Andrea Bianchi, 1975
Starring: Solvi Stubing, Nino Castelnuovo, Edwige Fenech
After a young model dies during an illegal abortion, a murderer closes in on the Albatross Modeling Agency and begins picking off models and photographers alike. Carlo and his girlfriend Magda, both agency photographers, try to track down the killer before they become victims themselves. Unfortunately they have to contend with a number of suspicious personalities, including the predatory owner, her lascivious though impotent husband, and backstabbing models — plus it seems that everyone at the agency is having a secret affair. And every time they seem to hone in on a suspect, he or she is immediately killed.
Andrea Bianchi’s Strip Nude for Your Killer is an overtly sadistic, almost hilariously misogynistic example of a late period giallo film. While critics are generally divided on it, I find it to be a lot of fun. The film doesn’t do much to hide the identity of its killer — though I won’t give it away here — and a murderer disguised by motorcycle attire was also used in What Have They Done to Your Daughters? Strip Nude for Your Killer actually bears a few things in common with director Massimo Dallamano’s schoolgirl trilogy (What Have You Done to Solange?, What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, and Rings of Fear) in the sense that an abortion plays a central role (like Solange) and perverse sexuality oozes throughout the film.
The film’s incredibly sleazy characters include Patrizia, the agency owner, who is married to the pudgy, useless Maurizio for reasons never explained by the script. Both husband and wife aggressively pursue the same models, though Patrizia is more often successful and seems to have her pick of the newer models. The pathetic Maurizio attempts to seduce, cajole, buy off, and then rape a model who he manages to get alone. When she finally consents, mid-rape, he is unable to perform and either can’t sustain an erection or suffers from premature ejaculation. Soon after, he is dispatched by the killer while romancing a blow up doll.
And Carlo, the film’s hero — if he can be called that — is the biggest lout of them all. He brings new models into the business by seducing beautiful women, though he has a relationship with another photographer, Madga (the beautiful Edwige Fenech with uncharacteristically short hair). Carlo’s idea of a job interview is sex with a prospective model, and SPOILER, he is perhaps ironically the one responsible for the dead model’s pregnancy and subsequently lethal abortion. Amazingly, the film ends with Carlo and Magda in bed, speculating on the killer’s motives. In less than 30 seconds, he suggests an incestuous relationship between two of the other characters and then informs Magda that as birth control, they should engage in anal sex — the implied beginning of which closes the film.
The plot of Strip Nude for Your Killer is flimsy at best — it almost doesn’t matter what the murderer’s motivation is — and this is another rare case of a luridly titled giallo that delivers on its promises. There is a lot of nudity from both male and female characters, as well as plenty of depravity — almost so much so that the film borders on the farcical or comical at times. The male and female characters are shown on relatively equal terms, as exploited and exploiters, and the film’s sadism can be seen as a link from giallo films to the slasher that would emerge a few years later with Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980). The murders are set up in somewhat of a stalk and slash fashion. Though there aren’t a lot of suspenseful chase sequences, the killer always manages to appear in pre- and post-coital moments when characters are nude or scantily clad.
Director Andrea Bianchi, writer Massimo Felisatti, and cinematographer Franco Delli Colli worked together several times over the years. Bianchi’s greatest film, and certainly is most well known, is the incredible Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981), while Delli Colli is known for everything from The Last Man on the Earth to Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot!, What Have They Done to Your Daughters?, Macabre, Rats: Night of Terror, Ghosthouse, and more. Felisatti penned a handful of giallo films including The Weekend Murders and The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave. He allegedly didn’t want to be directly associated with Strip Nude for Your Killer and initial credit went directly to Bianchi.
Strip Nude for Your Killer is likely to offend some more PC film fans, but I found it to be incredibly fun — though admittedly I prefer my giallo films on the sleazy side. Amazingly, it was released on a very affordable Blu-ray from Blue Underground. It comes recommended, though probably not to giallo beginners. Fans of Edwige Fenech will definitely want to check this out; despite her demure bob and her character’s somewhat innocent personality, she spends much of her screen time scantily clad or in flagrante delicto.