Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 26th, 2015
Theatrical Release Dates: Greece, 1976
Director: Kostas Karagiannis (AKA Dacosta Carayan)
Writer: Thanos Leivaditis
Cast: Lakis Komninos (AKA Larry Daniels), Dorothy Moore, Vagelis Seilinos, Dimitris Bislanis, Fragoulis Fragoulis, Jane Paterson, Leslie Bowman, Efi Cosma, Haris Nezos, Giorgos Oikonomou, Napoleon Ruditis
DVD released: August 18th, 2015
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Greek, Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.99
Synopsis: A maniac sex killer is on loose. A husband is a loveless marriage is pressured by his mistress to leave his wife. Not wanting to lose the life he has become accustomed to. The husband uses the recent sex killings to help him cover up his wife’s murder.
The Wife Killer was directed by Kostas Karagiannis (Land of the Minotaur) a prolific Greek director who’s output almost rivals Jess Franco’s in sheer number of films. The Wife Killer was originally released in Greece under the title Eglima sto Kavouri and two years later it was imported for release in the U.S. under the title The Rape Killer. Other English language titles for the film include the amusingly titled He Murdered his Wife and Death Kiss. Also the U.S. theatrical release was about eighty minutes long, while the original Greek release clocks in around eighty seven minutes.
The structure of the story and the killer for The Wife Killer bears many similarities that are prominent in Italian thrillers. The plot features adultery, blackmail, rape, murder, nudity and a double cross twist ending. The film is nicely paced with the sex and violence spread out enough to allow the plot to unfold without over shadowing it. Another area where the narrative excels is its depiction of the husband wanting to dispose of his rich wife and trying to disguise with the other rape/killings happening at the same time remains interesting throughout.
Visually Director Kostas Karagiannis creates some very stylish moments like the dream sequence. And of course when it comes to the sleazier moments his visuals do a superb job accentuating the more than ample assets of the female cast members. From a performance stand point the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles. With Vagelis Seilinos performance in the role of the sex maniac stealing the show. Also the film also features a groovy score that is reminiscent of the style often employed in Italian crime films. Ultimately The Wife Killer is a satisfying thriller that exploitation and Giallo fans are sure to thoroughly enjoy.
Mondo Macabro presents The Wife Killer in its full uncut version and in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. When compared to previous releases, this new transfer from Mondo Macabro is light years ahead off all previous home video releases for this film. Colors have never looked more vibrant and more importantly accurate. Black levels, shadow detail and image clarity are greatly improved. There are no issues with DNR or compression and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Greek and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Though both audio mixes are in great shape, The Greek audio track is the stronger of the two as it offers a more robust audio experience. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles. It should also be noted that there are some parts of the English audio mix that had to be replaced by the Greek audio mix and these moments are subtitled in English.
Extras for this release include trailers for the film under titles like The Rape Killer and Death Kiss (4 minutes 19 seconds, in English), alternate English language credits under the title Death Kiss (1 minute 8 seconds), a text essay about the film, a text essay about events that inspired this film and bio’s for cast & crew and a featurette about Greek cinema titled ‘Sunshine and Shadows’ (24 minutes 33 seconds, in English).
The extra titled ‘Sunshine and Shadows’ is a thorough and insightful look into Greek cinema post World War II and through its Golden Age of the 1970’s and how television affected Greece’s’ film industry. Other topics discussed include Kostas Karagiannis, Tango Perversion and The Wife Killer.
Rounding out the extras is the Mondo Macabro preview trailer which includes clips from titles they have currently released or about to release. Overall The Wife Killer gets an exceptional release from Mondo Macabro, highly recommended.