Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Pyjama Girl Case (Flavio Mogherini, 1977)

Warning: The following fake dissertation may contain an inordinate amount of words and phrases that celebrate the innate foxiness that is Dalila Di Lazzaro. If this kind of untoward gushing rubs you wrong way, please, exit the premises immediately, 'cause it's about to get fabulous all up in this turnip patch. Looking over the cast of The Pyjama Girl Case (a.k.a. La ragazza dal pigiama giallo), an Italian giallo set in Sydney–hold on, Sydney, Australia?!? (I'll get to that in a minute)–I couldn't help but notice that the majority of the actors were male. You mean it's a total sausage festival? Yeah, you could say that. But I won't, as I don't care for that expression; male genitalia should never be reduced to a slab of ground up meat. Member semantics aside, I was genuinely alarmed by the gender inequality this film's cast was putting out there. I don't mind if the gender inequality goes the other way; in that, there are more women than men. In other words, that's a sexist double standard I can get behind. However, in the case of there being more men than women, unless the men dress in drag, I'm not going to have anything to write about. Discounting the all-girl marching band that appear at the end of the film, the con artist who dresses like an out of work fortune teller, and the film's prerequisite milfy goddess, we're looking at an eight to one ratio. I'm no math whiz. Seriously, I'm not; I can barely add and subtract. Oh, well, if that's the case. Let me break it down for you. No, wait, forget about that. There are more men in this film than there are women. End of story. Didn't you say earlier that this film is a "giallo"? Yeah, so? Um, don't giallos usually feature attractive women being slaughtered by killers wearing black gloves? You're absolutely right, they do. But this isn't your average giallo.

I know, what's the point of making, and, in turn, watching, a giallo if women aren't the one's being killed? It should be noted that men are killed in giallos as well. Yeah, assholes in lime green turtlenecks who get in the killer's way when they're trying stab an attractive woman at the end of a dark alleyway. No, what we want to see when we sit in front of a giallo are super-stylish set pieces that involve super-stylish women being murdered by faceless, not-so super-stylish psychopaths wearing black gloves.

Would it shock you to learn that Dalila Di Lazzaro (Flesh for Frankenstein) is more than enough woman? More than enough woman for what? What I mean is, you don't need anymore women when you have got Dalila Di Lazzaro in your movie. So, what you're saying she's good and junk? Good? Junk? What do you think I'm doing here? Of course, she's good and junk. She's the reason I get up in the morning. Yeah, but you get up in the middle of the afternoon. It's just an expression; stop taking everything I say so literally, dingus.

There was an idiom floating around last year that pertained to a binder that was purportedly full of women. Well, you can put that binder away, Dalila Di Lazzaro is the only woman I need. Call me deranged, but that's most romantic thing I have ever heard. Someone should slap that sucker on a greeting card.

You still haven't explained how this film can be called a giallo, yet not contain any stylish set pieces–don't you mean, "super-stylish" set pieces? yeah, those–that boast women being hacked and slashed by a maniac. Haven't you heard, The Pyjama Girl Case is a one body giallo. Who's the lucky body, you ask?

To quote the late great Brittany Murphy in the trailer for that movie I forget the title of, "I'll never tell."

Even though I could tell you now, there was a period of time when I didn't know the identity of the so-called "girl in the yellow pyjamas." And I'm not talking about the period of time before the movie started. No way, man. I didn't know who the girl in the yellow pyjamas was for most of the film's running time. Either that's a testament to the film's cleverness or my own stupidity.

In my defense, it's hard to concentrate on the plot when Dalila Di Lazzaro is wearing nothing but a white sweater. Sure, the sweater might seem a tad on the long side, but it has nagging habit of hiking up whenever the wearer is looking for their panties. I know, how many times can a person look for missing panties over the course of a ninety minute movie? It might not seem like a lot, but there are a total of three separate instances where Dalila Di Lazzaro's awol panties are integral to the plot. Okay, they might not be "integral," but they are the focus of the three scenes they're featured in.

Anyone want to guess what colour her panties are? Here's a hint... No, you know what? Instead of revealing the answer, I'll just post a picture of them somewhere down below. If you guess correctly, you have my permission to head over to the corner store to pick yourself up a lollipop.

As usual, it would seem that I was yet again sidetracked by Dalila Di Lazzaro's panties. Oh, well.

Opening to the sounds of "Your Yellow Pyjama," vocals by Amanda Lear (fuck yeah) and music by Riz Ortolani (double fuck yeah), a little girl stumbles upon the body of a woman without a face in an abandoned car on a beach in Sydney, Australia.

Despite the fact that two relatively young detectives, Inspector Ramsey (Ramiro Oliveros) and Inspector Morris (Rod Mullinar), have been assigned to the case, the supposedly retired Inspector Thompson (Ray Milland) has somehow managed to get involved with the investigation (he basically begs his former boss to be allowed to work the case). While his younger peers seem obsessed with forensics and psychological profiles, Inspector Thompson uses good old fashion police work to get things done.

Meanwhile, in a nearby apartment, Dalila Di Lazzaro, who plays a gorgeous Dutch immigrant who works as a ferry waitress, is busy searching high and low for her panties while her sugar daddy, Professor Douglas (Mel Ferrer), looks on with the kind of wide-eyed amusement one would expect from an elderly gentlemen who gets to fondle Dalila Di Lazzaro on a semi-regular basis.

To the surprise of no one, Inspector's Ramsey and Morris resent the presence of this washed up relic in a Columbo-style trench coat. Using one of his sources, Inspector Thompson learns about Quint (Giacomo Assandri), a hirsute loner who lives near where the body of the faceless woman in the yellow pyjamas was found.

He might live in a squalid hellhole, but you gotta love the view. What I mean is, Quint's neighbour, credited as "Quint's neighbour" (Vanessa Vitale), likes to do her laundry outside Quint's window in black hold-up stockings. And I don't have to tell you, but doing laundry in black hold-up stockings involves a lot of bending over, if you catch my drift. If my drift is currently out of reach to you, Quint uses the sight of his sexy neighbour's panties wedging snugly against her gloriously middle-aged ass crack as a direct result of laundry-based bending to accelerate the masturbation process.

In one of the film's more lighter moments, just as he's leaving his shack, Ray Milland instructs Quint to "Have a good time" while mimicking the jerking off motion with his right hand and then blowing him a snarky kiss.

On top of having a sugar daddy and a red toque, Dalila Di Lazzaro also has a boyfriend named Roy (Howard Ross), a macho fella who works at a steel mill. I have sneaking suspicion that Roy's the one whose been hiding Dalila Di Lazzaro's panties.

Now, this might sound like an overstatement, but "Il Corpo Di Linda" by Riz Ortolani might just be the greatest piece of music ever to be featured in a giallo thriller. And get this, it's used three times over the course of The Pyjama Girl Case. The first instance its used is when one of the younger detectives wanders aimlessly around downtown Sydney; what makes the scene work, besides the music, is the fact that the streets are deserted.

The second time its used is when the chief of police decides to display the nude body of the faceless woman for the public (the idea being that someone might be able to identify her). And whereas the scene with the young detective wandering alone downtown, this particular sequence is filled with people.

My favourite usage of "Il Corpo Di Linda" is when Dalila Di Lazzaro is left in the lurch by her sugar daddy and forced to prostitute herself at a truck stop/motel. The music kicks in just as Dalila De Lazzaro and her two unctuous clients hit the stairs that lead to their modest room overlooking the highway (their underage cousin or nephew is there as well, but he just watches). The combination of the tracks unrelenting techno beat and the sleazy nature of the sex (paunchy bellies covered sweat press against her delicate frame in a desperate attempt to attain corporeal satisfaction) are what make the scene the jewel in this film's convoluted crown.

When Roy and her Italian husband Antonio (Michele Placido) discover Dalila Di Lazzaro has runaway, they team up to find her. Wait, Dalila Di Lazzaro has a sugar daddy, a boyfriend named "Roy," and an Italian husband? What can I say? The gal likes to keep her options open.

Speaking of Italian husbands, what I found strange was the fact that no one in this film has an Australian accent. All the characters, including Quint's neighbour, seem to be immigrants. Instead of seeing this as some kind of negative, I have chosen to view as a positive, as we rarely ever see the Australian immigrant experience depicted on film; well, at least I haven't.

I'll leave you with a free tip: When watching The Pyjama Girl Case, make sure to pay close attention the girl in the yellow pyjama's ass. And, no, I'm just saying that to be lewd and lascivious. I'm serious, study her ass carefully when it's on display for public consumption, as its mild badonk is the key to unlocking this film's many secrets.

Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out yet, Dalila Di Lazzaro's panties are as black as the night sky. Funny enough, the panties attached to the well-oiled undercarriage of Quint's neighbour are black as well. I wonder if there's connection? You mean a black pantie connection? I doubt it. It's probably just a coincidence.


  1. No Australian accents in a movie set in Australia? haha! Well it's at least better than when non-Aussie actors actually try the accent and fail...Or it's worse, because the latter is HILARIOUS!

  2. Whenever non-Aussies try to do an Aussie accent, all I hear is "put another shrimp on the barbie" and "a dingo ate my baby." In other words, their accents usually stink.

  3. Looking over the cast of The Pyjama Girl Case (a.k.a. La ragazza dal ...