The Wife Killer (1976) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Kostas Karagiannis
Starring: Lakis Komninos, Dorothy Moore, Vagelis Seilinos
Rated: UR/Region: 1/1:33/Number of disc: 1
Available from Mondo Macabro
Penniless playboy Captain Jim is in hock to his rich older wife, Helen. She has even bought him the fancy yacht that now bears his name. But Jim does not want to be Helen’s toy boy any more. He wants to marry his lover, Laura. He pays a psychopathic killer of women to murder Helen so that he will inherit his wife’s millions. But the psycho killer has his own plans. Suspecting Jim will double cross him, he engineers a complex scheme that will give him the upper hand. Very much in the style of the violent and baroque Giallo thrillers from 1970s Italy, The Wife Killer is a twisted, shocking and brutal exploration of the devious male psyche. Previously only released to cinemas in a cut version, this is the first official DVD release of the film in the U.S., complete and uncensored.
The Wife Killer is a very strange movie. I’m not so sure I’m sold on what it was overall, but I can see where movie fans that seek out some of the oddest of giallo-like movies might have some sorta fun out of it. I kind of had an issue with the pace of things here, as I feel this one needed a big kick in the butt. The movie does also have a big erotic nature to it as well, with the erotic part of the film perhaps being the best thing this one has to offer up, for better or for worse. At the center of this one is a crazed killer that sticks pantyhose over his head and proceeds to do his worse. I did find that part of the movie a bit amusing, as it makes the killer look more silly than intimidating. Toss on top of that some detectives on his trail and that is basically our movie. It is a bit odd and a bit slow, but Mondo Macabro did do a great job bringing this one to DVD in its complete form.
Speaking of which, it is here in a 1:33 style using the best of sources they could find. That leaves the door open for some spotty scenes and some other scenes with the natural language over it with English subs for just those scenes, but it is here complete and that is perhaps the most important part of this release for most. So, The Wife Killer is a sleazy movie and might not be for everyone, but it has a charm to it, even if that charm won’t reflect on most of you out there. Mondo does a great job regardless of the movie they are putting out, but you can’t win them all and this one wasn’t for me unfortunately. I still do appreciate the great work that they put into it, but it just wasn’t my type of movie.
– Brand new transfer from film negative
– Uncut Version
– Greek/English audio choices
– Newly created optional subtitles
– Extensive production notes
-Interview with producer
– Documentary on Greek Cult Cinema
– Mondo Macabro previews