Release Date(s)1975 (March 19, 2019)
Studio(s)Fral Spa/Fral Cinematografica/Surf Films (Arrow Video)
- Film/Program Grade: B
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: B+
- Extras Grade: B+
When it comes to giallo, there’s a wide gamut of titles that range in quality and authenticity, from the artfully-mounted to the down and dirty. Strip Nude for Your Killer (aka Nude per l’assassino) falls into the latter category. One of the sleaziest to come out of Italy (never receiving a release in the U.S. until the mid-2000s), its story of a group of models and photographers being bumped off one by one by an unknown assailant is one of the more tasteless yet enjoyable efforts from director Andrea Bianchi (Burial Ground).
Strip Nude for Your Killer is truly all over the map, quite often forgetting what it’s supposed to be about and going off on tangents with characters that are of little to no consequence. For example, a scene of attempted rape by a rather large man is followed by the intended victim eventually succumbing to him after feeling sorry for him, only to reveal that he is impotent and can only be aroused with the use of a blow-up doll, which he makes a beeline for as soon as she’s out the door. In other words, there’s nothing remotely politically correct about the film.
Muddying the waters even further is the lead protagonist (Nino Castelnuovo), who is so unlikable at times that you begin to wonder why we’re supposed to be rooting for him in the first place. By the time we reach the end of the film and he comes to the rescue to stop the killer before they can murder anyone else, we’re still on the fence about him. After all, how many films, horror related or otherwise, end with their heroes making a crude joke to their lovers by threatening to perform unwanted anal sex in order to avoid having children? I rest my case.
As the title implies, there’s also a tremendous amount of nudity on display, besting even the smuttiest of softcore films. Besides the always ravishing Edwige Fenech frequently losing her clothes, there’s also the gorgeous Femi Benussi, who in one scene walks around completely naked as a long steadicam shot follows her around while being stalked by the killer. Excessive doesn’t even begin to describe it. On the other hand, there’s not a heaping amount of gore during the murder scenes, save for a few choice moments, which are fairly few and far between.
With all of these criticisms, how could Strip Nude for Your Killer be anywhere near enjoyable? As always, the devil’s in the details. Whether it’s the mix of tones, the constant nudity, or the unmotivated character actions, it still manages to look good, sound good, and move swiftly. All of the flaws just make it that much more enjoyable a watch, one worth repeating. A blend of traditional giallo, American exploitation, and sex comedy, if offers, at the very least, a hodgepodge of entertaining sleaze, even if none of it blends together successfully.
Arrow Video’s presentation of Strip Nude for Your Killer features a transfer taken from a 2K restoration of the film’s original 2-perf Technicolor 35mm camera negative. Both the English and Italian language versions of the film are included, with the option of viewing the opening scene with or without a blue tint, which was available on certain versions of the film, but not all. As per usual with Arrow’s restorations, it’s dynamite. Grain is well-managed and the overall softness and clarity of the image is quite film-like with only minor scratches and speckling leftover, as well as a lack of compression issues. Detail is high at all times, even during some of the darker moments where there’s inherent crush on display. Blacks aren’t thoroughly deep, but they appear naturally dark, while the color palette offers a nice variety of strong hues without ever really popping. It’s also a stable presentation throughout, leaving little to no room for complaint.
The audio is presented in both English and Italian mono LPCM with optional subtitles in English for the Italian version and English SDH for the English version. Like all Italian films from this era, it was post-dubbed, and other than the differences in languages, there isn’t much of a sonic distinction between the two tracks. Sync is a little loose, as to be expected, but the dialogue is clear and precise. Sound effects offer occasional thrust, but others are a tad thin. The amazing blaxploitation-esque score, which is also all over the place in terms of tone, is probably the strongest aspect of both soundtracks, coming through with plenty of potency. Everything is also clean, lacking any instances of hiss, crackle, distortion, or dropouts.
There’s also an entertaining and informative extras package as well, including a new audio commentary with authors David Flint and Adrian J. Smith, which is an enjoyable listen as the two scholars discuss the film reverently while watching it; Sex & Death with a Smile, a new 23-minute video essay by author and critic Kat Ellinger about the giallo genre and Edwige Fenech’s career; A Good Man for the Murders, an archival 15-minute interview with actor Nino Castelnuovo; The Blonde Salamander, a new 19-minute interview with actress Erna Schurer; The Art of Helping, a new 44-minute interview with assistant director Daniele Sangiorgi; Jack of all Trades, a new 22-minute interview with actor and production manager Tino Polenghi; the film’s Italian and English theatrical trailers, both presented in HD; an image gallery featuring 16 images of posters, lobby cards, and on-set stills; and a 24-page insert booklet with cast and crew information, Strip Nude for Your Voyeur: Sex and Voyeurism in Andrea Bianchi’s Strip Nude for Your Killer by Rachael Nisbet, and presentation details. Not carried over from the Blue Underground DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film is Strip Nude for Your Giallo, a 12-minute interview with co-writer Massimo Felisatti and actress Solvi Stubing.
Needless to say, Arrow Video’s Blu-ray treatment of Strip Nude for Your Killer trumps all previous releases with an outstanding A/V presentation and quality extras. For giallo and exploitation fans, it’s definitely one worth picking up. Highly recommended!
– Tim Salmons