Strip Nude for Your Killer Blu-ray Review
Written by Robert Gold
Blu-ray released by Arrow Video
Directed by Andrea Bianchi
Written by Massimo Felisatti (story by Andrea Bianchi)
1975, 98 minutes, Not Rated
Released on March 19th, 2019
Edwige Fenech as Magda
Nino Castelnuovo as Carlo
Femi Benussi as Lucia
Solvi Stubing as Patrizia
Amanda as Gisella
Franco Diogene as Maurizio
Erna Schurer as Doris
The Albatross modeling agency has been targeted by a masked assassin. The unidentified killer wears a black motorcycle outfit and helmet. Victims are found either nude or nearly so; their bodies stabbed and on occasion mutilated. One suspect is head photographer Carlo, a playboy with a hot temper and few morals. When the police come up empty and the murders continue, Carlo and his lover Magda set out to solve the mystery themselves. Their co-workers are being slaughtered in quick succession and the list of suspects is getting shorter. What do the dead share in common and can the maniac be stopped?
By the mid-1970s, the Italian giallo was in full bloom and proved very successful at the box office. Also on the rise were a series of Euro-sleaze sexploitation pictures and it was only a matter of time before the two genres merged. Strip Nude for Your Killer (1975) is a naughty picture that combines elements of both formats and delivers a murder mystery with generous amounts of nudity and violence. The film comes with a lurid premise and opens on the shocking image of a model getting an abortion. From there we shift into the fast-moving world of the partygoer. Carlo spies a young beauty at the pool and pursues her, snapping photographs as she walks to a bar. He convinces her to join him in the sauna and within minutes we arrive at our first sex scene.
Nudity plays a huge part of this movie and ten minutes seldom pass before someone is revealing some skin. The murder set-pieces are suspenseful and engrossing, as is the tradition, but these victims happen to be naked. The characters are sexually liberated and are constantly jumping into bed with each other, but that is just the way things are at the Albatross modeling agency. The place is full of free spirits looking for a good time. The idea that someone holds a grudge against them never crosses anyone’s mind. The killer could be a scorned employee or a jealous model or maybe someone in upper management. On a possibly related note, the owner of the agency is being blackmailed – could this have something to do with the killings?
Director Andrea Bianchi (Massacre) knows how to stage a suspenseful sequence and the murder set-pieces are stylish and effective. The sexual escapades are well-directed and titillating, although the sex can be a bit rough. Written by Massimo Felisatti (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave) based on a story by Bianchi, the script plays as an engaging whodunit that will keep audiences guessing as to the killer’s identity and motivation. Genre favorite Edwige Fenech (All the Colors of the Dark) stars as Magda, the beautiful fashion photographer caught in the middle of this mystery. She brings a delightful energy to the role and brightens every scene she is in. She eventually ends up in peril and must be saved by a man, but is otherwise resourceful and self-reliant. Nino Castelnuovo (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) co-stars as the scoundrel Carlo, a man who is the epitome of sleaze. He moves from one female to the next before settling on Magda, with whom he is alternately tender and borderline abusive. The man is a pig but he is our protagonist and while we deserve better, he gets the job done.
Strip Nude for Your Killer has that distinct giallo visual style that is so synonymous with the genre. Cinematographer Franco Delli Collo (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?) fills the frame with bright colors and stages some exciting camera work. The mystery unfolds at a steady pace and there is very little down time. The script is surprisingly strong for this type of movie and really delivers where it counts. In addition to great writing and directing, the film features an energetic, funky ‘70s score by Berto Pisano (Burial Ground) that helps keep up the pace. This is a picture that makes no apologies for its content and delivers plenty of shocks and thrills. Whether you are new to the genre or are a longtime fan, this makes for a great addition to your library.
Video and Audio:
The original camera negative has undergone a brand new 2K restoration and the results are gorgeous. Colors are bright and well-saturated and black levels are bottomless. The image appears in its native 2.35:1 aspect ratio and has never looked better.
A pair of DTS-HD MA 2.0 tracks provides viewers the option of watching the film in either Italian or English. Both tracks are top notch and well-preserved. The funky soundtrack is quite lively and engaging yet never intrudes on dialogue levels.
Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.
Film historians Adrian J. Smith and David Flint provide a thoughtful audio commentary filled with interesting information about the production. Fans of the genre, the two gentlemen are happy to be recording this appreciation and their enthusiasm is infectious.
Genre star Edwige Fenech is the subject of Sex & Death with a Smile (23 minutes), a new video appreciation by author and critic Kat Ellinger. The actress’ career is given a proper overview and her work in horror and sex comedies is well-documented.
Actor Nino Castelnuovo reflects on his career and working relationships in the newly edited interview A Good Man for the Murders (15 minutes).
The Blonde Salamander (19 minutes) catches up with actress Erna Schurer, who discusses various film projects, choosing directors, working with co-stars and shooting nude scenes among other topics.
In the wide-ranging interview The Art of Helping (44 minutes), assistant director Daniele Sangiorgi shares several production stories from the making of this picture. He talks about dealing with the producers and shooting additional raunchier footage for the international market. He has a lot to say and his stories are both entertaining and informative.
Jack of All Trades (22 minutes) is a new interview with production manager Tino Polenghi, who reveals the nuts and bolts of working in Italian cinema. He shares his experiences of working with actors and shooting sex scenes and other interesting aspects of filmmaking.
Some release prints of the movie feature a blue tint over the opening abortion sequence. This disc offers both tinted and non-tinted viewing options of the scene.
Original Italian and English language trailers have been included.
A photo gallery (18 images) provides a look at international poster art, lobby cards and publicity stills.
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