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Blue Underground presents
Strip Nude for Your Killer (Nude per l'assassino) (1975)

"Carlo, the murderer could be anyone."
- Magda (Edwige Fenech)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: October 28, 2005

Stars: Edwige Fenech, Nino Castelnuovo, Femi Benussi
Other Stars: Solvi Stubing, Amanda, Francis Diogene, Lucio Como, Erna Schurer
Director: Andrea Bianchi

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, gore, mutilation, nudity, sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:37m:53s
Release Date: October 25, 2005
UPC: 827058106795
Genre: suspense thriller


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C+A-B C-

DVD Review

There were a number of gialli whose lurid titles could never hope to live up to them: Atrocious Tales of Love and Death and Morbid Vices of a Housekeeper are among ones that come to mind. But they have nothing on the way-over-the-top titling of this racy thriller, helmed by Andrea Bianchi, best known for Burial Ground, one of the strangest zombie movies ever made. Strip Nude for Your Killer tries to live up to the nasty promises of its title, helped along by the always-sensuous Edwige Fenech, but ultimately falls rather short. Fans of sex and gore will still find it enjoyable enough.

After Evelyn dies in the midst of a bungled abortion, suddenly people at the Albatross Modeling Agency, where she worked, begin to be brutally murdered, slashed, stripped and then mutilated. Photographers Carlo Bianchi (Nino Castelnuovo) and Magda Cortis (Fenech) try to solve the mystery, with little help from models Lucia (Femi Benussi), Patrizia (Solva Stubing) and Doris (Erna Schuler), or the owners of the agency, Gisella Montani (Amanda) and Maurizio Montani (Franco Diogene). The police seem perplexed by this series of murders in which the killer, androgynously clad in black leathers and motorcycle helmet, insists on turning on the taps as part of the killing ritual.

As a mystery, the film is fairly lame. There are several red herrings that the script tries hard to promote as suspects, and they end up behaving suspiciously expressly so that they will make themselves suspicious rather than acting in any sort of realistic manner. The actual killer's identity feels practically arbitrary, arrived at through the process of elimination more than out of any real internal logic. And where Argento would provide a complex psychosexual background for the murderous goings-on, Bianchi isn't much interested in such psychology but prefers to get right to the sex and the violence.

On the positive side, for those who like that sort of thing, there's plenty of both. Hardly ten minutes goes by without some sexuality or nudity, often perverse or at least modestly kinky. Of course, that's not always a good thing, since one of the most appalling of those sequences involves the nude Maurizio Montani, the grossly obese husband of the lesbian head of the studio, who can only reach gratification with a blowup doll. Bianchi certainly has a twisted sense of humor about sexual matters, winding up the film with an obscene little joke that feels somewhat out of context in light of the prior proceedings. The gore is pretty well done, and there's plenty of it. Some of the earlier killings are fairly standard slashings and stabbings, but others have a vicious edge with mutilated genitals and worse hinted at. The copy from Blue Underground claims that this is the first time the uncut film has ever been available in America.

Fenech is appealing as always, though her character, like many of the women in this film, seems all too ready to put up with blatantly abusive behavior; while the gialli were frequently misogynistic, this picture is rather worse than usual in this respect. Castelnuovo is edgy as the supposed hero of the piece; he has an ugly streak that makes him at least slightly credible as a suspect, since he at least starts to strangle Fenech on a couple occasions. But his bad temper doesn't feel properly motivated, since it is there just to make him an obvious suspect. The fact that Bianchi gives his character his own surname tells us more about the director than one really wanted to know.

Although Bianchi is hardly renowned for artsy touches, there are a few present here. One notable effort is the use of subliminal shots of a frame or two to tie the action in with Evelyn's death. Another is the use of light and shadows to subtly shift the perspective of the 2.35:1 frame. It's nothing great, but there's at least some creativity at work here. One aspect that is entertaining is the score by Berto Pisano. Very much a relic of its time, it crosses Euro lounge music with an ersatz Isaac Hayes funk, with plenty of wucka-wucka in the background. And how can you resist that?

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The 'scope ratio transfer looks quite fine; certainly pan & scan would do injustice to the compositions. Color looks naturalistic (aside from the blue tints during the abortion sequence), with good black levels and reasonably good detail and texture. Areas of high contrast display ringing that's occasionally noticeable but on the whole it's not too annoying. Certainly it's head and shoulders above the dupey and cut bootlegs that have circulated of this movie.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The English language dub is quite clean, with only nominal hiss even at reference levels. The music sounds good although unsurprisingly it's missing any low bass information. There aren't any serious defects, though the omission of the Italian soundtrack does raise an eyebrow.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 00h:56m:06s

Extras Review: In addition to a lengthy anamorphic widescreen trailer, there's an interview with two of the principals in the film. Real-life model Solvi Stubing talks about her transition to film and her surprise in seeing the film, while Massimo Felisatti, author of the screenplay, tries to blame as much of the film on Bianchi as he can. It's an interesting exercise in disowning a project, but one really wishes that there had been more offered in support of the film.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Nudity and violence in ample doses help to make up for a weak story, and La Fenech certainly doesn't hurt. Blue Underground offers a nice transfer of the uncut film.

 


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