HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nightwing
Shadow of the Hawk
Month of Single Frames, A
Last Moment of Clarity
Fukushima 50
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hatchet for the Honeymoon Deep Wed
Year: 1969
Director: Mario Bava
Stars: Stephen Forsyth, Laura Betti, Dagmar Lassander, Gerard Tichy, Jésus Puente, Femi Benussi, Antonia Mas, Luciano Pigozzi, Verónica Llimera
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: John Harrington (Stephen Forsyth) is the handsome thirty-something owner of a French fashion house specialising in wedding dresses. John seems to have it all — wealth, a huge house and a job that requires him to be surrounded daily by beautiful models.

There are however two factors that make his life less than ideal — domineering, possessive wife Mildred (Laura Betti) who refuses to divorce him, and the fact that he is completely insane, driven to murder young women on the eves of their weddings. Harrington has largely come to terms with the latter, knowing that his mania has something to do with the brutal death of his mother when he was a child, and that he cannot stop killing until he discovers what. Mildred proves to be such an infuriating tyrant that he gives her a taste of his meat cleaver too; unfortunately she refuses to stay dead — although Harrington can no longer see her, she continues to speak to him and be visible to everyone else.

This Bava favourite is a curious mix of style and tone. The murder sequences are directed with the panache one would expect, showing very little blood but cranking up the tension to the max. The standout scene is the killing of Mildred. Harrington is interrupted halfway through by the arrival of the film’s requisite nosey detective (Jésus Puente) at their house, and while the pair talk at the front door, Mildred lies dying halfway up the stairs, dripping blood ever closer to the detective. The film is beautifully lit and full of striking images, like the room which John populates with mannequins in wedding dresses, or the conversation conducted entirely as a reflection on a knife blade.

The most peculiar aspect is the introduction of the ‘Mildred as ghost’ plot into an otherwise reality-based thriller. Presumably her refusal to stay dead exists only in the fractured mind of John Harrington, but it still lends the film a Twilight Zone-esque atmosphere somewhat at odds with this study of a killer. Still, it does provide the film with a nicely ironic pay-off, and Forysth and Betti have great fun as the vexed spouses.

Other faults are more to do with the film’s era than any judgement call on Bava’s part. The music veers wildly between atonal crashing to ghastly, string-laden sappy goo, rarely finding the right visual to accompany, while the pace lacks the urgency of, say, Bava’s influential slay-fest Bay of Blood two years later.

For the most part though, this is a stylish and entertaining thriller from the then master of the genre. And keep your eyes open for a cameo appearance from one of Bava’s other 60s classics, Black Sabbath, on a TV in Harrington’s house.

Aka: Il Rosso Segno Della Follia, Blood Brides
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 6980 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mario Bava  (1914 - 1980)

Italian director/writer/cinematographer and one of the few Italian genre film-makers who influenced, rather than imitated. Worked as a cinematographer until the late 1950s, during which time he gained a reputation as a hugely talented director of photography, particularly in the use of optical effects.

Bava made his feature debut in 1960 with Black Sunday/The Mask of Satan, a richly-shot black and white Gothic gem. From then on Bava worked in various genres – spaghetti western, sci-fi, action, peplum, sex – but it was in the horror genre that Bava made his legacy. His sumptuously filmed, tightly plotted giallo thrillers (Blood and Black Lace, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Bay of Blood) and supernatural horrors (Lisa and the Devil, Baron Blood, Kill, Baby...Kill!) influenced an entire generation of Italian film-makers (and beyond) – never had horror looked so good. Bava’s penultimate picture was the harrowing thriller Rabid Dogs, while his last film, Shock, was one his very scariest. Died of a heart attack in 1980.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: