The Honeymoon Killers

The Honeymoon Killers ★★★½

Leonard Kastle's 1970 cult classic The Honeymoon Killers rightfully deserves that designation as it's quite the singular saga of seedy true crime excess.

Based on the "Lonely Hearts Killers", Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez meet via a romantic pen pal service and fall in love.
Martha soon finds out that Raymond actually has many women on the go through this service as he plans to marry them and steal all their money. So she goes along with him, pretending to be his sister, and tries to help pull off the succession of scams. Their volatile love and her jealousy eventually combine to grease the wheels of their transgressions.

Glad I finally saw this as it felt very ground-breaking for its time and you can see the clear influence its had on John Waters. Shirley Stoler as Martha Beck gave a fantastic performance and the whole story was juicy enough to keep my attention.
It really is an ugly tale and with the boxy cinematography and lack of dynamics with the storytelling it began to feel claustrophobic and mildly boring as Ray repeatedly scams each woman with Martha whining in the periphery.

An important film and with plenty of powerful moments but I probably wouldn't watch it again.

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