Director: Dario Piana Starring: Francois-Eric Gendron, Florence Guerin, Randi Ingerman, Giovanni Tamberi, Nora Ariffin, Italy. 1h 35m
The only way to confirm that you were watching a horror movie in the 1980’s was the moment a pair of boobs were flashed across the screen, the exposure of flesh was the indicator that you were in for some slaherific blood and gore, monsters and creeps and this 1988 film is a perfect victim of its age! The intro plays out like a dated underwear advert (something the director was king of having filmed over 600 of them), but this panty advert lasts what feels like 20 minutes, but luckily the models are soon hacked to pieces so don’t get too attached..
Piana’s track record was pretty solid back the day, on one would ever imagine that he would end up filming Starship troopers sequels 30 years later, but his mix of smutty slashers always stood proud if not slightly apart from the top contenders. And this Giallo-ish thriller never reaches the heights of the bigger names but once it kicks into thriller mode it’s relentless in it’s own rights. Too Beautiful to Die was released as Nothing Underneath 2, and is a name only sequel to Carlo Vanzia’s far superior Girallo romp.
When Sylvia is invited to an exclusive party after her modelling shoot her fellow models betray her in a jacuzzi, they sit back while a weatlhy fat man rapes her, storming out of the party she takes her car and vanishing into the night. The next day the models learn that Sylvia’s charred body is discovered in her car but she was killed by a bullet to the head. Later on the girls continue their music video but one of the elaborate props, a evil looking iron maiden has the rubber spikes replaced by metal ones and proves deadly, it’s soon apparent that everyone at the party is now in danger of being slaughtered by a sadistic leather wearing killer including a new model Melanie (Guerin).
While there are obvious flaws with the film, the second half is Giallo gold, and is a mad series of brutal and very glamorous murders and with lots of perverted suspects it’s a hard one to work out is it the porn game addict or the corporate smhuck?
With it’s constant vaselined lense and dream sequences slasher scenes, including one scene copied the music from Psycho (1960) Piana struggles to keep the pace regular in the movie and it peaks only from time to time, maybe falling back into this advertisement brain, spreading out the drama and murders would have made a more rousing and even viewing experience.
Related: The Last Fashion Show (2011), Nothing Underneath/Sotto Il Vestito Niente (1985)
Lists: A-Z of Giallo, 80 for the 1980’s