Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Strip Nude For Your Killer

1975
Dir. Andrea Bianchi

When a fashion model dies during a botched abortion, a slew of violent murders ensue, starting with that of the doctor who tried to cover up her death. The killer’s victims are all connected to a fashion modelling agency where the dead girl worked. As the body count rises, a couple of scantily clad, nay, buck naked amateur sleuths try to discover the killer’s identity before they too are struck off.

I feel too hot to be a corpse, baby.”

To describe Strip Nude For Your Killer as trashy and exploitative would really be a fantastically obvious understatement. Hey, with a title like that, one should really know what to expect. Of course, there are those films with truly exploitative, titillating titles that can never hope to live up to the lurid promise their monikers suggest – Strip Nude is not one of those films. It does exactly what it says on the tin. The pleasantly surprising thing is that the film is actually very enjoyable, in a trashy, exploitative and deliriously kitsch way. Scenes boasting naked women having sex, naked women parading around gloriously decorated houses in nothing but stilettos and naked women flouncing around in tacky photo shoots are intercut with scenes of naked women being stabbed to death by a mysterious assailant in black leather biking gear, a black motorcycle helmet and a glinting switchblade. The bloody climaxes of these scenes are usually reached after said naked women have undressed and are followed around by Bianchi’s pervy camera before said leather biking gear clad killer jumps into frame and hacks at them with said glinting switchblade. Tension is as absent as clothes, though Bianchi does generate mild suspense in several scenes.



All this might sound like misogynistic drivel (it kind of is!), but the male characters in Strip Nude are often just as scantily clad (distressingly short shorts) and don’t fare any better when confronted by the deranged murderer. There’s even a (probably unintentional) subversion of convention in the scene where an overweight guy in briefs is stalked around his home by the killer, before being set upon as he attempts to inflate a rubber doll. Almost everyone featured in the film seemingly suffers from Vestiphobia (fear of clothing), for as soon as they enter a scene, it isn’t long before they loose their clothes.

Did I ever tell you, you look terrible with clothes on?

Director Bianchi strips *ahem* the giallo formula right back to basics so it exhibits only the barest bones of the most rudimentary story to connect all the scenes of wonderfully exploitative sex, violence and murder. This film boasts even less of a plot than the likes of Sergio Martino’s fabulously minimalist Torso; which at least had the decency to build to a genuinely suspenseful denouement. Strip Nude really only ends up being a tightly wound exercise in slashed suspenders and stockings. Even the murder mystery – which kind of has to feature somewhere in order to justify bumping off all the naked ladies - is as basic as they come. Of course this doesn’t detract from the fun to be had when watching such unadulterated trash.



With the setting of a fashion model agency as the backdrop for a series of graphic murders involving beautiful models in various states of undress, it is impossible not to draw comparisons with Mario Bava’s rapturously violent and chic Blood and Black Lace. While both films are undeniably stylish and boast a bevy of scantily clad belles being pursued and cut up by a masked marauder decked out in black leather, that’s really where the similarities end. Well, that and the fact that both are Italian. Strip Nude For Your Killer lacks the class and mystery of Bava’s giallo, essentially coming across as the younger, more slutty sister of Blood and Black Lace. But hey, younger, sluttier sisters can often be so much more fun than their older, classier siblings. *stops before this already dodgy analogy gets any worse* In other words, it is kind of a lower brow/poverty row Blood and Black Lace with extra sex, sleaze, perversion and gore.

Aside from gloriously unabashed exploitation and priceless trashy entertainment value, the film also features the added bonus of starring giallo stalwart Edwich Fenech, in all her elfish, Audrey Hepburnesque sultriness. It also boasts a lush, irresistibly funky score courtesy of Berto Pisano, complete with breathlessly seductive vocals by Ennio Morricone collaborator Edda Dell'Orso.



If murder, blackmail, models, lingerie, fur coats, suspenders, camp humour, mascara and leather clad killers with slick switchblades menacing skimpily clad buxom girls are your bag, then you’ve struck exploitation gold with Strip Nude For Your Killer! A smattering of titillating, sleazy sex scenes punctuated with tightly constructed murder sequences, all carried off with luridly stylish aplomb.

Strip Nude For Your Killer is available from Shameless Screen Entertainment. Check out the trailer here.

6 comments:

Shaun [The Celluloid Highway] said...

This is incompetent garbage! - I'm surprised you got any enjoyment out of it James. It is easily one of the most repugnant of gialli. There isn't a single likeable aspect to it. Although it excels at sleaze, sexploitation and campness it singularly lacks suspense and the sort of distinictive visual and aural style of even second string gialli. I'm doing a giallo month at my blog the whole of January...I hope you take a peek.

James said...

Oh, I'm under no illusion about this film's quality (or lack of!), Shaun. I didn't say it was good - I just said I liked it. In a trashy, guilty, mildly sozzled kind of way.
I shall indeed check out your giallo month! Best wishes for you and The Celluloid Highway in 2011. :o)

Shaun [The Celluloid Highway] said...

Mind you it is the only film I can think of which ends with the 'hero' threatening to sodomise the 'heroine' so thats something! - best wishes to you as well buddy. I'm sure Behind the Couch will continue to grow...I hope you hoover behind there from time to time though :-)

James said...

Ha! True. There were some VERY dodgy moments, and more inappropriate humour than necessary. The bit with the blow up doll was a particular non-highlight.

I sure do vacuum behind the couch! I listen to the theme from MurderRock when I do. "Eins, zwei, drei, vier, f├╝nf, sechs, sieben, acht... Are the streets to blame!?" ;o)

Trick or Treat Pete said...

I just gave you the You Make Me Scream!! award
http://trickortreatpete.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-received-you-make-me-scream-award.html
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

James said...

Thank you so much!! I'm honoured! :o)