A psychotic bridal store owner must kill beautiful young brides-to-be in order to piece together the traumatic childhood event that drove him insane. Italian Master Mario Bava redefines the sub-genre that he helped to create in this black comedy. The black-gloved killer and red herrings that are typical of the Giallo do not appear in the film; instead, the killer introduces himself to the audience in the opening scene, and it is up to him to unravel the mystery behind his own madness. Unlike other Bava classics like BLOOD AND BLACK LACE or BAY OF BLOOD, HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON is virtually bloodless, with most of the murders occurring off-camera. Bava served as the Director of Photography on HATCHET as he had on most of his other films, which brings a certain style and finesse to the filming. Despite its polished look, however, the attempt to blend a ghost story in to the latter half of the film in order to capitalize on Laura Betti's casting as Harrington's overbearing wife often gets in the way of the plot. Stephen Forsyth does put forth a solid effort as the glassy-eyed killer, and while it may not be one of Bava's better films, it is still a stylish and entertaining effort.
If you liked HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON, check out:
BLOOD AND BLACK LACE, AMERICAN PSYCHO, HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE.