Honeymoon Killers

The Honeymoon Killers

5.0 1
Director: Leonard Kastle

Cast: Leonard Kastle, Shirley Stoler, Tony Lo Bianco, Dortha Duckworth

     
 

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A chilling portrayal of desperation and murder, director Leonard Kastle's The Honeymoon Killers arrives on DVD courtesy of The Criterion Collection. Presented in 1.85:1, the image is generally sharp, with solid blacks and a clear, crisp image. The audio, rendered in English Dolby Digital Mono, rings through as tinny and hollow at times, making it difficult to…  See more details below

Overview

A chilling portrayal of desperation and murder, director Leonard Kastle's The Honeymoon Killers arrives on DVD courtesy of The Criterion Collection. Presented in 1.85:1, the image is generally sharp, with solid blacks and a clear, crisp image. The audio, rendered in English Dolby Digital Mono, rings through as tinny and hollow at times, making it difficult to understand dialogue. This is not likely a problem with the mastering, but the result of the original audio recording process. Menus are cleverly designed in the manner of old newspaper ads, and are easy to navigate. As usual with any Criterion release, the extra features offer an insightful look into the film with a variety of options for the inquisitive viewer. A new interview with writer/director Kastle provides much insight into the origins of the story and the film production, and an illustrated essay by Scott Christianson offers a disturbing look into the actual crime spree that inspired the film. Detailed cast and crew biographies by film historian Bruce Eder are also offered, as is a revealing essay by critic Gary Giddins.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Leonard Kastle's sole directorial credit, The Honeymoon Killers, is a stark but compelling thriller that aims a good bit higher than most horror films of its day (not many filmmakers would use Gustav Mahler to score a true-life crime story, let alone make it work), and generates a cold and darkly disturbing tone that's all its own. While The Honeymoon Killers is (purposefully) rough around the edges, Kastle uses the deep shadows of his high-contrast black-and-white camerawork and ratty low-budget art direction to conjure up a strange and troubling world where the surroundings are as flat and empty as the consciences of its protagonists. (Part of the film's look and feel might be attributed to a young Martin Scorsese, who was the film's original director, but was fired after a few days for taking too long with his set-ups.) The underappreciated Tony Lo Bianco is a fascinating mixture of greasy charm, bravado, and cowardice as serial bigamist Raymond Fernandez; Shirley Stoler is superb as Martha Beck, who seems to have been waiting all her life for Ray to come along and unleash her appetite for both sex and bloodshed; and the parade of sadly ordinary women who portray their victims look just real enough to give this a semi-documentary feel that makes the proceedings all the more uncomfortable. While far from perfect (the pacing is a bit uncertain and the dialogue sometimes clunky), The Honeymoon Killers' virtues far outweigh its flaws, and one has to wonder what else Kastle may have had to say if he'd ever had the chance to make another film.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/22/2003
UPC:
0037429180426
Original Release:
1969
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; New high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions; New video interview with writer/director Leonard Kastle; Illustrated essay by Scott Christianson ("Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House") about the true crime story of "Lonely Hearts" killers, Ray Fernandez and Martha Beck; Original theatrical trailer; Cast and crew biographies by film historian Bruce Eder; New essay by critic Gary Giddins; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shirley Stoler Martha Beck
Tony Lo Bianco Raymond Fernandez
Dortha Duckworth Mrs. Beck
Doris Roberts Bunny
Marilyn Chris Myrtle Young
Mary Jane Higbee Janet Fay
Kip McArdle Delphine Downing
Mary Breen Rainelle Downing
Barbara Cason Evelyn Long
William Adams Justice of the Peace
Ann Harris Doris Acker
Elsa Raven Matron
Guy Sorel Mr. Dranoff
Michael Haley Jackson

Technical Credits
Leonard Kastle Director,Screenwriter
Richard Brophy Editor
Fred Kamiel Sound/Sound Designer
Warren Steibel Producer
Oliver Wood Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. This Is A True Story.
2. Aunt Carrie's Friendship Club
3. Dear Martha...
4. Dear Ray...
5. "I Promise"
6. Mrs. Raymond Fernandez
7. Doris Acker, Morris County, NJ
8. Myrtle Young, Cook County, IL
9. "Want Some Sugar?"
10. Evelyn Long, Pittsfield, MA
11. "Maybe Fay Will Answer"
12. "Think of That 10,000"
13. Janet Fay, Albany, NY
14. "Just Sign Your Name"
15. Cold Feet
16. The Downings, Byron Center, MI
17. Martha Understands
18. The Puppy in the Cellar
19. "I'll Take Care of Everything"
20. Up the River

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The Honeymoon Killers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A small, odd, yet powerful film that is at times both humorous and horrifying. The cast is great and the script is tight. This film is the perfect antecdote to the garbage they're producing in Hollywood today, and you will not easily forget it.