Mario Bava has never landed a real hit in his time, but is popular with horror fans and continues to grow a fanbase. How many Bava films is also similar to "Hatchet for the Honeymoon", they were always marketed as B movies and never got the respect they deserved . However - and this is also the case with Bava - it's excellent. As you can see in this film the C-class actors that act as natural figures of the theatre, to the end because you occasionally shakes your head at one or the other script-turn with the acting, but you enjoy them because the pictures always have great atmosphere. If you are looking for splatter effects, however this is misplaced, because the murderous actions of the protagonist only lead to something (extremely bright red) fake blood stains on the white wedding dresses of the murdered women.
Bava's cinema lives of the optics. Camera settings, play of color, illumination and shadow paintings tell sometimes more than the actual film selbt. As with Dario Argento, the one may call a student Bava in many ways, we are here with the search for meaning on plot plane and high expectations of the consistency of play action misplaced. Hardly any Bava makes it as clear as HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON.
It's about John Harrington, the an unusual fetish makes a murderer: Fragments of memories, which he can not read, drive him to brutal murders with the cleaver to women in wedding dress's. With each murder, the puzzle deciphers more. His own marriage is on the rocks, his fashion house for bridal attire is rather poor, but the wealth of his wife leaves him after all lead a luxurious life. The police are already on the heels of him, the investigating commissioner is already long since come into his life.
The film is surprisingly bloodless and in comparison to his other efforts . A year later Bava would bring us his goriest, BAY OF BLOOD, so in a way this film successfully shows that Bava could make a strong thriller without the use of gore. Criminological aspects of the plot are of interest for Bava: The murderer is from the outset whether he will be caught or not, could hardly care less. Not the "what" of action is decisive, but the "how": And here unfolds a fireworks display of subtle visual ideas and experiments of light, image design, equipment and ultimately - in fact! - Also from the great performances of the B-Cast a highly artificial poem fashionable, old-European backdrop present. But just issue may be Bava newcomers HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON can be an introduction to the wonderful world of of Mario Bava so on that note it is recommended: Only with some sense of the concept for the film as it unfolds, this film is to sum up, a great little and creepy thriller, not Bavas greatest film, but saying that he never made a bad film. Check it out if you like your Italian horror and a taste of the macabre.
Bava's film is presented glorious HD, make note this is the only Blu-Ray release of it in the world. Shock presents to us a world first exclusive for Australians, making it a very special release. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and for a film from 1970 it looks incredible. The colours are extremely rich and vibrant, adding to atmosphere. The night scenes on the moors are a rich blue, and stun ning green lighting in the film really does stand out. There is extreme clarity and detail in the print, looking closely you will be able to see detail in the sets and characters clothing. The lighting effects are particully clear indoors and add clarity to certain scenes, this is as close as to how it looked theatrically. There is no print damage, it appears they sourced from the best master available, there are minor specs here and there but it is natural specs. The film has a thick natural layer of grain over it, this grain is obviously from the original negative. This blu ray matches all the other cinema Cult Blu ray's as they have had terrific restorations and care done to them one by one.
Overall we have a great audio mix presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 it is the films original mono soundtrack.. It sounds great with dialogue coming off crisp. The musical score has intense moments and the orchestral sounds really do stand out.
Starry Eyes which the fine line between art and Perversion- delicate and perfect moves - convinced as unique malicious movie experience trains consisting of a Cronenberg, Fincher together in conjunction with the shallow allusions of "Mullholand Drive" ..... in dark, mild to severe and sometimes disturbing turn seductive-looking images, is the audience in a sense Optics & noise - as well as the great main character Sarah, which is terrific embodied by the (actually quite) unknown Alex Essoe. She is stuck in a dead end job, accomplishing nothing in life. Her real dream is to become an actress, however she appears to have a lot of issues and self confident issues with herself, even going to point where she finds herself pulling out her hair. She appears to be stuck in a state of depression because her life is going no where, she also suffers from extreme anxiety; which sounds like nearly every female in their early to mid 20's now days.
We take as a spectator not only the role as a Sarah who takes delight in the decay and the torture and the figure on the couch at home feels safe - No! We are a victim of it and may by the opulent imagery, the depressing realism, the extreme but occurring only in the finale to pile escalation of violence and the evil atmosphere .... sympathize everything even painful. The film becomes very difficult to watch as we slowly begin to watch Sarah's change into a 'star'. So what is this film trying to say, it looks like the Hollywood system is pure evil and the only way to become famous will require extreme measures. She is willing to give her body to this evil and surrender herself. It becomes apparent to her that her friends are only holding her back in life. I won't spoil it but if you like gore, the last 30 minutes is complete blood and guts. Now not in the fun popcorn Peter Jackson style, but a surreal dark and sick way.
The soundtrack which some lovely classic and the context is extremely disturbing again - contributes a lot to the overall unique atmosphere. Similarly, the real part, but a little self-purposive force moments can end up a real turn the stomach around! - Starry Eyes is a magnificent trip through a sick world of manipulation of the occult and the fragility! Imagine if David Lynch directed a splatter gore fest and you get this film. - A great movie - which, although in the end some questions leaves - but I think just so special and just is disturbingly entertaining.
Monster pictures presentation looks very nice, presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Shot digitally, the film has a great level of clarity with detail really popping in the image. The film also has very vibrant colours and they are rich thought. Consistent black level are also present, even in the screen grab above you can see there are no signs of digital grain, a common issue with films shot in this digital format. The movie is extremely colourful with blue neon Hughes popping out to us the viewers. It does look soft in certain parts, presumably intentional.
You actually get a tonne of extras on this blu ray; interestingly enough Monster don't advertise these extras on their site, so you wouldn't even know they are there.