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This ’80s slasher flick based on real-life murders in Florence, Italy, doesn’t have any tricks we haven’t seen time and time again.

A criminology student tracks a serial killer for her dissertation but ends up getting too close to the material. Let’s dig into 1986’s THE KILLER IS STILL AMONG US, directed by Camillo Teti!

As I See It

Based on “The Monster of Florence” murders which eerily mirrors the “Zodiac killer” of California’s Bay area, this giallo style Italian slasher toys with some interesting human psychology.

Following a student who has focused on criminology and forensic pathology, Christiana takes a morgue Doctor as a lover as she hunts for a serial killer that has been knocking off young couples.

The predictable red herrings float quickly to the top and the most interesting elements for me are watching Christiana explore the dark side of humanity, stepping over the line from watcher to participant. She doesn’t kill, or does she? The enigmatic nature of the ending was done for effect, and I understand why, I just don’t like it. It feels incomplete and cheap.

The filmmakers were trying to warn young people of the dangers of getting hot and heavy in the woods, or in a car, in a theater, or anywhere really — for fear of being murdered. You never know who the killer is!

The seance scene doesn’t make much sense in an otherwise grounded production.

Lastly, brace yourself for the mutilation scene. It’s rough. It was certainly done to gross you out and make you squirm in your seat. But frighteningly, it is also a true fact of the real murders.

Famous Faces

I’m not well versed enough in Italian cinema beyond the greatest hits (Argento, Fulci, Bava, Mattei, Deodato, etc.) but maybe that could be my New Year’s resolution. Director Camillo Teti did produce a few notable flicks, including Killer Crocodile and it’s sequel, properly titled Killer Crocodile 2!

Of Gratuitous Nature

It is the age old slasher trope of punishing teens that have sex with death, most brutally the genital mutilation scene. The film starts off with the typical teens deep in the woods making love in a car and their murdered swiftly. It happens again, and again. No wonder we’ve had to come up with new tricks.


I like to live vicariously through long flowing locks regardless of their shade, but Mariangela D’Abbraccio (Christiana) has got a bit of a Jane Wiedlin thing going on.

Ripe for a Remake

Is true crime popular? The bar is very high right now in this sub-genre. Whether you’re climbing the boundaries of a killer’s brain like David Fincher (Mindhunter) or doing your best to humanize and therefore force sympathy for a depraved monster like Ryan Murphy (Dahmer), the level of professionals at work within this realm is crowded.

Could someone come along and make some Zodiac-Florence connection that plays clever and terrifying? It’s doubtful after Fincher’s epic Zodiac and the dismissal of the journalistic theory of a connection, but it could be an interesting foundation for a “Inspired by a true story…” type of tale.


Hollywood is no stranger to putting out similar titles back to back (think Armageddon and Deep Impact), and the Italians apparently operate the same way, or at least they used to. A similarly plotted and inspired by true events film was released the same year but used the moniker dubbed for the slayings: The Monster of Florence.

Where to Watch

Vinegar Syndrome included the film on their “Forgotten Gialli” box set along with Arabella Black Angel and The Sister Ursula. It’s still available on Diabolik DVD. You can stream it on Shudder (with English subtitles), AMC+, or Tubi.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 2

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