A remarkable low-budget film that offers a chilling portrait of a pair of cold-blooded murderers. Stoler is a lonely, sexually frustrated, 200-pound nurse at a Mobile, Alabama, hospital. She lives alone with her mother, which only adds to her frustration. In desperation she joins a
lonelyhearts correspondence club and soon begins receiving torrid love letters from Lo Bianco, a Spanish immigrant in New York. When he comes to visit Stoler, she quickly falls in love with him.
When he steals money from her and leaves, she tracks him down and finds that he makes his living stealing from love-starved women he finds through the correspondence clubs. She loves him nonetheless, and after she is fired from her job, she puts her mother in a nursing home and heads off with Lo
Bianco in search of new victims. Stoler poses as Lo Bianco's sister while he woos lonely women and then flees with their money. But when Lo Bianco marries Chris to give her baby a father, a jealous Stoler turns to murder.
Based on an actual case that got much press in the late 1940s, THE HONEYMOON KILLERS is shot in stark black-and-white documentary style and the music of Mahler is effective in counterpointing the action. The acting is second to none: the two leads are frighteningly good in their psychotic roles
and supporting characters are also well dileneated. But there are some technical problems with the film, notably too much shadow in the frame, several highly visible microphones and the choppy editing, which jumbles the story at times.
Still, the straightforwardness of the telling is not totally destroyed. To their credit the filmmakers have refused to romanticize the brutality of the criminals at the heart of the film. Lo Bianco went on to star in other pictures; Stoler's other major role was as the brutal Nazi prison camp
commandant in Lina Wertmuller's marvelous SEVEN BEAUTIES.
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- Rating: R
- Review: A remarkable low-budget film that offers a chilling portrait of a pair of cold-blooded murderers. Stoler is a lonely, sexually frustrated, 200-pound nurse at a Mobile, Alabama, hospital. She lives alone with her mother, which only adds to her frustration.… (more)