Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hatchet for the Honeymoon - 1969|
Actors: Stephen Forsyth, Dagmar Lassander, Laura Betti, Jesús Puente, Femi Benussi
Director: Mario Bava
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Italian horror master Mario Bava's most personal film. John Harrington and his wife Mildred run an exclusive Paris fashion salon devoted to wedding apparel for women. Unknown to all but himself, John has embarked on a spre... more »
Middling Bava is still impressive
Garry Messick | Boynton Beach, FL USA | 09/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A unique blend of giallo and ghost story/tale of madness, Hatchet for the Honeymoon is quite an entertaining trifle. The plotting is careless, what with the police inspector showing up at just the right moment at least three times too many, but Mario Bava's many visual and editing flourishes are so clever they're downright witty. I particularly like the way the psycho, John Herrington, literally puts his wife at a distance by looking at her through the wrong end of his binoculars while she harangues him. Also wonderful is a transition where the camera pans across a line of mannequin heads that seem to float against the black background of a darkened room. The camera stops at the final head, which we realize with a start is Herrington, and we hear a woman's voice speaking. There's a momentary sense of dizzying disorientation before the camera suddenly continues its pan and we see the woman speaking and realize that we're in a different scene now. There's also a bit worthy of Hitchcock at his best involving a single drop of blood poised to drop from a dead woman's hand that threatens to expose Herrington while he's being questioned by the police. The picture and sound quality of the DVD is not in the same league as other movies in the Bava Collection such as Black Sunday or Black Sabbath, but it's safe to assume that Image did the best they could with the best source material they could find. Overall, perhaps not among Bava's very best films, but still more than worthwhile for those who appreciate imaginative, well-crafted filmmaking."
Great movie but very poor picture and terrible sound!
black_womens_network | Scottsdale, AZ United States | 02/07/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As always, my review is based on the QUALITY of the DVD.I appreciate Image Entertainment giving us the opportunity to view "Hatchet for the Honeymoon" and another work of Mario Bava to observe. It is remarkable that we have this new entertainment medium and that we can enjoy these films from so long ago. But -- this DVD is the worst one that I own. The picture is lousy and the sound is awful. You get the 1.66:1 screen ratio, but that wouldn't be so bad if the picture was CLEAR. I'm not sure if this was released prematurely. Just take into consideration my review of picture + sound to make your decision if you really want to buy this. In addition, it comes in a snap-case although there are some notes within.Volume is at an all-time low. I had to crank up my speaker and software volume to the maximum and still had trouble hearing the dialogue. You could not possibly eat potato chips and listen to this at the same time!The movie itself is pretty good, perhaps worthy of three stars. Some good points: a nice, recurring love/fantasy theme music or melody. Perhaps the love theme is derived from the bridal costumes and weddings. Parts of the movie are quite haunting. There are no luscious beauties here at all found in other Bava films; the women are rather plain with the exception of what appears to be one beautiful, tall Black woman walking by (quick) and an extremely nice, long pair of legs close-up.While the theme music is pleasant, there are nauseating guitar sequences during action shots. Horror buffs and people who crave gore will not find either in this movie. Own this only if you are serious about building a Mario Bava collection (I am)."
Probably the best this movie will ever look
Charles Read | Devon, England | 08/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bava's intriguing and original twist on the Italian giallo (a genre he had pretty much invented with Evil Eye and Blood and Black Lace) with an empathic view towards the killer (who is never hidden like in other thrillers but revealled right at the start). However, this is not a harrowing portrait of perversity like Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer or even Psycho. Bava's colourful compositions and beautiful cinematography give the proceedings a decidedly playful appeal - and his surreal flashbacks whenever the killer strikes avoids the use of on-screen gore. His use of voice-overs in the opening is inspired, as our 'hero' ponders his madness, what drives him to kill, etc. All this is delivered with a suitible ironic european flavour that non-Bava fans may be rather baffled by.It's a shame that 'Hatchet' didn't receive the sort of dvd treatment 'Black Sunday' or 'Lisa & the Devil' got from Image, but it's a solid addition to any collection of Bava's work or fans of early Italian horror. The image quality looks reasonable enough, but the sound quality is rather distracting, although perfectly audible. Of course there aren't any extras."
AGED AND FADED
Anton Ilinski | Moscow, Russia | 10/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Hatchet for the Honeymoon" tells a story of a mentally-disturbed young man working in fashion business who's obsessed with mannequins in wedding dresses. He's a paranoid as he admits himself in the beginning of the movie and has rather strange relationship (so to say) with women in general and with his pissed-off wife.
Although we may call "Hatchet..." one of the first maniac movies because there were few pictures at that time to explore the mind of a serial killer, this film also tries to be what it's not. It tries to be a slasher, a detective-story, all-in-one. Hence it gets too puzzle-headed to my opinion.
I wouldn't call it a bad movie, it was rather fresh and innovative for its time but now it just looks a little faded. More to it Mario Bava had much better pictures - "Blood and Black Lace" for example. So if you're a big fan of Bava or giallo in general don't hesitate to buy it. If you're not, I'm afraid you will be a bit disappointed."