Blade of the Ripper (Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh)

09/26/2015 08:45

Film: Blade of the Ripper (Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh)

Year: 1971

Director: Sergio Martino

Writer: Vittorio Caronia, Ernesto Gastaldi and Eduardo Manzanos Brochero

Starring: George Hilton, Edwige Fenech and Conchita Airoldi



This film begins with a man picking up a woman. He doesn’t say anything, but they drive away. He takes her to the airport and a plane starts to land, making a lot of noise. We then get a quote from Sigmund Freund about the nature of man and how it is in our blood to be a killer. The man then stabs the woman to death with a straight razor.

The film then shifts a man and his wife getting off a plane. The wife is played by Edwige Fenech and her husband is a politician, played by Alberto de Mendoza. He is taken away from her when they are approached by his colleagues. She goes home alone.

While driving she has a flashback to a former lover of hers, played by Ivan Rassimov. He was violent with her, but they made passionate love. When she arrives back at her apartment, a car is parked there and she knows that it belongs to him. She goes up to her apartment to take a bath and flowers arrive from Rassimov.

She then goes to a party where she is with her friend, Conchita Airoldi. Airoldi introduces her to a man who is her cousin, played by George Hilton. She has a crush on him and he finds her to be stunning. Fenech goes to leave though when Rassimov arrives.

He meets her outside and grabs her arm. He lets her go when he looks over to see Mendoza. He punches Rassimov who walks away. Mendoza takes her home. We do learn that Fenech used to see Rassimov, but left him to marry Mendoza. She is not happy with him, because he cares more about his work and neglects her.

The killer strikes again, killing a woman from the party that Fenech was at. She is concerned with this killer.

Fenech goes to spend time with Airoldi and they run into Hilton. Hilton then takes Fenech around before taking her home. He tells her that he loves her and that he wants to be with her. They end up making love later that day. She tries to turn him down, but she sees a car and thinks that it is Rassimov. She goes upstairs with Hilton.

Someone calls Fenech and tells her that he knows what she has been doing. He tries to blackmail her and tells her where to meet him. Airoldi decides to go out for her and when she does, she is murdered. This really bothers Fenech, but the killer isn’t done yet. He tries to kill her in her parking garage.

She tells her husband what is happening and he believes that it is Rassimov, even though he had an alibi to where he was when the murder of Airoldi occurred. Hilton wants to run away with Fenech to get away from it all.

Who is the murderer? Is it her fed-up husband getting his revenge? Is her former lover the killer? Or could the killer be her new lover? Or someone else entirely that is watching her every move? Can she figure this out before it is too late?

This is an example of Italian giallo horror. This film has a very good mystery of who is the killer. There is a point where we are thrown off by someone being attacked and the woman fights back, but I will say that the twist and reveal are good. I really like the Fenech, even though I’m not a big fan of her portrayal of her character. She needs to have a man in her life that loves her or she becomes bored and seeks someone else out with each person. She also gets herself in trouble for this as well. I did like the three men who could possible be the killer as well. The acting overall is pretty good, but the story is what really drives this film. There is also quite a bit of nudity, which could interest some as well.

Now I have said that the acting is pretty good, but it does have its moments where it isn’t as good as well. I don’t feel much emotion out of Fenech and she is a woman that really annoys me. The only emotion I really get out of her is fear. I also wonder how plausible the plot at the end would be to actually work. None of these really hurt the film, but I wanted to point them out.

With that said, I would recommend giving this film a viewing especially if you’re interested Italian cinema or giallo films. The acting is pretty good, but this film has a solid story. The twist and the plot are quite interesting. It is a mystery so it is fun to try to see if you can figure out who the killer is. Now you do have to watch this film in Italian with subtitles or dubbed over, so keep that in mind. There is also quite a bit of nudity in this film as well. If this sounds interesting, I would recommend giving this one a viewing.


My Rating: 8 out of 10