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John Harrington (Stephen Forsyth) couldn't be happier, he is wealthy,
runs a successful fashion company specialising in bridal gowns, & is
happily married to Mildred (Laura Betti) ... but then again, maybe not,
the money belongs to his wife, the fashion company isn't doing too great,
& his wife is a bitch who refuses to grant him a divorce ... ah yeah,
& John is completely mad, specialising in killing young brides,
preferably in his own bridal gowns ... but of course nobody knows that.
An investigating inspector, Russell (Jesūs Puente) has his hunches
about John, but can't find any definite clue leading to him, while John
goes about his business (of killing women) pretty much undisturbed.
Eventually, John takes a liking to one of his models, Helen (Dagmar
Lassander), & tries to use the time his wife's away to seduce her ...
then though, John's wife comes back rather unexpected, & in a frenzy,
he kills her too (even if she's no young bride anymore), then manages to
get rid of the inspector, who pays an unannounced visit immedaitely
afterwards, quite cooly, even though the inspector & the corpse are in
the same room.
But if you think John's worries are over right now, you are wrong,
because his wife has made a habit out of visiting seances, & now her
spirit comes back to haunt him - by appearing at his side to everyone but
him ... which turns his life into a bit of a hell, & his attempts
to get rid of her by getting rid of her corpse amount to naught.
Eventually, he tries to kill another young bride, but is chased off
before he can succeed, & just makes it to his house before the
inspector comes to check up on him. Out of the blue comes Helen &
gives him a perfect alibi ...
When John wants to thank her, though, his madness takes over
again, & visions of the reason for it all appear before him, of the
day his mother remarried, & he, still a kid, furiously & jealously
killed both her & her new husband.
Back in the now, Helen manages to duck away under the hatchet he
wields, & the inspector appears again to arrest him - it turns out
Helen, an undercover policewoman, was just a decoy ...
When he is driven away by the police, his wife appears again, besides
him, now only visible to him, & she promises to make the
rest of his life a living hell, until they meet again ... in hell.
An extremely stylish serial killer film that presents the proceedings
exclusively from the killer's point of view & thus takes the audience
into a bizarre, trippy world not normally found in this kind of movies -
even the murder scenes soemtimes seem like a sudden descent into another
world. & even though some of the plot twists are a little bit silly,
this remains a very fascinating film & one of Mario Bava's best.