“What Have They Done to Your Daughters?”

Dark Giallo

Amos Lassen

In 1972, director Massimo Dallamano broke new ground in the giallo genre with “What Have You Done to Solange?” Two years later, he followed up with an even darker semi-sequel, “What Have They Done to Your Daughters?”

It begins with a pregnant teenage girl is found hanging from the rafters of a privately rented attic. Inspector Silvestri (Claudio Cassinelli) and rookie Assistant District Attorney Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli) are assigned to the case that begins to grow when it is discovered that the dead girl was part of a ring of underage positions in of Italian society. At the same time, a cleaver-wielding, motorcycle-riding killer roars through the streets of Brescia, making sure that those involved take their secret to the grave.

The film brings together giallo elements with action and a high-intensity police procedural. Inspector Valentini (Mario Adorf), a cop based out of Rome, gets a phone call from an unnamed informant and based on the information he receives, heads out to investigate. This leads him to an old abandoned attic where he finds the naked corpse of a teenaged girl named Silvia Polvesi (Sherry Buchanan) hung from the rafters. At first, Valentini and the rest of the cops see this as a clear case of suicide (even though it was tipped off to the cops by an anonymous caller). Before long, Vittoria, starts to suspect foul play and looking into Silvia’s past, she finds that there are a few reasons to be suspicious. The case is handed over to Inspector Silvestri (Claudio Cassinelli) who starts snooping around and connecting the dots surrounding Silvia’s death. He discovers an underground teenage prostitution operation. As the bodies pile up, the cops quickly realize that they’re running out of time.

“What Have They Done To Your Daughters?” is a slick thriller, the kind that easily holds your attention because of the right mix of style and substance. The story does deal in some pretty dark subject matter but we do not get the impression that director Dallamano is going for titillation. Rather, it seems to me, that he is attempting to show complete disdain that these criminals. The girls were once innocent but that innocence was taken from them.

We see a lot of finger pointing— at the government and its corrupt officials, at an Italian society willing to turn a blind eye to certain disreputable acts and at the police themselves. There is a lot of social commentary here that is thinly veiled. The film is structured in a very specific manner so that it appeals to two very different groups of viewers. The bulk of the material is used to replicate the classic giallo atmosphere and there are some pretty obvious socio-political overtones in the story that suggest that Dallamano was also looking to engage a different group of viewers. To be perfectly clear, this isn’t a political film, but it isn’t a straightforward giallo either — it is sort of a hybrid project that essentially attempts to expose a troubling reality and make a point that Italians should be aware of it.


2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

Original lossless Italian and English mono soundtracks

English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack

New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films

Masters and Slaves: Power, Corruption & Decadence in the Cinema of Massimo Dallamano, a new video essay by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine

Eternal Melody, an interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani

Dallamano s Touch, an interview with editor Antonio Siciliano

Unused hardcore footage shot for the film by Massimo Dallamano

Italian theatrical trailer

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Mackenzie

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