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.
A BAY OF BLOOD
REAZIONE A CATENA
1971, Kino Lorber, 84 min, Italy, Dir: Mario Bava
Also known as TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE, this is the great-granddaddy of slasher movies, a movie that profoundly influenced late-1970s and 1980s horror, from all the Italian gialli that came after it to the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise. Thirteen oversexed Italians, most of them concerned with securing the land rights to the remote, rural bay of the title, slaughter one another in amazingly inventive ways. With Claudine Auger (THUNDERBALL), Luigi Pistilli (THE GREAT SILENCE), Laura Betti (LA DOLCE VITA; HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON). «Unreels like a macabre, ironic joke … an Elizabethan tragedy as Tex Avery might have written.» – Tim Lucas.
LA RAGAZZA CHE SAPEVA TROPPO
1963, Kino Lorber, 86 min, Italy, Dir: Mario Bava
Director Mario Bava pioneered the giallo genre with this Hitchcockian suspenser (aka THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH) about a young American chased across Rome by «the Alphabet Murderer.» Tourist Leticia Roman visits her aunt, only to have the old woman die of a heart attack on her first night there – just as the electricity goes out! In quick succession, Roman runs out into the stormy night, gets knocked down by a purse snatcher and witnesses a brutal murder. But when she awakens in the hospital, no one believes her. She is befriended by a smitten young doctor (John Saxon), who begrudgingly helps her try to find the key to the mystery. Look for Italian-American actor Dante DiPaolo as the tormented reporter who may know the killer’s identity (DiPaolo later became George Clooney’s uncle by marriage to George’s aunt Rosemary).