Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Stephen Forsyth, Dagmar Lassander, Laura Betti, Jesus Puente, Femi Benussi, Antonia Mas, Luciano Pigozzi, Gerard Tichy, Veronica Llimera
Written by: Santiago Moncada
Directed by: Mario Bava
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 93
Date: 06/02/1970
IMDB

Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Axe to Grind

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The general consensus on this Mario Bava film is that it's a departure from the traditional Giallo formula and that it's not one of his best, but it's one of my favorites.

It's certainly one of Bava's most audacious efforts: as we begin the film, John Harrington (Stephen Forsyth) announces in his narration that he's mad. We know that he's killed several women and will probably kill again, and yet he becomes the film's protagonist and -- against all logic -- we root for his success. He's a wealthy designer of wedding dresses married to the shrewish Mildred (Laura Betti), and it's fairly obvious what's going to happen to her, even if she refuses to give up the ghost.

There's no murder mystery to solve, since we know the identity of the killer almost immediately, and Bava fans know that plot is not his strong point. If we instead consider mood, approach and cinematic poetry, Hatchet for the Honeymoon is another Bava masterpiece.

Kino Lorber's 2012 Blu-ray, released in conjunction with Black Sunday and Lisa and the Devil, features a glorious, high-def color transfer. It comes with another great Tim Lucas commentary track, and trailers.