Giallo Madness is a recurring segment where Wicked Horror managing editor Tyler Doupe’ looks back on a noteworthy giallo from years past and makes a case for why it should be on your radar. The titles showcased in this feature will typically be lesser known but still deserving of your attention. In this installment, we will be revisiting Andrea Bianchi’s Strip Nude for Your Killer.
Strip Nude for Your Killer has everything you’d expect from a giallo and more: It is rife with shameless chauvinism, men in very European bathing suits, bouts of scenery chewing, excessive nudity, and random acts of fellatio. It may not be perfect but this flick is certainly not lacking in sleaze or bare skin.
After a surgical procedure goes terribly wrong, a string of victims are laid to rest by a crazed killer in a motorcycle helmet. Magda, an up-and-coming fashion photographer and her (sort of) boyfriend Carlo work to piece together a series of seemingly unrelated clues, hoping they will not be the killer’s next victims.
The film stars giallo queen Edwige Fenech (The Case of the Bloody Iris) as Magda, the photog. I will watch anything in which Fenech features and this is no exception. She adds a certain panache to the characters she plays. Often appearing in what otherwise might be two-dimensional roles, she consistently brings a likability and depth to the parts she plays. Magda is tough, sexually liberated, and perhaps the only relatable player in the entire film.
The fact that many of the characters are not particularly likable at best and downright reprehensible at worst isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, they are only there to take off their clothes and serve as cannon fodder.
The storyline of Strip Nude for Your Killer is fairly standard: Amateur sleuths set out to catch a maniac. But, what stands out about Massimo Felisatti’s screenplay is that it offers up some truly choice dialogue. Case in point: “Come on, Stefano. Please relax. You look like you’ve got a telephone pole up your a**.” It’s witty and bizarre exchanges such as this (and the constant use of unbridled sexuality) that make Strip Nude for Your Killer worth watching for the giallo enthusiast.
Felisatti also deserves credit for the fact that the reveal of the killer’s identity is fairly unexpected. On one hand, I wish that the character behind the motorcycle helmet had been developed just a bit more and given some additional screen time. But, part of what helped said character to fly under the radar was that they seemed to be little more than window dressing.
Another of the film’s strong suits is its use of hazy, dreamlike music to disarm the viewer. The late Berto Pisano’s score lends a surreal quality to the picture as it is frequently juxtaposed with violent and shocking imagery. Pisano’s jazzy musical accompaniment gives the audience a false sense of security right before the rug is pulled out from underneath them.
Also See: Giallo Madness: Death Walks at Midnight
Strip Nude for Your Killer is easily one of the sleaziest gialli of the ’70s. It’s essentially one big orgy strung together with a series of kill sequences. Strip Nude for the Camera might have been a more fitting title, as no one is ever clothed for very long. Nearly every character in the film (male and female) appears in some state of undress. Some of the characters feature as nude more than they do fully clothed. And that’s one of the reasons we’re still talking about Strip Nude for Your Killer more than forty years after its 1975 release. It’s all about excess: Excessive nudity, excessive violence, and excessive sleaze.
While Strip Nude for Your Killer may not be a must see for this average horror fan, this flick is well worth a look for the avid giallo aficionado. It pushed boundaries in 1975 and it’s still shocking by today’s much more permissive standards. Arrow Video recently released a stunning special edition Blu-ray of the film that’s chock full of features and boasts a glorious transfer of the flick.