The Pyjama Girl Case Blu Ray review

Based on a real event (more of which you can find out about in the commentary), The Pyjama girl case is a grizzly, subversive and transgressive film about the body and sexuality. When a charred body of a woman is found in an abandoned car, the police are called in. They think its an open and shut case but Police Inspector Thompson (Ray Milland) is called in to help the case along. In another story a young girl Glenda and her partner, Antonio are in a relationship. Glenda keeps seeing other men as the excitement is cooled. Does she or he have anything to do with the murder? The investigation however uncovers little in the way of information on the identity of the body. The police have no other choice but to identify the body by public exhibition. Thompson is dead against this and feels that the girl is being exploited. Thompson continues his own investigation and finds everything is to play for.

Giallo cinema has a legacy. A rich and complex legacy that has been often undervalued and over blown by perverse turns. The Pyjama girl case is not what you would call, a classic giallo film. Its far more a late period giallo that, for me was less valuable and more layered in its critical response. Yes it has the usual troupes, Famous stars from Hollywood and Italian cinema. Check. It has the sexual violence and nudity. Check. It also has the drama infused with more focus on relationships and moving over to adult treatment. Check. This is all par for the course and expected from the period.
However what the film does is unbalancing our expectations by coupling a real life crime case, sexual deviancy and genre expectations. It often fails. It occasionally succeeds. It fails in under valuing the skilled performers on staff. The lacklustre direction and the absent plotting. These are often regaled by Giallo fans as marks of quality or ‘Fantasy’ (used in the Italian language context). For me, this has waned in respects and I find it harder as I get older to be as positive or as forgiving. But the film has some delightful scenes. Absurdity mixes with surreal undertones, sexual expression becomes salacious. The ever great Milland is hilarious. Even showing the wanker sign…thats a keeper…

 

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

 

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
  • Newly translated 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
  • New video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie on the internationalism of the giallo
  • New video interview with actor Howard Ross
  • New video interview with editor Alberto Tagliavia
  • Archival interview with composer Riz Ortolani
  • Image gallery
  • Italian theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

 

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