When Joanna (Christina Nagy) was eleven she was raped by a maniac who was dressed as a priest. She then fell down some steps and broke her back. She has been in a wheelchair ever since. Joanna has suppressed what happened to her. The doctors tried psychoanalysis but were afraid that should she remember the past it could cause a fatal heart attack.
Since then, to compensate for not having the use of her legs, Joanna has learned athletic endeavors that can be done in a wheelchair. Coming from a wealthy family she had contributed a lot of money to institutions that provide lessons for paraplegics such as archery and wheelchair fencing.
Currently she is working with a church and plans to donate a substantial amount of money for them to set up a program. Craig (David Warbeck) is the program director at the facility Joanna currently goes to. Craig falls in love with Joanna and wants to marry her. Joanna’s live-in friend Ruth, (Carroll Blumenberg) is not happy about Craig and Joanna’s relationship. Joanna’s physician, Doctor Sernich (Rossano Brazzi) tells Craig about Joanna’s past, so he is aware of the risks. Craig and Joanna marry.
Unknown by Joanna, there is someone violently murdering priests and Joanna has been having nightmares and is experiencing hallucinations about her past. Is she being stalked by her childhood boogieman, is she remembering, or is there something more sinister going on?
“Formula for a Murder” AKA “7 Hyden Park” AKA “La Casa Maledetta” AKA “Formula for a Killer” AKA “Formula per un assassino” was released in 1985 and was directed by Alberto De Martino. It is an Italian thriller and a giallo.
Unlike a lot of giallo, the killer is known early in the film. Knowing that gives the story added dimension because it can add some interesting twists and turns that your average slasher style film would not normally have. The drawback here is that the twists and turns are a little on the standard side. It’s still an interesting giallo with some really bloody sequences.
There are a few scary moments and a few tense moments. I wouldn’t call it the most thrilling giallo but it did keep my attention. The main thing I found annoying is that, when Joanna’s in dire peril she calls her doctor instead of the police.
The film was shot in Boston and Italy,