Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, The / Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh (1970)

5.0 out of 5

Edwige Fenech is Julie Wardh, an ambassador’s wife who arrives in Vienna following a series of brutal murders by a razor-wielding sex maniac that targets women. After being stalked by her abusive ex-lover Jean, Ivan Rassimov, and seduced into an affair by suave George, George Hilton, she finds herself threatened by the maniac. Could the killer be someone that she knows?

Also appearing under the titles Next! and Blade of the Ripper, this was the first giallo by Sergio Martino. It is one of the genre’s finest offerings, incorporating suspense, stylish visuals, well-written plot twists, surreal flashback sequences, decadent characters, gratuitous sex scenes, and violent murders. The haunting musical score by Nora Orlandi accentuates the feeling of madness and paranoia, and one track was used by Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill Vol. 2.

The film was produced by Antonio Crescenzi and Sergio’s brother, Luciano, who was in a relationship with Fenech at the time. She would go on to star in several other films that were directed by Sergio and produced by Luciano, including gialli and sex comedies.

The trio of Fenech, Hilton & Rassimov would reunite in Sergio’s giallo, All the Colors of the Dark.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics