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Blood Brides (1970)

Il rosso segno della follia (original title)
A bridal design shop owner kills various young brides-to-be in an attempt to unlock a repressed childhood trauma that's causing him to commit murder.




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Complete credited cast:
Stephen Forsyth ...
John Harrington
Helen Wood
Mildred Harrington
Jesús Puente ...
Inspector Russell
Alice Norton
Antonia Mas ...
Luciano Pigozzi ...
Vences (as Alan Collin)
Gérard Tichy ...
Dr. Kalleway
Verónica Llimerá ...
Pasquale Fortunato ...
John Harrington as a Boy (as Fortunato Pascuale)
Ignasi Abadal ...
Kane (as José Ignacio Abadaz)
Silvia Lienas ...
Montserrat Riva ...
Bride on Train (as Monserrat Riba)


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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bride | murder | model | ghost | trauma | See All (86) »


Horror | Thriller


GP | See all certifications »





Release Date:

9 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Axe for the Honeymoon  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Mario Bava created the elaborate animated collage for the films opening credits. 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 »


[first lines]
John Harrington: [voice-over] 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]
John Harrington: Poor little fly. Why are you so daring? You're so ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Instead of "screenplay," the credit is listed: "Screemplay: Santiago Moncada." See more »


Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 2 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Very strange film...
20 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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