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Il Rosso Segno della Follia

Hatchet for a Honeymoon
Una Hacha para Luna de Miel

Italy / Spain 1970
produced by
Manuel Cano for Mercury Films, Pan Latina Films, Películas Ibarra y Cía
directed by Mario Bava
starring Stephen Forsyth, Dagmar Lassander, Laura Betti, Jesûs Puente, Femi Benussi, Antonia Mas, Alan Collins (= Luciano Pigozzi), Gérard Tichy, Verónica Llimera, Pasquale Fortunato, José Ignacio Abadal, Silvia Lienas, Montserrat Riva
written by Santiago Moncada, cinematography by Mario Bava, music by Sante Maria Romitelli, assistant directors: Lamberto Bava, Ricardo Walker

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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John Harrington (Stephen Forsyth) couldn't be happier, he is wealthy, runs a successful fashion company specialising in bridal gowns, & is happily married to Mildred (Laura Betti) ... but then again, maybe not, the money belongs to his wife, the fashion company isn't doing too great, & his wife is a bitch who refuses to grant him a divorce ... ah yeah, & John is completely mad, specialising in killing young brides, preferably in his own bridal gowns ... but of course nobody knows that.

An investigating inspector, Russell (Jesūs Puente) has his hunches about John, but can't find any definite clue leading to him, while John goes about his business (of killing women) pretty much undisturbed. Eventually, John takes a liking to one of his models, Helen (Dagmar Lassander), & tries to use the time his wife's away to seduce her ... then though, John's wife comes back rather unexpected, & in a frenzy, he kills her too (even if she's no young bride anymore), then manages to get rid of the inspector, who pays an unannounced visit immedaitely afterwards, quite cooly, even though the inspector & the corpse are in the same room.

But if you think John's worries are over right now, you are wrong, because his wife has made a habit out of visiting seances, & now her spirit comes back to haunt him - by appearing at his side to everyone but him ... which turns his life into a bit of a hell, & his attempts to get rid of her by getting rid of her corpse amount to naught.

Eventually, he tries to kill another young bride, but is chased off before he can succeed, & just makes it to his house before the inspector comes to check up on him. Out of the blue comes Helen & gives him a perfect alibi ...

When John wants to thank her, though, his madness takes over again, & visions of the reason for it all appear before him, of the day his mother remarried, & he, still a kid, furiously & jealously killed both her & her new husband.

Back in the now, Helen manages to duck away under the hatchet he wields, & the inspector appears again to arrest him - it turns out Helen, an undercover policewoman, was just a decoy ...

When he is driven away by the police, his wife appears again, besides him, now only visible to him,  & she promises to make the rest of his life a living hell, until they meet again ... in hell.

 

An extremely stylish serial killer film that presents the proceedings exclusively from the killer's point of view & thus takes the audience into a bizarre, trippy world not normally found in this kind of movies - even the murder scenes soemtimes seem like a sudden descent into another world. & even though some of the plot twists are a little bit silly, this remains a very fascinating film & one of Mario Bava's best.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD