Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970)

GP   |    |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller


Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970) Poster

A cleaver-wielding bridal designer murders various young brides-to-be in an attempt to unlock a repressed childhood trauma concerning the death of his mother.


6.4/10
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Director:

Mario Bava

Writer:

Santiago Moncada (screenplay)

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25 May 1999 | matt-201
Succulent Bava, served extra-rare
A note: Was this movie ever called in English HATCHET FOR A HONEYMOON, rather than the awkward HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON? I seem to recall this from a Leonard Maltin book circa 1978. Or am I as cracked as Bava's protagonist?

For my money, this is primo vintage Bava--which is to say Dario Argento in top hat and tails, Jess Franco with a finishing-school diploma, or, to look at the glass as half empty, Richard Lester after three hits of dirty windowpane acid.

To top this voiceover narration, you'd have to go either to BARRY LYNDON or, on the other hand, MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE: "My name is John Harrington. I'm thirty years old. I am a paranoiac. Paranoiac! What a marvellous world. So delicate. And full of possibilities. The fact is, I'm completely mad." And so is Bava's odyssey through the crazy-straw-shaped brain of J. Harrington, Esq., a hunky sociopath whose sexual fires are only stoked by burying a hatchet in the flesh of virginal-looking brides in their white-veiled drag--and, when they have the ill fortune to be there, their bridegrooms.

The hyper-lusciosity of Bava's style suggests a Bertolucci blissfully unconcerned with agrarian collectivism. Mate that rococo with Nicolas Roeg's brand of kaleidoscopus maximus and you have an inkling of what Signior Mario is up to. Note to Greil Marcus: as a sequel to "Lipstick Traces," how about a book tracing the parallel histories of canonical surrealism (Bunuel-Dali-Aragon-Bataille) and Italian horror of the seventies?

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