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Second Echelon Italian Films of the 1960's


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Reading the insightful post by Mac the Nice concerning Italian giants of cinema like Fellini et cetera, made me think of some lesser but equally enjoyable directors like Mario Bava who delved more in the drive-in style.

 

In 1960, he made "La Maschera del Demonio" which still shocks today with its skeletal beauty, Barbara Steele playing two parts and frightening in close-ups like no other horror queen.  Other fabulously atmospheric thrillers connected to him are "Blood and Black Lace" in 1964 with its seminal histrionics and "Kill Baby Kill" from 1966. There is something about the outrageous color utilized in the mise en scene which Bava creates in such classics, which adds to the morbid allure of such films.

 

Though Bava was often criticized for his reliance on the zoom, he still can thrill, as in a recent showing of "Black Sabbath" which I saw at at theatre with the great telephone sequence.

 

Some of his style was inherited by Dario Argento and things like "Suspiria" still inspire awe and fear.

 

Any other references to your favorite Italian horrormeisters work will be appreciated.

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I enjoyed Bava's film HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD. It was one of the more outlandish entries in the glut of muscle-bound hero flicks flooding out of Italy in the late 50s and 60s. It's very colorful, and impeccably shot, like all of Bava's work; he was one of the most respected DP's in Europe. BAY OF BLOOD a.k.a. TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE is another important Bava film that prefigured the 80s slasher movie boom, especially FRIDAY THE 13th, but it's a 70s film, so doesn't really fit.

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I enjoyed Bava's film HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD. It was one of the more outlandish entries in the glut of muscle-bound hero flicks flooding out of Italy in the late 50s and 60s. It's very colorful, and impeccably shot, like all of Bava's work; he was one of the most respected DP's in Europe. BAY OF BLOOD a.k.a. TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE is another important Bava film that prefigured the 80s slasher movie boom, especially FRIDAY THE 13th, but it's a 70s film, so doesn't really fit.

Hey, Laurence!

 

I own that, HITHW I mean and it is just incredibly lushly photographed.

 

Matter of fact, I am in the process of leaving to go take some films to a friend who is having a Sword and Sandal party so I may just bring it along. Thanks for mentioning it!

 

So long till tomorrow. Thanks for your input.

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