Tho most of my reviews do not, this review contains spoilers. Read on if you wish…
For the much ballyhooed ‘Women In Horror Month’, I wanted to review a movie in which a woman was the killer.There’s not that many that I can think of- May, Friday the 13th, Scream 2, American Mary, a few more (most of which have been covered extensively). Then there’s this little scoop of Eurotrash sleaze, which I hadn’t seen in ages, but re-watched for this review. For some reason, I remember it being much better than it actually is.
Nude Per L’assassino (aka Strip Nude For Your Killer) is a color by numbers Italian Giallo that has a story full of great potential, but ultimately is directed and acted in such a bland way that it’s pretty damn underwhelming.
It starts out with an abortion that goes wrong, causing the young lady to have a heart attack. The doctor and another man cover up the incident, but before too long the doctor is murdered by a black leather outfit and motorcycle helmet wearing killer.
It turns out that the girl who died during the abortion worked as a model at a modeling agency, and the cyclist begins killing off all the other people who worked with her.
In classic Giallo fashion, the killer is not revealed until the end, and most of the victims are bloodily stabbed to death with a switchblade (tho this movie has way more nudity than gore). There are many cheesy sex scenes and a lot of full frontal nudity, but overall it’s a pretty tepid affair. The direction is lackluster and without much style or atmosphere (tho the director does like to film people in mirrors a lot). There is an attempt at building suspense in places, but it seems like the director is just going through the motions (there’s even one scene where it’s supposed to be intense and suspenseful but they play the goofy Euro-softcore sex music (heard in many ’70s Italian sex movies) over a good portion of it, which kind of ruins the mood they were going for).
The sad part is that the story is pretty decent, and it could have been a good movie. Too bad it’s thrown together without much style, logic, or passion. The dubbing is dubious at best, the dialogue is bad (sometimes humorously so), and there are way more men with giant mustaches lounging around in their underpants than I like to see in one setting. Also, no one is made to strip nude for the killer.
Worst of all is the characterization- most of the male characters are beyond unlikable- repulsive would be a better word (the “hero” of the film is an overbearing, womanizing creep who likes to choke women for no reason. He’s also the catalyst for the movie). The female characters get off a little better, but they’re mostly there to show some skin and get stabbed.
Director Andrea Bianchi went on to direct the slow moving but pretty awesome zombie film Burial Ground (aka Burial Ground- The Nights of Terror, 1981), which was much better (but like Strip Nude For Your Killer, it was a lot better to my memory than it was when I watched it last).
If you’re interested in Giallos, there are many films that are much better (I’d start with Fulci’s New York Ripper (my fav), then move on to more challenging fare like some of Argento’s films) , but this one is like an abridged book on cd version of the genre. It follows all the rules but leaves out the style, passion, and talent. Too bad. It does fit in with Women In Horror month tho, because not only does it have a female killer (who mutilates male sexual organs), it’s also one of the only Giallos to have about as many men killed in it as women (which makes it positively feminist, for such a misogynistic genre as Giallos are). Take that patriarchy!