Hatchet for the Honeymoon

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Hatchet for the Honeymoon
Italian theatrical release poster
Directed by Mario Bava
Produced by Manuel Cano
Written by Santiago Moncada
Mario Bava
Starring Stephen Forsyth
Dagmar Lassander
Laura Betti
Jesús Puente
Music by Sante Maria Romitelli
Cinematography Mario Bava
Edited by Soledad López
Manuel Caño Sanciriaco
Mercury Films
Pan Latina Films
Películas Ibarra y Cía.
Release dates
2 June 1970
Running time
105 min.
Country Italy
Language Italian
Box office 59,000,000 (Italy)
65,559 (Spain)

Hatchet for the Honeymoon (Italian: Il rosso segno della follia / The Red Mark of Madness); also known as Blood Brides and An Axe for the Honeymoon) is a 1970 Italian giallo film directed by Mario Bava and starring Stephen Forsyth, Dagmar Lassander and Laura Betti.


The film is about a series of murders committed by a sexually charismatic but impotent man who owns a bridal shop. Alienated from his wife because of his failure to consummate the marriage, he kills women dressed in his bridal gowns. He disposes of the bodies in an incinerator. The police suspect him, but have no evidence. After he eventually kills his wife, her ghost appears and informs him that she will never leave his side - and will be visible to everyone but him. At a nightclub he tries to pick up a woman, but she rejects him when she sees his wife's ghost by his side.

Attracted to one woman, Helen, he tries to resist her, but eventually takes her to his bridal room. While there, his inner struggle comes to a head, and it is revealed that in childhood he murdered his own mother to stop her from marrying again. Helen fights him off, and the police enter. As he is taken away, his wife's ghost reappears and tells him that now she will only be seen by him, and they will be together forever.

Critical reaction[edit]

AllMovie called it "not the best of Mario Bava's work", but "a must see for those who love the genre and admire stylish horror films."[1]

Although the film does not have enough reviews for a Rotten Tomatoes rating, the site records two positive and two negative reviews from critics.[2]

Tim Lucas, author of the critical biography Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark, calls Hatchet For the Honeymoon "Mario Bava's most personal horror movie" and states "Time has shown the film, initially misunderstood and considered one of Bava's lesser works, to be startlingly prescient, pointing the way for Mary Harron's film of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho in particular."[3]


  1. ^ Rasmussen, Linda. "Hatchet for the Honeymoon - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hatchet for the Honeymoon (Il rosso segno della follia) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "129. HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON (IL ROSSO SEGNO DELLA FOLLIA, 1969)". Retrieved 7 August 2012. 

External links[edit]