HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON (Kino, 1970) D: Mario Bava, w/ Stephen Forsyth, Laura Betti. Rating: NNN; Blu-ray package: NNN Rating: NNN
This is arguably Italian horror master Mario Bava's cheapest shocker.
This means there's less of the lurid colour and composition that make his films cult classics. But some of the magic remains, notably the lush, romantic approach to the murders and the old-school camera tricks that create the killer's delirium.
John Harrington (Stephen Forsyth), our hero, kills brides and models in wedding gowns. Each murder brings him closer to some horrible repressed memory from his childhood and feeds his fetishism and necrophilia. Inevitably, John turns his attentions to his bitch-from-hell wife (ably played by Laura Betti). Then his troubles really start.
Bava biographer Tim Lucas spends part of his commentary (new to this edition) defending Hatchet For The Honeymoon as "poetic cinema in an unseemly arena," a good description, but other Bava titles fill that bill better. Check out Blood And Black Lace; Kill, Baby... Kill; and The Whip And The Body.
The HD remaster brings up the visual depth and texture, but nothing can help the shaky zooms.
EXTRAS Commentary. English audio. No subtitles.