Author Topic: Mario Bava marathon  (Read 34201 times)

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2009, 05:16:16 AM »
Tim Lucas had recorded his commentary himself at his home, sometimes watching 3 movies in a row. I'm sure that he had mentioned this in one of his commentary track for one of these movies, but maybe it's in the second set since it's been more than a year that I've listen one my memory isn't really fresh. He is one of the expert on Mario Bava (the other is Troy Howarth) so it's certainly possible that he owns the AIP version of the movie also, in fact this is almost certain.

If you are really interested in Mario Bava and had a lot of money sleeping at the bank, this is the definitive books about him : Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark

Or another one older, but relatively cheaper (not enough for me) : The Haunted World of Mario Bava

Offline Achim

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Re: Black Sunday ***
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2009, 06:30:54 AM »
Great reviews Jon, as usual!

(click to show/hide)

While the article at cinefantastique only confirms your plot hole, it may proof/prove an interesting read.

Najemikon

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2009, 08:16:13 PM »
Great reviews Jon, as usual!

(click to show/hide)

While the article at cinefantastique only confirms your plot hole, it may proof/prove an interesting read.

Yes, that was very interesting! Thanks for posting the link. I did like the line in your review of Black Sabbath about "I-only-know-you-two-hours-but-want-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-you".  :laugh: That's such a pet hate of mine and cripples so many decent stories.

Or another one older, but relatively cheaper (not enough for me) : The Haunted World of Mario Bava

The hardback is available at Amazon.co.uk for £399! :o The paperback is a still at £65...  :slaphead:

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2009, 08:31:37 PM »
 :o 747.28 $CAN for a book. It's a good thing that we aren't book collectors :laugh:
Usually when I want a book I try to get it fast since they tend to go out of print really fast.

I've Shadows & Light by Gary Kent pre-order for this summer and it will be sure a great summer reading ;D

Offline Achim

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2009, 03:14:48 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: La Ragazza che sapeva troppo
Year: 1963
Director: Mario Bava
Rating: NR
Length: 86 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.77:1
Audio: Italian: Dolby Digital Mono, Commentary: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English

Stars:
John Saxon
Leticia Roman
Valentina Cortese
Titti Tomaino
Luigi Bonos

Plot:
'Bava's' fourth film as credited director was his first contemporary narrative, a slyly Hitchcockian thriller that scholars cite as the first true giallo. 'Leticia Roman' stars as an American tourist in Rome who witnesses a serial killer's latest slaying and convinces a charming young doctor ('John Saxon') to help her investigate the city's 'Alphabet Murders'. Co-written by Bava and his final feature shot in black & white, its inventive camerawork, masterful compositions and wily humor combine to create one of the most surprising and satisfying film in Il Maestro's career.

For the first time anywhere, this presentation includes Bava's original uncut Italian-language International Version LA RAGAZZA CHE SAPEVA TROPPO/THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Trailers
Gallery
Production Notes
Interviews

My Thoughts:


I was very pleased that we got something entirely different with this film and how effortlessly Bava made the switch. This is a murder mystery which is very captivating, although it drags a little in the middle (I also might simply have been too tired when I watched it) and lingers on the ending ever so slightly too long.

The film has a young woman, Nora, arrive in Rome to live with her aunt(?) for a while. In the airplane someone you unknowingly receives a few marijuana cigarettes. Her aunt dies shortly after her arrival and since the phone doesn't work she leaves the house to walk to the hospital to find the friendly doctor who had taken care of her aunt earlier in the evening. On the way she gets mugged and when she falls to the ground bumps her head, rendering her unconscious. When coming to her she apparently witnesses a murder. ...and this s only the first 12 minutes of the film. We follow Nora and the young doctor (an underused John Saxon) around trying to clarify whether Nora actually saw a murder or dreamed it all up. Cranking up the tension is the fact that she is could be the next victim.

Wonderful black &white photography of the criminally underused location Rome and lots of shadows make for a creepy investigation until the truth is eventually revealed. The ending was neither simply what I expected nor an eye-rolling experience, certainly worth mentioning and a bit out of the ordinary. The story provided some (unexpected) turns along the way which kept things exciting. The acting was good, although John Saxon was trying a bit hard at times.


Offline Jimmy

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2009, 06:20:10 AM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:


Title: The Girl Who Knew too Much (1963)

Genre: Mystery
Director: Mario Bava
Rating: Unrated
Length: 1h26
Video: Widescreen
Audio: Italian
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Letícia Román
John Saxon
Valentina Cortese
Titti Tomaino
Luigi Bonos

Plot:
'Bava's' fourth film as credited director was his first contemporary narrative, a slyly Hitchcockian thriller that scholars cite as the first true giallo. 'Leticia Roman' stars as an American tourist in Rome who witnesses a serial killer's latest slaying and convinces a charming young doctor ('John Saxon') to help her investigate the city's 'Alphabet Murders'. Co-written by Bava and his final feature shot in black & white, its inventive camerawork, masterful compositions and wily humor combine to create one of the most surprising and satisfying film in Il Maestro's career.

My Thoughts:
This movie feels really dated for an Italian giallo fan as I am, not that the film is bad, but something is missing. A giallo must countains a certain level of violence, brutal killing and an over complicated story. All those ingredients are missing here, but since it's the first of its genre it's understandable... The murders are pretty tame and alike, the killings for the most part doesn't happen on screen and the story doesn't make sense much more than being complicated. But as a suspense the movie is effective for a movie of its time. The black and white cinematography is again great with some beautifull shot like the one when Nora wake up at the hospital. Sure the city of Rome add a lot to the movie (I like those old history filled European cities). For the acting Letícia Román is ok (leading a movie is maybe a little bit too much for her) and it's always a pleasure to have the talented John Saxon in a movie since he is one of the most underated American actor. One last thing that I like is the utilization of a narrator to tell most of the story.  

Rating :
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 08:41:15 AM by Jimmy »

Offline Achim

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2009, 11:05:23 AM »
One last thing that I like is the utilization of a narrator to tell most of the story.
I didn't particularly like it, but didn't mind either. However, the execution (at least in the English version) was not very good.

Offline Achim

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2009, 03:29:22 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Operazione paura
Year: 1966
Director: Mario Bava
Rating: NR
Length: 83 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: Italian: Dolby Digital Mono, English: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Erika Blanc
Fabienne Dali'
Piero Lulli
Max Lawrence

Plot:
'Giacomo Rossi-Stuart' and 'Erica Blanc' star in 'Bava's' final gothic masterpiece, the hallucinatory tale of a remote village tormented by the specter of a dead little girl. Despite it's threadbare budget, Bava creates an unprecedented world of baroque dread, mesmerizing disorientation and explosive color whose direct influence would be seen in films by 'Fellini', 'Scorsese', 'Argento', 'David Lynch' and 'Guillermo Del Toro'. More than 40 years later, it remains one of the most beautiful and unnerving horror experiences of all time.

Alternately known as CURSE OF THE LIVING DEAD and OPERAZIONE PAURA/OPERATION FEAR, Bava's 1966 stunner has been plagued for decades by inferior public domain transfers. This presentation has now been remastered from all-new elements to create the highest quality ever seen in North America.

Extras:
Scene Access
Trailers
Production Notes

My Thoughts:
Wow, what just happened here...? The story was a big mess to me (not that I didn't get it, just the way it was told was all over the place) and I best leave it to Jon & Jimmy to either find the thread that made it all beautiful or to properly rip it to shreds. The whole thing just didn't click with me. :shrug:

There was, however, several wonderful moments in this film, where cutting, cinematography and whatnot came together nicely. The best example to me is that scene near the end when the doctor is giving chase to someone at the Villa...


Najemikon

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2009, 11:37:36 PM »
 :bag:

I've dropped behind. Hopefully I'll be caught up by Wednesday, when everyone else has finished.  :-[

Offline Achim

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2009, 11:05:47 AM »
Well, we'll have to take it slow after the next film anyway, as you still have to buy the second box... assuming you decided to to so.

Offline Achim

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2009, 03:56:03 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: I coltelli del vendicatore
Year: 1966
Director: Mario Bava
Rating: NR
Length: 85 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: Italian: Dolby Digital Mono, English: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Cameron Mitchell
Fausto Tozzi [Frank Ross]
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart [Jack Stuart]
Luciano Pollentin [Louis Polle]
Amedeo Trilli [Michael Moore]

Plot:
In their third and final collaboration, 'Cameron Mitchell' stars for 'Mario Bava' as a Viking drifter torn between guilt, vengeance and his love for a peasant woman and her young son. Co-written by Bava (as 'John Hold'), the film delivers robust raping and pillaging yet proffers a uniquely humanistapproach that virtually re-imagines SHANE as a Viking drama. The result transcends its typically chestthumping genre to emerge as one of Bava's most emotionally complex and visually compelling films.

This remastered presentation of KNIVES OF THE AVENGER includes, for the first time on DVD, the original Italian language audio track with optional English subtitles, as well as the dubbed English track.

Extras:
Scene Access
Trailers
Production Notes

My Thoughts:

The overview talking about vikings I wasn't sure I'd really want to watch this today; vikings sounding more like Sunday-afternoon entertainment. But, this is Bava and all was well :)

First of all the whole film felt more like a western than a viking movie. Lots of horse riding (did vikings do that....?) and especially the music made one almost forget that this is played in the north and they used swords rather than guns. The complex, but far from confusing story was told skillfully, always keeping me interested about what was coming next; never is the viewer giving too much or too little information.
(click to show/hide)
Two standout moments where Bava expertly tightens the tension screw were the face-off in the inn and the climax. Also interesting (although possibly not on purpose) was how th emovie started out rather colorful, mainly lush greens, and then as the story progressed into the darker sections the colors on screen became muted.

Acting was quite good, but as usual the fact that everything was dubbed (even the Italian track, guess the on-location sound was unusable) made things difficult to judge.


Najemikon

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2009, 04:54:40 PM »
Well, we'll have to take it slow after the next film anyway, as you still have to buy the second box... assuming you decided to to so.

I would like the second boxset, but I'm way off it yet. Bearing in mind I got the first one for under a tenner, my determination to hit a similar offer for number two maybe my downfall... :training:

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2009, 05:20:01 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:


Title: Kill, Baby...Kill! (1966)

Genre: Horror
Director: Mario Bava
Rating: Unrated
Length: 1h23
Video: Widescreen
Audio: Italian and English
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart   
Erika Blanc
Fabienne Dali'
Piero Lulli
Luciano Catenacci

Plot:
'Giacomo Rossi-Stuart' and 'Erica Blanc' star in 'Bava's' final gothic masterpiece, the hallucinatory tale of a remote village tormented by the specter of a dead little girl. Despite it's threadbare budget, Bava creates an unprecedented world of baroque dread, mesmerizing disorientation and explosive color whose direct influence would be seen in films by 'Fellini', 'Scorsese', 'Argento', 'David Lynch' and 'Guillermo Del Toro'. More than 40 years later, it remains one of the most beautiful and unnerving horror experiences of all time.

My Thoughts:
This movie is almost perfect untill the end that remove all the sense to what happen before. What we got here is pretty much a ghost story revenge mixed with middle age superstitions. I see it as an allegory of an encounter between the modern world (the doctor and the inspector) and the primitive world (the cursed village). For most of the film we see that the modern world had no power over the curse (in fact the doctor is responsible of two deaths himself) and even if the curse is beaten at the end (I don't think it's a big spoiler for anyone) the modern world had nothing to do with this victory. Contrary to most of the Italian movies the cast here is 100% Italian (Erica Blanc is Italian and Max Lawrence is an alias for Luciano Catenacci), so the italian track is the one to go with. Not surprisingly the doctor think he is better that he really is (he insults the villagers belief, he is rude with the innkeepers and doesn't respect any of the citizens) and honestly I don't see him as the hero of the story. In fact the real hero is Ruth who represents the old and primitive way.

Like any Bava's movies there are a lot of beautifull image on the screen. By exemple the chase scene already mentions previously by Achim, the use of the spiral staircase in the escape of Monica or the general emptiness mood that we feel about the village (we don't really see anyone having a normal life in the street). The acting is good, but Erica Blanc gets really on my nerve (she overact and never look like the cultivated and the educated woman that her character is supposed to be). The musical score add a lot to the mysterious and frightening mood of the movie. Like I've said this is almost a perfect movie untill the end, not that it's a stupid one but it's a confusing one that remove a lot of sense to what had happens before.

Rating :
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 05:42:45 PM by Jimmy »

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2009, 05:23:52 PM »
I would like the second boxset, but I'm way off it yet. Bearing in mind I got the first one for under a tenner, my determination to hit a similar offer for number two maybe my downfall... :training:
The next Deep Discount DVD sale is supposed to be soon, no? I don't like them, but many use them without any real problems.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Mario Bava marathon
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2009, 05:29:13 PM »
Next movies for this week

Knives of the Avenger (1966)
5 Dolls for an August Moon (1970)