BLOOD AND BLACK LACE
SEI DONNE PER L’ASSASSINO
1964, AGFA, 88 min, Italy/France/Monaco, Dir: Mario Bava

This fiendishly simple story of models at a fashion salon being stalked by a gruesomely imaginative killer is often credited as the film that started the Italian giallo (sexy suspense thriller) craze that mushroomed in the 1960s and 1970s. Bava’s cast of characters is a fascinating catalogue of beautiful but flawed women and the men in their lives – self-seeking neurotics, alcoholics, addicts, lechers and psychotics. The director’s color palette is awesome to behold. With Eva Bartok, Cameron Mitchell. “…shares with FIVE DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON and BAY OF BLOOD a crystallization of the director's worldview, where the tension between opulent surfaces and moral dislocation hint at a closer affinity with Antonioni than is usually perceived. … Not for nothing is his exquisite feel for design, décor, color, and movement tied to the endless cataloging of human sin, with beauty and ugliness, like desire and dread, forever leaking into one another.” – Fernando F. Croce, SlantMagazine.com.


THE WHIP AND THE BODY
LA FRUSTA E IL CORPO
1963, Kino Lorber, 87 min, Italy/France, Dir: Mario Bava

Demonic aristocrat Christopher Lee returns from the dead to whip his brother’s wife, Daliah Lavi, into a sexual ecstasy in this chilling essay on the ties that bind. Amour fou is taken to its ultimate conclusion in a deliriously romantic study in perverse psychology, widely censored at the time of its release and our choice as the most sumptuous, atmosphere-drenched Gothic chiller from the last 50 years! Carlo Rustichelli provided the melancholic score, rife with haunting love themes for the damned. “Lee once said that this inspired sadomasochistic fantasy is the best of his Italian films … Bava creates an uncannily sensuous atmosphere, especially when he trains his camera on Lavi, obsessively detailing her face as desire, pleasure and pain mingle in a hallucinatory erotic delirium.” – Phil Hardy, Overlook Film Encyclopedia of Horror.


BLACK SABBATH
TRE VOLTI DELLA PAURA
1963, Park Circus, 92 min, Italy/UK/France, Dir: Mario Bava

Reportedly director Mario Bava’s favorite of his films: three minimalist tales of terror, topped by “The Wurdelak,” with Boris Karloff as a ravenous Russian vampire. The film from which the famed heavy metal band took their name! In Italian with English subtitles.


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