There are giallo that are high art, like Blood and Black Lace, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, or Don’t Torture a Duckling. Then there are other types, like The New York Ripper or Andrea Bianchi’s Strip Nude For Your Killer. Not to say that the latter aren’t as well made or beautifully photographed, but there is a line that the former dances up to, but not over. Ripper revels in gore as much as Strip revels in naked flesh, practically to softcore levels.
Opening with an illegal abortion that results in a young model’s death, Strip wastes little time plunging us behind the scenes of a fashion magazine run by Magda, played by All the Colors of the Dark’s Edwige Fenech, one of the greatest giallo heroines of all time. One by one, her co-workers start getting violently bumped off in a sexually explicit nature.
The killer is a sexy update of the classic black gloved killer, wearing a skin-tight, black leather suit and motorcycle helmet, and wielding a switchblade. It’s a striking and unique look, that was lifted in a 1981 American slasher film, called Night School, which also featured an erotic angle.
I’m not familiar with the rest of Bianchi’s output, but based solely on this film, he doesn’t seem as technically adventurous as Argento. But, he’s well above competent, crafting tightly choreographed shots and unflinching, sumptuous shots of the female leads. His camera loves Fenech and her co-stars Femi Benussi and Solvi Stubbing.
While Strip Nude For Your Killer can’t compare to some of Edwige Fenech’s other films, like All the Colors… or Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, it’s still a worthy chapter in her filmography and an above average giallo overall. Arrow did their typical amazing job restoring the film which, in addition to a new commentary track, features a great video essay called Sex and Death With a Smile by Diabolique’s Kat Ellinger. Other features include several interviews and new artwork that is reversible, with the original Italian title and poster art. Highly recommended.