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The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971)

Lo strano vizio della signora Wardh (original title)
An ambassador's wife discovers that one of the men in her life - either her husband, an ex-lover or her current lover - may be a vicious serial killer.


Sergio Martino


Eduardo Manzanos (original story) (as Eduardo M. Brochero), Eduardo Manzanos (screenplay) (as Eduardo M. Brochero) | 2 more credits »





Complete credited cast:
George Hilton ... George Corro
Edwige Fenech ... Julie Wardh
Conchita Airoldi ... Carol Brandt (as Cristina Airoldi)
Manuel Gil ... Dr. Arbe (as Manuel Gill)
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Commissioner
Ivan Rassimov ... Jean
Alberto de Mendoza ... Neil Wardh
Bruno Corazzari ... Killer
Marella Corbi Marella Corbi ... Victim who escapes from the killer
Miguel del Castillo Miguel del Castillo ... Spanish Doctor
Luis de Tejada Luis de Tejada ... The inspector
Brizio Montinaro ... Ospite Al party
Pouchi Pouchi ... Victim in the shower (as Pouchie)
Mira Vidotto Mira Vidotto ... Cameriera Della Wardh


Mrs. Julie Wardh returns to Vienna with her husband Neil Wardh, who is an investor in Wall Street. Julie and Neil have been married for one year but they do not love each other. Julie has a trauma from her former boyfriend Jean, who was a sadistic man. While Neil has meetings in Austria, Julie spends the vacation with her friend Carol Brandt. They go to a party where Carol introduces her handsome cousin George Corro, who has just inherited a fortune with her. When Julie sees Jean in the party, she decides to leave the place. Soon Julie, who is neglected by Neil, has a love affair with George. Meanwhile a serial-killer that kills women with a razor blade is terrifying Vienna and the inspector has no lead to follow. When Julie is blackmailed because of her love affair with George, she suspects Jean might be the blackmailer. Carol decides to go to the meeting with the blackmailer and is killed. Julie believes that Jean might be the wanted killer and decides to leave Vienna and Neil to go... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did you read about what happened to the poor girl in the shower?... See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film was refused a UK cinema certificate in 1971 and passed uncut for DVD in 2011. See more »


When Julie hears the bellboy knock at the apartment door, she puts on a blue bathrobe without a belt. When she looks through the peephole to see who it is, she is wearing the same bathrobe, but as soon as she opens the door the robe has suddenly acquired a belt. See more »


George Corro: My specialty is courting ladies in the presence of their husbands.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The very fact that the commandment says "do not kill" makes us aware and convinced that we are descended from an unbroken chain of generations of assassins, for whom the love of murder was in their blood, as it is perhaps in ours." - Sigmund Freud See more »

Alternate Versions

This was released at least twice on VHS in the United States. The version called Next Victim (box claims it runs 87 minutes) is quite different than the version released as Blade of The Ripper (box claims it runs 83 minutes). The film was shot in widescreen 2:35 and neither is letterboxed. The version released as Next Victim has had all of the nudity edited out of it. Blade of the Ripper has had the opening titles and several other sequences removed entirely, which accounts for the short running time. See more »


Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) See more »

User Reviews

Giallo essentials!
28 November 2005 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

The true golden years for Italian giallo-cinema only lasted less than a decade (approximately from 1965 to 1975) and after that it was only the acclaimed director Dario Argento who sporadically managed to deliver a good old-fashioned Italian murder mystery. Yet in this relatively short period, several directors were responsible for a huge amount of terrific gialli, with story lines going from basic to extremely absurd and complex. Sergio Martino's "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" is a simplistic example of the giallo-genre and perhaps that is why it still ranks amongst the best and most successful ones ever. This film pretty much defines the sub genre, with its detailed murders of beautiful women, innovating camera-work, gorgeous music and (most importantly) the exact right amount of plot-twists to keep the story believable and compelling. The story revolves on the unearthly beautiful Mrs. Wardh (giallo-star Edwige Fenech) who finds herself stalked by a black-gloved killer who already murdered some of her closest girlfriends. Mrs. Wardh is an easy target since her estranged husband is often away for diplomatic duties and her sexually perverted ex-lover Jean still regularly contacts her. She looks for shelter in the macho-arms of a new lover (George Hilton), but even he can't guarantee her safety, as the killer seems unstoppable. The amount of graphic murders is rather limited (especially compared with later, more infamous gialli) but they're nevertheless unsettling and extremely well shot. Even when there aren't any ladies being knifed to death, this is a very suspenseful thriller, most notably during the tense garage-sequence. Sergio Martino proves himself to be a master of cinematography, with original camera angles (scenes shot in the reflection of sunglasses or through the peephole of a hotel door) and enchanting outdoor locations (the murder in the park, the climax car chase). The flashback sequences, in which Mrs. Wardh revives her masochistic relationship with Jean, are almost pure poetry and guided by a wonderful Nora Orlandi score. The music is so good that no other than Quentin Tarantino re-used it for his 2004 masterpiece "Kill Bill Volume 2". The acting of the entire cast is far above average. Even the women, who're basically selected on looks because they appear topless, are very convincing. In case you developed an interest in Italian horror cinema, but don't yet know where to start your journey, this film is the ideal choice. In case you're already hooked on the obvious giallo-classics directed by Dario Argento and Mario Bava, "the Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" (as well as every other film directed by Sergio Martino) almost becomes fundamental viewing.

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Italy | Spain | Austria


Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

13 August 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Next Victim See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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