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Strip Nude For Your Killer
As the title might suggest Strip Nude For Your Killer is not the most sophisticated and intellectual cinematic experience. This is the Italian giallo at its least auspicious and most self-consciously exploitative. In many ways this is the flip side to the formal eloquence of Dario Argento or Mario Bava, a film in which the visual style takes a back seat to nudity and perverted sexual relationships. The director Andrea Bianchi makes perfunctory nods to formal conventions with his occasional use of lurid colour schemes, his preponderance for pointless zooms, and the odd interesting use of subjective point-of-view perspectives. The camp credentials of the film are assured by its tongue in cheek attitude to sexuality, an array of wild set designs and the usual assortment of eye watering 1970’s fashions. Fashion and photography is a key theme of this film as the action of the plot centres around a chic fashion house. This entitles us to plenty of the nudity that Bianchi seems keen in exploring.
At the level of characterisation though the film is a dismal failure. The characters are uniformly repugnant, and without exception deserve the fates in store for them. Our amateur detective protagonist Carlo is a character with no redeeming qualities, and as a result gives us nothing to cheer about when the mysterious assailant is unveiled at the films conclusion. Carlo then goes on to end the film with the threat of sodomy to his lover, confirming if confirmation was still required what a sleazy piece of trash this nominal hero is. Bianchi curiously extends this perversity and grotesqueness to every character in the film, with the slight exception of Magda played by Edwige Fenech. However it is clear very early on why Fenech is so important to the film, one of her first actions is to strip off and perform oral sex on the sleaze bag Carlo. Nevertheless much of the cult credentials of the film lie with Miss Fenech, who has become a figure of semi-worship for many a fan of European sleaze cinema. However her short close cropped hair, and androgynous look in the film did very little for this reviewer.
The mystery, such as it is, revolves around a botched abortion. One might imagine that Bianchi could use this to investigate this touchy subject, but one gets the impression that the only reason this is here, is so the film can open with a camera shot of a naked woman with her legs spread. Admittedly, few films open so distinctively, and Bianchi inserts a number of subliminal shots throughout of her corpse in a bathtub, but the reasons for the fashion house slaughter seem mean and tangential. However the assailant is distinctively attired in a motorcycle leathers, a good method of concealing both the identity and gender of the killer – because yes Bianchi uses the old Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) gender twist, unfortunately for this film however, by this point nobody gives a toss. The unforgivable error that Bianchi makes here is to direct a giallo completely lacking in suspense. For the exploitation elements one must commend his efforts, but the most successful examples of the form manage to combine the nudity/lesbian undertones with a strong plot, a strong visual style and suspense – Bianchi only gets one of these spot on.
Bianchi would never again step into the camp cosmopolitanism of the giallo. The promise of his debut film the underrated psychological thriller Night Hair Child (1972), would ultimately remain unfulfilled. He was a director seemingly unable to resist the pull of trash and sleaze. Whilst this is not a bad thing, there was enough in his debut film to suggest that Bianchi could have had an interesting career in chilling and atmospheric horror, as it turned out he would end up directing such incompetent dross as Nights of Terror (1981) – compared to that film Strip Nude For Your Killer is a success, but by the standards of other contemporary gialli this is a forgettable piece of cinematic garbage.
RECENT Comments: Strip Nude For Your Killer
Yes I would. There are numerous gialli that are far superior to this film. If you havent seen them already I urge you to seek out - Short Night of Glass Dolls, House with Laughing Windows and The Pyjama Girl Case. It would seem that the primary reason for this films continued prominence is its title.
RECENT Comments: Strip Nude For Your Killer
Maybe I will move this title a little farther down my netflix queue
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