6.4/10
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A Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970)

Il rosso segno della follia (original title)
A cleaver-wielding bridal designer murders various young brides-to-be in an attempt to unlock a repressed childhood trauma concerning the death of his mother.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writer:

Santiago Moncada (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stephen Forsyth ... John Harrington
Dagmar Lassander ... Helen Wood
Laura Betti ... Mildred Harrington
Jesús Puente ... Inspector Russell (as Jesus Puente)
Femi Benussi ... Alice Norton
Antonia Mas Antonia Mas ... Louise
Luciano Pigozzi ... Vences (as Alan Collin)
Gérard Tichy ... Dr. Kalleway (as Gerard Tichy)
Verónica Llimerá Verónica Llimerá ... Betsy (as Veronica Llimera)
Pasquale Fortunato ... John Harrington as a Boy (as Fortunato Pascuale)
Ignasi Abadal Ignasi Abadal ... Jimmy Kane (as José Ignacio Abadaz)
Silvia Lienas Silvia Lienas ... Vicky
Montserrat Riba Vidal Montserrat Riba Vidal ... Rosy Miller (as Monserrat Riba)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Something Old... Something New... Something Bloody... There's a hatchet for you See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Spain | Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

9 February 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Hatchet for the Honeymoon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

"Screenplay" is misspelled as "Screemplay" in the opening credits. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mildred Harrington: John? John!
John Harrington: [shaving] Just a minute, Mildred.
John Harrington: [voice-over] My name is John Harrington. I'm 30 years old. I am a paranoiac. Hmph... "paranoiac". An enchanting word. So civilized, and full of possibilities. The truth is, I am completely mad... the realization which annoyed 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.
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Another Bava classic
10 May 2010 | by matheusmarchettiSee all my reviews

It seems that the 70's is a rather under-appreciated decade for Mario Bava, as it is usually overshadowed by his 60's cannon, with films such as "Black Sunday" or "Black Sabbath". Still, his 1974 film "Lisa and the Devil" is what I consider his masterpiece; 1972's "Baron Blood" is a great old-fashioned Gothic classic; 1971's "Twitch of the Death Nerve" is mindless gory fun; "Shock" is a simple-yet-effective ghost story; and last but not least, there is "Hatchet for a Hooneymoon". Usually depicted as one of Bava's weaker efforts, "Hatchet..." is as influential as "Kill Baby Kill" or "Twitch...", as seen in such critically-acclaimed works as "American Psycho" or "Santa Sangre". Here, we have Bava's ever-present visual flair, combined with a fresh Scroogesque twist on the typical giallo formula. The script is intelligent and gripping, filled with some interesting Freudian motifs represented mostly through the protagonist's doppelganger, as well as including some well-developed and complex characters that you really care for. The charismatic Stephen Forsyth is perfectly cast as the protagonist, and is as seductively creepy as he needs to be. Laura Betti is also terrific as his cold, manipulative wife. Interestingly, Bava seems to play homage to the other great Italian director - Federico Fellini, as he does his own 'La Dolce Vita'-type satire of the plastic Italian high-society in this film. The film also has some of the most beautiful and lyrical scenes of Bava's entire career, both visually and in substance, such as John's 'danse macabre' in the room full of mannequins. These moments blend magnificently with Sante Maria Romitelli's bittersweet score, which captures the film's melancholic tone and perverse humor. The one thing that may put some viewers away is the lack of violence which doesn't really hurt the whole thing, but doesn't add anything to it either. Overall, a mesmerizing combination of ghost story with gialli, that is definitely not to be missed by any fans of the Maestro or Italian horror cinema in general.


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