The Honeymoon Killers (1970) The True Life Lonely Hearts Killers

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) poster cult film true crime

Balding, slimey, lothario Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) makes his way through life as a confidence trickster. Seducing older ladies with his charm and perfectly rehearsed, fictional backstory.  Attracting vulnerable elderly ladies whom maybe less lucky in love, wheedling his way into their lives with charisma and the lure of his Spanish accent. Once he has ensnared his prey, the plan is to marry and steal all their cash. Ray scans the lonely hearts columns for his victims, unfortunately there is abundance of unloved, alone ladies for him to play his cruel games on.

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) hospital nurse opening title screen

One that might not be the usual pushover is chubby, overweight and younger than he usually goes for, nurse Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler). Glum and moody with a real temper, Martha is desperate for a man to love and cherish her but with her stern exterior she hasn’t been lucky in love. Martha’s friend Bunny (Doris Roberts) secretly submits a letter to the local lonely hearts club and it’s not long before this infamous duo are together.

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) Bunny (Doris Roberts) lonely heartsThe Honeymoon Killers (1970) Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) writting lonely hearts letters

Martha is bespottled, totally in love with Ray. Ray on the other hand realises he’s probably out of his depth, running back home to continue with his easier prey. Martha ain’t having any of that and uses the blackmail she will commit suicide he doesn’t agree to see her. From there on the relationship begins to blossom, a dark love starts to form as Martha finds out what Ray is up to and is happy to play along, to a point…

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) first date kitchenThe Honeymoon Killers (1970) Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) walking

Martha will do anything to keep her man, so agrees to play his sister as he continues to court other ladies. She is part of the plan and happy to keep a jealous eye on him, there will be no fooling around with these dames when Martha is about.

Tagline – One of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of American Crime.

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) car jobThe Honeymoon Killers (1970) Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) swimming sea picnik

Sadly things are going to get worse, really dark and twisted, as murder is about to sweep over these two depraved, sick individuals. Within this relationship together, their sadistic and warped sides are unearthed. The scary thing is, this story is based of on true events known as “The Lonely Hearts Killers

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco)

Fact stranger than fiction! The real story is even more horrific and reading the facts on the twisted twosomes life stories before they met is tragic enough in itself but what they become is truly horrifying. Rather than the 1969/70 setting the film portrays, the events happened between 1947 and 1949 and looking at the below photo it’s hard to believe they were 36 and 30!

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) the real Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck

A couple random factoids I learnt.

  • Martin Scorsese is said to have been hired to direct the film originally but got fired due to creative differences whilst setting his own idea of how he wished to see camera shots taken. Leonard Kastle would take control with an uncredited Donald Volkman helping at the beginning. I wonder what Scorsese vision would of created?
  • The Honeymoon Killers isn’t the only adaptation of this true crime story, bizarrely it’s been made three times more! In 1996 with a Mexican film called Deep Crimson. In 2014 there was a French version inspired by the events in Alleluia and another American version in 2006 called Lonely Hearts. Craziest thing about that one is the cast! Casting the killer beauty Salma Hayek as Martha Beck! WTF

The Honeymoon Killers (1970) Martha Beck (Shirley Stoler) Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco) sofa smoking

It’s filmed in a very independent style with woodenish and almost emotionless performances but you know what, it all adds to the mood, bringing a sense of realness to the film. Add to that Tony Lo Bianco and Shirley Stoler making iconic images together, it all combines to making this a bonafide cult classic film. It’s quite a novelty piece. Have you seen it? Let me know your thoughts if you want.

I thank you for having a pop on by my Wolf lair. I wish you well and hope to see you again on Wolfman’s Cult Film Blog. Ta-Ra

4 thoughts on “The Honeymoon Killers (1970) The True Life Lonely Hearts Killers

    • Another thing we both have in common, a love for the sweet Salma Hayek and her two friends 🙂
      I’ve never seen that one. Put off by seeing John Travolta on the billing, he started making so many turkeys I just steered clear.


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