starring: Stephen Forsyth, Dagmar Lassander and Laura Betti
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.
Says a bridal-shop owner, who would later make a dire decision to kill his own wife, his first variation from his usual Bride-to-be victims, in order to unsupress a childhood memory of a murder. Apparently this decision would later be a consequence when he starts to see the ghost of his wife, black gown and death stare. But had he really killed her? How could the rest of the world see her if she was murdered brutally the other night?
Calling this a mystery is more of a confusion.We know early on that John's crazy and we know we can't trust his traits to whether he had killed people or not (like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho). Still, whether he had killed his wife or not isn't really that of a big deal; that including of the hidden childhood trauma that started his murder spree, albeit a small shocker. Until that revelation, we spend the entire movie watching this madman decrease lower and lower into paranoia and depression, while not really downbeat, it isn't that engaging or terrifying.
The rest of the movie just looked fine and acceptable, acting is decent, especially our lead Stephen Forsyth, who plays his character with much sophistication and calmness until to his psycho-spiral, predating yet again that of American Psycho. The sets are beautiful and the wardrobe is fantastic. Bava still has the eye for set-pieces that flourishes with detail.
While not my fave Mario Bava work, Hatchet for the Honeymoon tried to make a brooding creepiness out of guilt and repression, but sadly, due to it devoid of mystery, didn't cut quite close to what i was expecting from a mystery driven giallo, despite flowering itself with the usual elements such as colorful backgrounds and stylized soundtracks. In fact, it might as well be an earlier proto-type of a slasher if it wasn't for the driven mystery narrative. Perhaps I would settle myself to his real classics (Twitch of the Death Nerve, Blood and Black Lace, now those are the real deal!), but i wouldn't stop the rest of the world to see this.
1 male and 1 female hacked to death with cleaver
1 female cleaver to the face
1 female hacked to death with cleaver
1 male hacked on the neck with cleaver (flashback)
1 female hacked on the neck with cleaver (flashback)