Evident by the lurid, nonsensical title most likely slapped on the final print by seedy exhibitors and greedy theater owners, Naked Massacre aims for the profound but falls victim to the basest of genre trappings.
Part character study and part exploitation film, Naked Massacre advertises itself as a dramatization of the infamous Richard Speck case. Speck was an American mass murderer in the sixties who killed six female nurses during a home invasion. The film is only loosely inspired by the story, changing the locale from Chicago to Ireland. The switch works, giving the horror film an interesting backdrop, a war torn country besieged by the IRA, and setting it apart from similar themed movies like Last House on the Left and Last House on the Beach.
The main character of the film, not named Richard Speck though he shares many similarities, is a Vietnam vet trying to return to the United States. Surprisingly for a movie of this ilk, the film spends more time with the killer than with his victims; the nurses are non-entities drawn in broad strokes. The most recognizable actress, Carole Laure, is best known for starring in Sweet Movie, a Yugoslavian film much more successful in blending socio-political statements with explicit sex and violence. Once the killing starts Naked Massacre devolves into a nasty grindhouse film. Scenes where our main character terrorizes a pregnant victim or forces one woman to perform oral sex on another crosses the line of good taste and belittles the measured film that came before it. Still, the movie is worth a look and recommended because of its unique place among horror films. Though admittedly flawed, Naked Massacre deserves to be seen by a wider audience.