“The twenty-first century shall be the one that has legalized violence.”
Sometime in the twenty-first century war and violence have been abolished. Instead those who are violent, suicidal, or just need money, participate in something called the “Big Hunt”. It is legalized violence. In the Big Hunt a victim is killed by a hunter. A computer randomly assigns each hunter to each victim. Whoever is left alive after all the hunt is the winner of, not only their life, but one million dollars.
The rules are simple. Rule number one: Each member must partake in ten hunts. Five as a hunter and five as a victim alternately. A computer in Geneva randomly selects each hunter to each victim. Rule number two: the hunter shall know all about his victim. Rule number three: The victim shall not be told who his hunter is. He must figure it out for himself and kill him before he is killed himself. Rule number four: the winner of each separate hunt wins a cash prize. One word of caution, if you kill the wrong person, it’s thirty years in jail.
Caroline Meredith (Ursula Andress) has just completed her ninth hunt. She was a victim who got the better of her hunter and killed him (in a strange way). She is now ready for her tenth and final hunt. This time she will be the hunter. Her victim is Marcello Poletti (Marcello Mastroianni). He has just completed his sixth hunt as a hunter. Caroline is approached by the Ming Tea Company. They want to televise her last kill as part of a commercial. It means extra money for her so she agrees.
Since Marcello lives in Italy the tea company flies Meredith and a television crew to Rome to look at possible sites for the commercial. They settle on the Temple of Venus. Meredith’s job is to lure Marcello to the temple and kill him in front of the cameras. Things begin to go awry when Meredith and Marcello begin to fall in love.
“The 10th Victim” was released in 1965 and was directed by Elio Petri. It is based on the story “The Seventh Victim” by Robert Sheckley. It is an Italian science fiction/black comedy film.
The movie is shades of “The Hunger Games” 2012 only campy. It is also reminiscent of other films such as “The Running Man” 1987 and “Jurassic Games” 2018. (One of my favorites.)
I think the biggest hit of the movie is the scene where Caroline kills her ninth victim using a bullet bra, literally. It’s probably the sexiest part of the movie as well. Apparently it had a profound influence on Mike Myers. This is where “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” 1997 got the idea of the fembots whose bras shoot bullets.
Unfortunately it’s the highlight of the movie. After that I found it OK but not great. I’m probably in the minority though. It is a cult favorite among those that appreciate pop style, sex romp movies from the mid-sixties, or farcical 007 style movies. If that is your kind of movie then you will love it. If you like Ursula Andress you'll be happy with it too.