What Have You Done To Solange? (1972) Arrow Video Blu-ray Review
Good central conflict and an intriguing mystery,Ennio Morricone’s score is first rate and the film maintains a moody and melancholy atmosphere.
Plot: A teacher who is having an affair with one of his students takes her out on a boat. They see a knife killing on shore. Other gruesome murders start occurring shortly thereafter, and the teacher suspects that he may be the cause of them.
Review: Italian giallo slashers are hit or miss, but when they hit, they hit hard. What Have You Done to Solange? is a very strong entry in the Italian subgenre of black glove killer slasher films. A grabby hands professor (played by Fabio Testi) at a Catholic girls college is with one of his young students at a lake, when they both get a fleeting glimpse of another young woman being killed in a horrific way (the killer plunges a knife into her pelvic region), and instead of immediately going to the police to share what they witnessed (because he’s married and is cheating), the police are clueless. When another similar murder occurs, they come forward with their previous eyewitness account, and of course the news compromises the professor’s integrity. After a third murder, it becomes apparent that the victims are all somehow connected to a missing young woman named Solange. As the professor pieces together the murders (the police aren’t really much help, as they begin suspecting him of the murders), the overarching plot of who Solange is and how the murders reflect a certain, vindictive revenge of something horrible that happened to her, the truth of the mystery reveals itself.
With a good central conflict and an intriguing mystery, What Have You Done to Solange? has some shocking scenes and some sexy (and sleazy) interludes that propel the film to an elite status where only a handful of giallos dwell. From director Massimo Dallemano (Sergio Leone’s cinematographer on several films), this film offers a distinctly fearful mood with a melancholy bent (thanks, in part to Ennio Morricone’s score), and it leaves a lasting impression.
Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray release of What Have You Done to Solange? is a great re-issue and upgrade from the previous DVD release from Shriek Show. In addition to a 2K restoration, Arrow’s release (in a Blu-ray / DVD combo pack) has tons of special features, including a new audio commentary by film critics, and newly produced features such as “What Have You Done to Decency? A Conversation with Karin Baal,” which is an interview with an actress from the film. There are lots more features included, and all said and done, this is by far one of Arrow’s best giallo releases.