An elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes. What ensues is an all-out murder spree as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing ... See full summary »
A young man, Peter, returns to Austria in search of his heritage. There he visits the castle of an ancestor, a sadistic Baron who was cursed to a violent death by a witch whom the Baron had... See full summary »
The owner of a design house busies himself murdering the new brides who have modelled his bridal fashions. When he decides to murder his wife, she becomes the ghost that wouldn't leave. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
In certain foreign releases of the film Stephen Forsyth's character is re-named "Oliver Barrington." This may be due to distributors feeling that the name "John Harrington" was too generic for the character. See more »
When a newspaper close-up is shown, with a report of a murder on a train on the front page, the French word for wife (Epouse) is misspelled. See more »
My name is John Harrington. I'm 30 years old. I'm a paranoiac. Paranoiac. An enchanting word, so civilized, full of possibilities. The truth is, I am completely mad. The realization which annoys me at first, but is now amusing to me. Quite amusing. Nobody suspects I am a madman. A dangerous murderer. Not Mildred, my wife. Nor the employees of my fashion center. Nor of course my customers.
[scoops a fly out of his drink]
Poor little fly. Why are you so daring? You're so fragile? Yet you're born, ...
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I say strange because I'm not quite sure what exactly "Hatchet for the Honeymoon" was supposed to be (but enjoyed it nonetheless). It features many of the traditional giallo elements - a black-clad killer, lots of beautiful young women who may as well have "Murder Victim" tattooed on their foreheads, incompetent detectives, childhood psychological trauma, spooky childhood toys... Yet it also diverges from the giallo blueprint in some ways by incorporating an odd, Twilight Zone-style supernatural element into the plot, and also a wry commentary on bourgeois married life. There are clear elements of both Psycho and Peeping Tom in the story, and it also predates both the 1980 slasher film He Knows You're Alone, and the Bret Easton Ellis book (and later film) American Psycho.
As usual with Mario Bava, the cinematography, production design and lighting are all beautiful to look at, and there are two great suspense set-pieces: the scene where the killer waltzes with his next victim to the eerie tune of a music box in a shadowy, elegant store-room full of creepy plastic mannequins in wedding dresses; and the scene where he talks to the suspicious cop while his dead wife's arm is hanging from the staircase and dripping blood onto the carpet.
It's also a surprisingly funny film in many ways. Special mention must go to Laura Betti's hilarious performance as Mildred, the evil wife from hell.
All in all, "Hatchet for the Honeymoon" is an intriguing and often underrated addition to Mario Bava's formidable canon. Stylish, entertaining and darkly funny.
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