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A Hatchet for the Honeymoon (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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... John Harrington
... Helen Wood
... Mildred Harrington
... Inspector Russell (as Jesus Puente)
... Alice Norton
Antonia Mas ... Louise
... Vences (as Alan Collin)
... Dr. Kalleway (as Gerard Tichy)
Verónica Llimerá ... Betsy (as Veronica Llimera)
... John Harrington as a Boy (as Fortunato Pascuale)
Ignasi Abadal ... Kane (as José Ignacio Abadaz)
Silvia Lienas ... Vicky
Montserrat Riba Vidal ... Bride on Train (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:

Do You Take This Woman To Be Your Lawfully Wedded Corpse? See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

9 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hatchet for the Honeymoon  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The TV show that Harrington refers to in an attempt to fool Inspector Russell is a clip from Mario Bava's own Black Sabbath (1963) - specifically the "Wurdalak" sequence featuring Boris Karloff. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

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 See 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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