Hatchet for the Honeymoon

Watch Hatchet for the Honeymoon

"When you chop - Aim well! Don't slip! And just make sure - She doesn't drip!"
  • NR
  • 1970
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.4  (4,236)

Hatchet for the Honeymoon is a 1970 Italian-Spanish giallo film that occupies a unique place in the canon of horror-thriller cinema, notably for its stylistic blend of macabre humor and psychological dread. Directed and co-written by Italian maestro Mario Bava, renowned for his work in the horror genre and for pioneering the giallo style, the film stars Stephen Forsyth, Dagmar Lassander, and Laura Betti in lead roles and offers a chilling exploration of a disturbed psyche intertwined with a narrative of murder and madness.

The story centers on John Harrington (played by Stephen Forsyth), a handsome and suave young man with a deeply troubled mind. By day, Harrington is a successful businessman running a fashionable bridal design house. However, beneath his well-groomed exterior lies the heart of a cold-blooded killer. Harrington suffers from a compulsion to murder young women, but not just any women—his obsession is specific to brides. Each killing is carried out methodically with an ax, and he believes these gruesome acts are necessary steps toward uncovering a repressed childhood trauma.

Harrington's desperate attempts to recall the details of the past traumatic event that haunts him are portrayed with a blend of surrealism and suspense synonymous with Bava's directorial touch. The vivid and stylized use of color, lighting, and camera angles serves as a window into Harrington's deteriorating mental state while also enriching the film's hallucinatory atmosphere.

Dagmar Lassander plays the role of the seemingly unsuspecting model Mildred, who becomes a fixture in Harrington's bridal fashion world. Her performance strikes the balance between intrigue and innocence, gradually revealing layers of her character as the plot thickens. Her interactions with Harrington start to blur the lines of trust, creating a tense and engaging dynamic that drives the film’s psychological tension.

Laura Betti's role as Harrington's wife, Mildred, provides another crucial element to the narrative. As an overbearing and abrasive figure in Harrington's life, she exerts an oppressive presence that only complicates his already unbalanced mind. Betti portrays this character with a chilling intensity, and their on-screen relationship becomes a twisted dance of power, control, and derangement that contributes to the film's overarching sense of unease.

The film's setting in the fashion industry also serves as a peculiar and interesting backdrop. Bava uses the milieu of mannequins, mirrors, and wedding dresses to craft an allegorical canvas, illustrating Harrington's dual existence between the ostentatious glamor of high fashion and the grim reality of his murderous impulses. The contrast between the beautiful and the grotesque becomes a recurring theme, furthering the viewer's descent into the protagonist's fragmented reality.

As the story unfolds, the film weaves a complex psychological web, incorporating elements of mystery, slasher horror, and surreal fantasy. Harrington's psychosis is gradually unpacked, and the concept of the “unreliable narrator” comes heavily into play, leaving viewers questioning the validity of the information presented and the perceptions of reality depicted.

Hatchet for the Honeymoon is not just a straightforward slasher; it is an exploration of a psychotic break and the extent to which the human mind can go to protect itself from traumatic memories. Harrington's character serves as a case study in how guilt and trauma can manifest in violent outbursts, and his interactions with the other characters only serve to increase the creep factor and suspense.

In true giallo form, the movie also tantalizes its audience with a provocative stylistic flair for the dramatic. The score of the film, often discordant and haunting, underscores the escalating tension and foreboding atmosphere, while the fashion house location offers a distinctly 1970s European aesthetic. These elements combine to create a sensory experience that envelops the viewer in Harrington’s deteriorating grasp on reality.

Overall, Hatchet for the Honeymoon is a distinctive entry into the giallo genre, encompassing terror, tragedy, and an unsettling foray into the mind of a serial killer. Mario Bava's visionary direction ensures that the film is as much an aesthetic experience as it is a horror-thriller, and the performances from the cast, particularly Stephen Forsyth as Harrington, make for an enthralling narrative that keeps audiences intrigued while exploring the darker regions of the psyche. For fans of psychological thrillers, horror, and Italian giallo cinema, Hatchet for the Honeymoon stands out as an intriguing piece of cinematic artistry that remains influential in its creative storytelling and visual impact.

Hatchet for the Honeymoon is a 1970 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

Hatchet for the Honeymoon
Where to Watch Hatchet for the Honeymoon
Hatchet for the Honeymoon is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent Hatchet for the Honeymoon for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (4,236)