THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH Scream queen, Edwige Fenech, (ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS) stars in this violent masterpiece, the first giallo film directed by Sergio Martino (CASE OF THE SCOR... more »PION TAIL, TORSO). Fenech portrays Julie Wardh; a restless woman embroiled in a horrifying mystery that threatens to drive her to the brink of madness...or worse. Which of the men in her life is the vicious serial killer and will Julie become his next victim? Erotic, stylish and at times excessive, THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH remains one of the most celebrated and influential giallo of all time and has been high on the list of most wanted DVDs by collectors and passionate fans of the genre. Written by acclaimed screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi (THE 10th VICTIM, TORSO), this intricate thriller also stars giallo regulars George Hilton (THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH, THE KILLER MUST STRIKE AGAIN), and Ivan Rassimov (Mario Bava's SHOCK, EATEN ALIVE). The haunting and mesmerizing sound track by Nora Orlandi (KILL BILL: VOL. 2, DVDManiacs.net
Is a must-see for EuroCult enthusiasts. A superb giallo gets a superb release from NoShame. BoxOffice.com
Collector Rating: WORTH FULL PRICE DVDTalk.com NoShame Films release of The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh is a must own.« less
"If like me you are in love with Edwige Fenech this movie is a must have. I love the soundtrack and surreal S&M imagery which Sergio Martino peppers his film with. Like a beautiful dream, hypnotic, sensual lust pumped up massively by the melodious melancholic score, one of my favorites. NoShame films have given the viewer a magnificent uncut transfer which looks stunning plus extensive special features. A highly impressive dvd in the same league as the best releases from masters Anchor Bay and Blue Underground. I for one will be keeping an eye open for future releases from these bright new dvd stars. 10 / 10 "
Worth a look
Mr. Daniel P. J. O'brien | Southampton, Hampshire United Kingdom | 07/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A solid, well-crafted giallo that delivers the goods without achieving 'classic' status. Despite the title - and the opening quote from Freud - the film has minimal interest in character psychology. In fact, Mrs Wardh's vice is little more than a plot device, though the weirdly-scored slow-motion flashbacks are certainly memorable. The characters are interesting without being in any way sympathetic. The men are manipulative predators and the women play dangerous games. In the last act, the sado-masochistic undercurrents make way for a series of plot twists. While these are not too predictable, the final 'solution' is unremarkable. Sergio Martino stages some impressive set-pieces, aided by editor Eugenio Alabiso, whose credits include FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. While Martino lacks the artistry of Bava or Argento, he certainly knows how to make a movie."
A Terrifc Giallo
The Magician | New York, NY | 07/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This stylish Italian murder mystery (giallo) from 1970 is surprisingly good. As a whole it doesn't surpass the mastery of an Argento or Bava film but it comes close. In fact, the stalking in the Vienna park in STRANGE VICE predates a similar sequence in Argento's FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET by two years and is quite scarier. There are some stunning images, a beautiful score, smatterings of nudity and gore and a crazy plot that actually caught me off-guard and had me guessing to the end. Edwige Fenech is excellent as Mrs. Wardh although the script should have indulged us with more of her vices and a psychological reasoning behind them. Those quibbles aside, this is a giallo that stands heads above others such as the ludicrous CRIMES OF THE BLACK CAT or SEVEN BLOOD-STAINED ORCHIDS."
La bellisima Signora Wardh
Dave99 | Brooklyn, New York | 11/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A number of years ago, I joined with some film buff co-workers to put together a list of the most beautiful women to have ever graced the cinema screen. While I no longer have the list, I can still remember some of those names - Sophia Loren, Gene Tierney, Julie Christie, Merle Oberon, Vivien Leigh, Lana Turner and so on. However, I have since realized that there is one name woefully absent that I didn't know of back then and had never even heard of until a few short weeks ago. The name? Edwige Fenech - and it was to see her that I chose to watch "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh."
Besides being new to Ms. Fenech, I was also new to the genre of giallo. I've enjoyed B-movies in the past - particularly the Hammer films from Britain - but I was unfamiliar with such Italian films, and I think "Mrs. Wardh" was a great introduction. A serial killer is going around slashing beautiful young women to death in Vienna, where Julie Wardh and her absentee husband have just arrived to live. Before long she's involved with her friend's cousin Goerge, and then the killer's after her. Is she a random victim or is the killer a former lover who's been threatening her?
Director Sergio Martino does a great job bringing together all of these elements into a suspenseful package, beautifully filming it on location in Vienna and in Spain. (One of the major scenes was filmed on the grounds of Schoenbrunn Palace.) Ernesto Gastaldi provided a script with some nice twists and turns, and Nora Orlandi's beautiful score with a wordless chorus is among the most beautiful and haunting that I've ever heard.
As for Edwige Fenech - well, what can I say that hasn't already been said? This woman is a knockout (and cute, too!). Not only should she be on that list I wrote about, but she should be toward the top of it! I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of her work. It's a shame that she never rose out of doing genre films so more of the world could get to know her. (On the other hand, if she did she'd probably have done fewer genre films with their "revealing" tendencies...LOL) I think she did a good job here, as did the rest of the cast, notably George Hilton as her new lover and Ivan Rassimov being especially creepy as the old one, Jean.
The image is presented in a widescreen 2.35:1 ratio, enhanced for widescreen sets, and the picture looks great. Who'd have imagined that a foreign genre film from the 1970s could look this good? Italian and English soundtracks are provided - I chose the Italian to get the proper feel of the film, though a few times I had to go back as the subtitles went by too fast. (The other drawback was that I spent a lot of time reading the subtitles instead of looking at Edwige's face, so I think I'll have to watch it again in English!)
No Shame Films has also included a quite interesting documentary about the films, featuring Sergio Martino (director), Luciano Martino (producer), Ernesto Gastaldi (writer) plus George Hilton and Edwige Fenech. As some other writers have noted, Edwige still looks great and seems to enjoy talking about the old days. My other favorite here is Gastaldi, who is just having a ball during his interview. You look at these people now and they are all middle aged, but as Edwige notes, they were all basically kids when they made these films. There's also a clip of director Martino at the Venice Film Festival, the film's original trailer and a gallery of posters and stills. As with No Shame releases, an informative 8-page booklet is included.
In short, "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" is a solid thriller and (as far as I can tell) a very good introduction to the films of Edwige Fenech and Sergio Martino, as well as for gialli in general. I hope No Shame Films will continue to release them - I'm glad that they'll be releasing a couple of Edwige's Italian sex comedies next week. And please - how about somebody out there making good DVD releases of some of those German films Edwige made before moving to Italy???"
So Many Lovers, So Many Killers
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 06/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" is Sergio Martino's first giallo and certainly one of his finest, if not the best. Julie Ward (Edwige Fenech) has three men in her life: 1) her neglectful husband, Neil, (Alberto De Mendoza) (2) her perverted, ex-lover Jean (Ivan Rassimov), and 3) her best friend's wealthy cousin, George (George Hilton). Could one of them be the maniac killer who is slashing lovely throats throughout Vienna? And could one of them be trying to kill her or drive her insane?
Excellent performances are given by giallo regulars Fenech (Sergio Martino's "Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key"), Hilton (Sergio Martino's "The Case of the Black Scorpion"), Rassimov (Umberto Lenzi's "Spasmo"), and De Mendoza (Lucio Fulci's "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin"). "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" is on a par with any giallo directed by Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, or Umberto Lenzi. It reminds me much of Argento's "Tenebre." It also reminded me of a classic film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I won't tell you which one because I don't want to give away the plot. Let it suffice to say that people aren't who they appear to be in "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh." This classic giallo has a great musical score from Nora Orlandi; it also has scheming, slimy characters, gruesome murders, numerous plot twists, red herrings, and an unforgettable, shocking finale that will make you think twice about trusting anyone who says they love you.
It's sad to see "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" go out of print. NoShame did an excellent job of restoring and presenting it on DVD. It has a great package of extras including interviews with Sergio Martino and Edwige Fenech, a theatrical trailer, and liner notes in a collectible booklet. I hope that Anchor Bay or Blue Underground will have the good sense to re-release this classic thriller. All fans of Italian gialli should have this one in their collection. After watching it, "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" will be hard to forget. "