Strip Nude For Your Killer
Dir. Andrea Bianchi
When a fashion model dies during surgery to perform an 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 woman worked. As the body count rises, a couple of scantily clad 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 surprising thing is that the film is actually very enjoyable, in a trashy, campy, exploitative and deliriously kitsch way. 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. Scenes featuring vestiphobic women having sex, parading around gloriously decorated houses in nothing but stilettos and flouncing around in tacky photo shoots are intercut with scenes of vestiphobic women being murderlised 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 characters 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 (well, it kind of is!), but the male characters in Strip Nude are just as vestiphobic (when not in 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 a man in briefs is stalked around his home by the killer, before being set upon as he attempts to inflate a rubber doll.
“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 people - 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 characters 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 its younger, less sophisticated sibling. 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 glory. 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 models 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.