Fashion models are dying mysteriously by a heart attack after encountering a wicker basket containing a cat which leaps upon them. One of those victims, was the lover of a blind composer she duped for ambitions in the modeling world, yet he will seek her killer putting his own life to great risk.
That blind composer, Peter Oliver(Anthony Steffen)wishes to find the murder of his ex-lover for whom he deeply cared for, despite her faults at bedding other men who could assist in her rise as a top model in the fashion world. In a restaurant bar, Peter overhears a conversation between the mysterious white-caped drug addict, Susan(Giovanna Lenzi), wearing a talisman(..with an eyeball in it's center)and another whose male voice is a whisper loudly giving instructions. This conversation, interrupted by a jukebox's rock music, is of major importance in the murders that will occur during the film's running time. Being blind, of course, has it's disadvantages(..perfect for exploiting in a giallo thriller-mystery where twists and turns pull the rug out from under the viewer who are, in a sense, blind as well)so Peter will need assistance from chauffeur/employee Burton(Umberto Raho)and his lover Paola's(Isabelle Marchall)roomie Margot(Shirley Corrigan)who works at the fashion studio. Françoise Ballais's(Sylvia Koscina) studio is preparing for an upcoming Autumn line in Hamburg, and her dashing "husband", Victor(Giacomo Rossi-Stuart), quite the ladies man bedding the models under her employ secretly, manages things during such a busy time of the year. The studio faces a crisis that throws their lives into a tailspin, Harry(Romano Malaspina)who has his own photography studio(..and was the slain Paolo's cousin)has incriminating pictures of Victor in bed with the victim. When someone stabs Harry in the throat with a knife, he becomes a leading suspect. Meanwhile other models who have incriminating evidence against Victor die in almost the same fashion as Paolo, a wicker basket yielding a cat results in their deaths by heart attack. The film follows Peter and company as they try to find the one(s)responsible for the murders as they compile.
This has everything I desire in a giallo thriller. The convoluted story keeps piling on the twists. Susan, the lady with the white cape, is my favorite revealing mystery..she's given an interesting development, and is quite a tragic character, who is revealed layer by layer, for as she is given exposition we are lead closer to identifying the murderer. As I've come to expect, this giallo gives us another wild plot twist at the end after it seems like we've established who the killer is. The reveal off-sets the vicious knife slashing of a character we care for, brutally displayed showing the blade as it penetrates the flesh as she cries in agony and dispair with nowhere to escape. As usual we have our amateur sleuths, these civilian detectives who actually discover just as much, if not more, than Inspector Jansen(Renato De Carmine)and his police. While the DVD print of this film is of lesser quality(..it looks as if the film is directly lifted from the film stock without the usual "touching up" that many giallo thrillers have enjoyed in the past, getting the treatment with a lavish quality transfer, enhanced beautifully for the viewer), I think the film will be a lot of fun for giallo fans who expect certain things that "7 Shawls of Yellow Silk" will give them. There's nudity, some gratuitous camera glides down the naked backs of women taking showers, and stylish camera angles and uses of light & shadow. The expected red herring or two is here as well. Couple all this with a blind hero who must use his other senses(..including his intellect)to figure out specifics with the help of his friends, and you have quite the adventure.
-Spoiler paragraph- I like the touch of how the models die. Wearing yellow shawls containing a liquid repellent that sends the wicker basket cat into a frenzy, whose claws contain poison once they scratch, is such a nifty little way of adding something new to the giallo instead of the typical knife stabbings(..although they are included as well). I am torn regarding the episode at the Glassworks where a certain individual, possibly the killer, leads our hero into a most certain doom making stupid decisions that give Peter time to remain alive as the police close in...why would this person not just kill him and get it over with? Yes, I will admit that this sequence is incredibly tense as Peter, blind as a bat, tries to thwart the other's plans of killing him, but still..