Mario Bava Report Card

Discussion in 'Euro Horror' started by Coverdale, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. b.m.fruen

    b.m.fruen New Member

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    Shock- A
    A bay of blood- A+
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  2. Crystal Plumage

    Crystal Plumage Dig me..but don't bury me

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    Well.... my list was in dire need of an update as well:

    I Vampiri A
    Black Sunday A+
    Hercules in the Haunted World B
    Erik the Conqueror C
    The Girl Who Knew Too Much A+
    Black Sabbath A
    The Whip and the Body B
    Blood and Black Lace A+
    Terrore Nello Spazio B
    Knives of the Avenger C
    Kill Baby, Kill! A+
    Danger: Diabolik A
    Five Dolls for an August Moon C
    Hatchet for the Honeymoon B
    Roy Colt and Winchester Jack C
    A Bay of Blood A+
    Baron Blood C
    Four Times That Night C
    Lisa & The Devil B
    Rabid Dogs B
    Shock B+

    In the (near?) future I will check out some of his other Westerns and Dr. Goldfoot.
     
  3. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    I've got the Arrow Video Black Sunday/I Vampiri in the mail, so it's due for a re-watch soon.

    Black Sunday: A
    The Girl Who Knew Too Much: B
    Black Sabbath: B
    Knives of the Avenger: C
    Kill Baby, Kill: B+
    Danger: Diabolik: B+
    Five Dolls for an August Moon: C
    Hatchet for the Honeymoon: C
    A Bay of Blood: B+
    Baron Blood: C-
    Four Times That Night: C-
    Rabid Dogs: B
    Roy Colt and Winchester Jack: B
    Lisa and the Devil/House of Exorcism: C+
    Shock: B
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I'm thinking I need to re-watch that movie, based on youse guys' positive ratings of it. But then again, I might just view Bava differently, as my favorite movies of his (Five Dolls for an August Moon, Baron Blood, and Lisa and the Devil) mostly get "C" ratings from you...
     
  5. 17thJuggalo

    17thJuggalo Active Member

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    I think I too need to re-evaluate Bava as well. I found most of his classics to be very boring. On the other hand I found the "trashier" movies that he has done (Rabid Dogs, Bay of Blood) to be incredibly enjoyable. Perhaps I have a thing against gothic horror that I may not realize.
     
  6. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    It took me a while to get into Bava. He has a very unique approach to cinema that is almost a direct contrast to Hitchcock, which is why I think the two get compared so often. But, for those of us raised on the language of cinema that Hitchcock defined, Bava can initially seem off-putting. The short summary is that Bava felt that imagery was more important for telling the "story" than things like dialogue, plot, and acting. So, most of the story for Bava actually comes out through lighting and composition. Everything else can practically be ignored. For me, the turning point was listening to Tim Lucas' commentary on "Whip and the Body" After going through that, it turned me from a modest fan into a rabid devotee. If you can get your hands on that, I think it may change your appreciation. The commentaries for "Bay of Blood" and "Hatchet for a Honeymoon" are almost equally educational into the unique way that Bava works.
     
  7. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    I Vampiri C (overall, but the parts that are excellent are really excellent)

    Black Sunday A+

    Hercules in the Haunted World B+ (but stunning for what he creates on a small budget and an A once Hercules goes into Hades)

    Erik the Conqueror C (if I were a fan of the genre, I might rate this higher as it is gorgeous)

    The Girl Who Knew Too Much B

    Black Sabbath A (but, as an experiment, I'd say it's essential viewing for those interested in Bava)

    The Whip and the Body A+ (as I mentioned above, the commentary changed everything for me with this one. Without the commentary, I would've rated this a C+ at best)

    Blood and Black Lace A (as much as I can recognize the significance of this film, I'm more drawn to Bava when he's going gothic. But, this is probably Bava's most psychologically complex film and one very worth analyzing)

    Terrore Nello Spazio A

    Knives of the Avenger C

    Kill Baby, Kill! A+ (Bava at his most visually stunning and symbolically playful)

    Danger: Diabolik A (A masterpiece of low-budget film making, but some of the humor just doesn't hold up well. But, on the other hand, Marisa Mell)

    Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs F (this really is unwatchable)

    Five Dolls for an August Moon C

    Hatchet for the Honeymoon A (I both know and understand that a lot of people don't rate this one highly, but it has really become one of my favorites for its amazingly subversive qualities)

    A Bay of Blood B (I know why other people love this and fully acknowledge its importance, but it also suffers from some of Bava's notorious laziness)

    Baron Blood B-

    Four Times That Night C

    Lisa & The Devil A+ (It takes a while to get going, but once everyone arrives at the mansion, it becomes amazingly delirious and perverse)

    Shock B (but there are a couple of moments that I think are Bava's best)
     
  8. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I already like Bava (Baron Blood is still a favorite of mine), but I'm intrigued that a commentary could be so insightful. Is this the VCI release? I'll go hit up Amazon or (shudder) E-bay if it's that good.
     
  9. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is on the VCI release. Granted, I'd say to hold off until the eventual Blu-Ray comes out rather than pay the exorbitant prices that Ebay might bring. Since they kept the commentary for "Hatchet" it's probably safe to say they'll keep it for this one as well. But, I am a big fan of Lucas' commentaries and find that they all bring a deeper appreciation of Bava as director.

    I will say that the commentary may offer no new insight if you are already a fan or "get" Bava. But, for me it did have a profound impact on how I read Bava.

    I'll assume that you're familiar with Lucas' commentaries and how far in depth the guy can go. For me, the thing that stood out with "Whip and the Body" was that he spent a lot of time delving into the thematic color coding that Bava used. For example, there was one particular segment, around the middle of the film where Daliah Lavi walks across a room, approaching the camera. As she moves through the room, different splashes of color hit her face. Lucas breaks this down to show how the different colors represent the different emotions she is going through while remembering her relationship with Kurt and it's really quite a stunning shot to analyze. And the whole film is chock full of moments like this, where Bava is using color and sound to create deeper implications into the complexities of what appear to be, on the surface, typically over-wrought and melodramatic characters.

    I know that other film makers in the past and present add these elements into their films and that this type of approach was nothing new. But, what I failed to realize was that this was the primary focus for Bava and that the lighting and composition where were he injected all his philosophical musings that elevate his work far beyond a pleasing surface read of impressive images.

    So, it's the one time where a commentary drastically changed the way I viewed a film and a film maker.
     
  10. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Holding off till the Blu-Ray might be an option, but the DVD is only going for ~$25 and the Blu will probably be in that neighborhood anyway.

    Hard to say if I "get" Bava or not. I mean, I do enjoy his films, but I don't go ape every time a new one gets released, so if something can allow me to increase the appreciation of his work I'm all for it. For example, even though I like Lisa and the Devil a lot, I have to admit it goes completely over my head. Maybe I'll have to listen to the Lucas commentary on that one.
     
  11. Crystal Plumage

    Crystal Plumage Dig me..but don't bury me

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    My guess all info from Lucas' commentaries is also to be found in his book. But why does it have to be so fucking expensive! $300 fucking Dollars! I know, I know because it's laaaarge... and heavy... But living in Europe doesn't help I'm afraid.. But boy does it look good!
     
  12. Crystal Plumage

    Crystal Plumage Dig me..but don't bury me

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    I have the German release of Whip and the Body which looks stunning.
    Anyone know the differences between the Italian Goldfoot DVD and the US Goldfoot DVD?
    I think I read somewhere that in the Italian version there's a bit more of Franco and Ciccio fooling around, I'm I right?
     
  13. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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