Thursday, September 20, 2007

R.I.P., you Delirious Crimson Executioner, you!

Muscleman Mickey Hargitay, who died a year ago this week, was perhaps most know for being married to 60's sexpot Jayne Mansfield - twice. He was played by none less than Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Jayne Mansfield Story - but he had a considerably more interesting acting career than the future governor of California.

Hargitay worked with some of the world's exploitation and horror greats. Renato Polselli was not one of Italy's most prolific directors, but his movies remain among the most enjoyably insane pieces of trash ever committed to celluloid. In Delirium, Hargitay plays the movie world's least believable psychiatrist, who just happens to be the psychotic killer he pretends to be chasing! The movie is truly worthy its name and was so unhinged it was re-cut to appear as the deranged flashback of a war veteran - making it even more of a mess! Here is the Italian locandina.

But Hargitay's most iconic role was in Bloody Pit of Horror, directed by Massimo Pupillo. The exceedingly well-oiled former bodybuilder is beyond camp (not to mention distinctly homoerotic) as he runs around his old castle in a pair of tight red trousers and a mask, bellowing endlessly how he is "THE CRIMSON EXECUTIONER!" and picking off the large group of cover girls who just happened to stop by - how convenient. I'm happy to own the original release locandina, when the film was supposedly based on the writings of De Sade... yeah, right!

Finally, I'm happy to note Hargitay's talents made it to Sweden too. Delirium and Bloody Pit of Horror would not have had a chance with the men with the scissors, but Lady Frankenstein lost only about a minute (including "the pillow murder", according to the censor records). Shown here is the Swedish insert poster, probably based on Italian artwork, and the distinctly different US one-sheet...

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