It is hard not to appreciate the fanciful naming convention of giallos. There just are not movie titles like Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key anymore. As creative as the titles may be, they rarely have a deeper meaning. Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion is about exactly what the title says. Unfortunately, Strip Nude for Your Killer offers about as much as the title suggests.
Directed by Andrea Bianchi (whose credits include Cry of a Prostitute and The Erotic Dreams of a Lady), Strip Nude is about a rash of murders. The victims are photographers and models that work at the same agency.
The plot is as formulaic as it gets. The killings are centered around beautiful women. There is a mysterious killer and a new couple tries to solve the crimes. The one thing the giallo does different is save a few moments early on, there is no use of the lurid colors that make the genre so identifiable.
Strip Nude lives up to its title almost immediately. Within seconds is the first of many full frontal nude scenes. This is the movie’s first problem. Giallo are known for their carefree use of sex. The best of them tease the audience without ever really showing much, but even the worst try to seamlessly work in nudity. The genre is more about the illusion of sexual depravity.
Bianchi’s is all about titillation. Strip Nude is filled with nudity. This should not come as shock considering the title, but many of the moments are forced. The movie rarely goes more than ten minutes without someone taking off their clothes. (Finding SFW pictures for an article has never been this difficult.) You know the plot is thin when the most important part of a key interrogation seems to be long and numerous panty shots of an oblivious model.
The most salacious shots are saved for the females, but the killer does not discriminate. Males also strip before meeting their end. There is an obvious correlation between Strip Nude and the slasher films of the 1980s. Though the kills are not as creative as they would become in the 80s, they are certainly gory. There is also an odd sound effect during that could easily pass as an early test for the iconic Jason Voorhees theme.
Strip Nude can also be surprisingly funny. While giallos do not hesitate to use women as little more than eye candy, they also tend to have female characters that hold their own with their male counterparts. There are little arguments about who the dominant sex is. The odd thing is, it is usually the male who comes out of these exchanges looking foolish. It is as if the movie is saying women are here more than just objects. (Of course, there are also the random lesbian scenes which serve no purpose aside from arousal, so there is an odd balance.)
The tone of Strip Nude is very odd. There is a mysterious killer lurking about and yet there is no tension. There is plenty of nudity but the film is devoid of any sex appeal. At times, the dialogue will illicit a genuine laugh, but then there is a long drawn out scene involving a man who cannot get an erection and a blow up doll that ends in murder. This is also a moment involving anal rape that is played entirely for laughs. The one thing the story gets across is if someone takes off their clothes, they are probably about to die.
Strip Nude for Your Killer is more generic than it is bad. The typical giallo plot is papered over with copious amounts of nudity and murder. Regrettably, it does not work so all audiences are left with is a movie that seems to have had some influence on later slasher movies. Even fans of the genre may only want to watch this just to say they have.
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