting performance from I Spit On Your Grace's own Camille Keaton.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Arrow offers up What Have You Done To Solange? In a 'brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative' in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 widescreen. It looks, in a word, fantastic. Detail is vastly improved over the past DVD release while texture and color reproduction get appreciable bumps in quality as well. There's nice depth here and the black levels are strong. Compression artifacts, edge enhancement and noise reduction are never obvious problems - yeah, this looks really, really good on Blu-ray. Nice and clean too, no real print damage worth noting.

    Italian and English language options are provided in LPCM Mono with optional newly translated subtitles provided for the Italian option and closed captioning provided for the English option. Both tracks are clean, clear and nicely balanced. No problems with any hiss or distortion, decent range and depth for mono tracks. The subtitles are also clear, easy to read and free of any typos.

    Extras start out with a new audio commentary from film critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman, both pros at this type of thing and very well versed in horror history, particularly of the Italian variety. As such, it's no surprise that this commentary hits all the right notes. They talk about the history of the film, the state of the Italian film industry of the time and the giallo cycle of which Solange was a part. They also talk about the director's other pictures and offer up plenty of interesting facts and trivia about the cast, the crew, the locations and quite a bit more. There was clearly quite a bit of research put into this, it's a solid discussion of the picture that moves at a good pace.

    There are also a few newly filmed cast interviews, starting with the thirteen minute featurette What Have You Done to Decency? which is an interview with Karin Baal. She doesn't mix words about her thoughts on the storyline and the film's content and she also shares some amusing stories about her experiences working on the movie. Fabio Testi shows up for a twenty-one minute piece called The First Action Here. He speaks at length about his experiences on set, his thoughts on the film (quite the opposite of Baal's!) and the different cast members her interacted with while in the eleven minute Old School Producer we spend some time with Fulcio Lucisano who speaks about Massimo Dallamano and his thoughts on the production. Topping this off is an interesting visual essay from Michael MacKenzie called Innocense Lost that does a fine job of putting the movie into context by exploring the politics of Italy and the intricacies of its film scene during the period when this and other giallos were riding high on a wave of popularity.

    Outside of that, Arrow has provided the film's original theatrical trailer, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    What Have You Done To Solange? is a gripping thriller ripe with style and suspense. It's nicely paced, beautifully shot and it features a fantastic Ennio Morricone score to complement a few really strong performances from the cast. Arrow's Blu-ray release presents the movie in its high definition debut in very fine form indeed and it comes highly recommended to any fan of giallo or Eurocult cinema.
    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!





















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