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Strip Nude for Your Killer



The killer in question is a motorcyclist decked out head to toe in black leather, and whose identity is shrouded by a matching helmet. Although it's not spelled out until the end, we can assume he or she is taking revenge for the woman who dies of a massive coronary in the prologue sequence, while undergoing an abortion. (And, no, it ain’t Santorum.)

Our unconventional protagonists are modeling photographer Carlo (Nino Castelnuovo, The English Patient) who has a rather rapey way of "interviewing" his camera's subjects (most notably, Femi Benussi, who succumbs in a sauna), and fellow design studio worker Magda (Edwige Fenech, Hostel: Part II), who looks like an Italian version of Janine Turner. When so many around them fall victim to the murderer, they take it upon themselves to investigate.

As a fan of Italian killer-thrillers of this era, I knew exactly what I was getting into with Strip Nude, whereas others will be put off immediately by its pervading sense of sleaze. It's almost as if director Andrea Bianchi (Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, which is really something to see for zombie incompetence) and screenwriter Massimo Felisatti (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave) decided to put the sexual elements above the criminal ones.

I won't defend that approach, other to say that the movie is highly erotic without becoming pornographic. To put it another way, the ladies aren't shy, although the film has an interesting way of offering eye candy for the better half, showcasing a morbidly obese man with a hairy back jiggling around in his tightie-whities.

The final third grows increasingly dull, mitigated by Berto Pisano's funk-jazz score and a bizarro ending, in which — if I'm reading it correctly — Carlo jokes about putting something somewhere Magda's definitely not into, and the screen freezes on their laughter over his "prank."

As distracting as the female forms draping the picture are, Castelnuovo's dimwitted shutterbug really stands out, both for his icky, misogynist qualities and his charmingly stupid ones, like when he argues over coffee: "When you put milk in it, you get bigger molecules. That's physics!"

If you're into this sort of thing, snatch up Blue Underground's smooth-looking Blu-ray release. —Rod Lott

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