3 and a half  stars   

directed by: Andrea Bianchi
starring: Edwige Fenech, Nino Castelnuovo, Femi Benussi, Solvi Stubing, Amanda, Franco Diogene, Lucio Como Erna Schürer, Gianni Airò, Silvana Depreto, Achille Grioni, Giuseppa Meschella, Filippo La Neve, Claudio Pellegrini, Wainer Verri

choice dialogue:

"I'm too hot to be corpse, baby!"

The corpses aren't the only stiffs Carlo's interested in!

slash with panache?

[review by Justin Kerswell]

STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER. Ah, what a title! And, as the advert says, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Andrea Bianchi's ultra, ultra trashy giallo is fun (ok, that may be off-colour fun but, hey) with a capital F.

And so it begins ...

Setting the tone from the start: a fashion model, Evelyn, dies of a massive coronary during a back street abortion; the abortionist moves her limp and naked body to her house and dumps it in a bath tub, hoping that the authorities will think she died of natural causes. Later that night, the abortionist is fatally attacked by a killer in black leathers wearing a motorcycle helmet, who cuts out his heart with a flashing blade.

Later, at the aptly name Albatross modeling agency, where it turns out the late model worked, we are introduced to a cast of shifty looking bunch of classic gialli suspects: the bullish, stallionesque photographer, Carlo (Nino Castelnuovo), who's just 'acquired' the shapely Lucia (Femi Benussi) for the agency; also, Magda (Edwige Fenech), the pixie'sh assistant photographer, the predatory lesbian boss, Giselle (simply named Amanda) and her obese, sweaty husband, Maurizo (Franco Diogene) - as well as a whole cast of models with big hair and even bigger pouts. When the camp photographer, Mario, is brutally murdered by the knife wielding killer the others begin to wonder who will be next, as well they should ...

Fashionistas drop like flies.

Now, the name of director, Andrea Bianchi, will either fill you will delight or dread, for it was he who gave the World the nipple-ripping-tastic zombie flick BURIAL GROUND (1980) (I'm full of the former, naturally). Still, with STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER - taking its cues quite liberally from WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE? (1972) and Bava's BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (1964) - there's a little something for everyone: it's a surprisingly polished affair, with a coherent and at times gripping narrative. However, it's also chock-a-block full of sleaze, cheese and more full-frontal nudity than most soft-core porn!

Edwige does some snooping ...

There's so many trashy moments it's hard to choose which is my favourite. Could it be the scene when the lardy Maurizo tries to seduce one of the models, Doris (Erna Schürer)? First he drives at breakneck speed round Milan, before trying to buy her attentions; then, when that doesn't work he threatens her with a vase before she agrees (what an old romantic), but then he can't get it up. Doris leaves him alone to his tears of frustration; the next moment he's talking to a deflated blow up doll, saying how she's the only one for him, before the killer puts him out of his misery. Or how about when Carlo first meets Lucia, in an impressively funky swimming pool (complete with ultra stylish bar)? He walks along snapping her arse with his camera, saying, "I haven't seen such a lovely face in a long time!". Before long she's nude in a sauna after he persuades her that all models get their first break that way (!); she comments that his camera isn't working, so he whips off his trunks and deadpans, "Now it's time for you in-depth interview ...". [I did say this wasn't subtle didn't I?] ... Then there's the whole police department which sound like they were dubbed by the cast of TOP CAT. There's some roughie lesbian sex: "You bitch, you love it!"; to which comes the classic reply, "I want to be a fashion model, not a kept woman or a slave!". There's the nude handstands and some mind-distorting wallpaper, and, of course, there's Edwige Fenech ...

Off come the clothes and out comes the knife!

Often dubbed the Queen of the Giallo, the lovely Ms. Fenech had already paid her dues in such genre classics as Sergio Martino's NEXT! (1970) and ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK (1972), Mario Bava's FIVE DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON (1970) and the similarly trashy THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS (1971). Even with her distinctive brunette bouffant locks shorn into a cute pixie'sh haircut Ms. Fenech, in the Nancy Drew (in platform shoes) role, is the best thing in STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER. God knows she puts up with a lot in this movie. She manages to take a display of 70's male chauvinism of the worst type on the chin when her beau (she gets it together with the hunky Carlo by, ahem, polishing his lens in the darkroom) grabs her by the throat when she says something he doesn't like: he's the hero, but, hey this *is* the 70's! Worse is yet to come with the film's climax when, er, she's very nearly taken roughly from behind (a jaw-dropping denouement if ever I saw one!).

As I said before, STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER does exactly what it says on the tin: everyone gets nude for the killer, even the portly Maurizo gets down to his voluminous underpants before he meets the reaper. So, I guess there's some kind of warped equality it Bianchi's trashy tale. It's certainly not as 'out there' as, say, Mario Landi's pantheon of ultra sleaze GIALLO A VENEZIA (1979), Bianchi's film is, however, almost like a CARRY ON DEBAUCHERY. Apart from Edwige's lucky escape, it even ends on a suitably depraved note.

[Incidentally, this is one of the titles Blue Underground announced as being part of their upcoming Giallo Box set Part 2, which is due for release next year, I believe.]


9   bodycount!   female:5 / male:4

       1) Female dies of heart attack
       2) Male stabbed and heart cut out
       3) Male stabbed and mutilated with knife
       4) Female stabbed to death with knife
       5) Male stabbed to death with knife
       6) Female stabbed to death with knife
       7) Male stabbed to death with knife
       8) Female stabbed to death with knife
       9) Female falls down steps to her death