Archive for May, 2021

Symptoms (1974)

Posted: May 31, 2021 in Uncategorized

JosΓ© Larraz’ Symptoms (1974), which I watched last night, is a slow burn of the best kind. Angela Pleasance, whose performance makes her both pitiable and terrifying, arrives at her isolated country house with Lorna Heilbron. The only other person around is odd-jobs man Peter Vaughan, who radiates creep vibes from the word go. Then things happen very, very gradually, so gradually in fact, that when the Holy Shit moments come, and they do, they strike without any warning and all the more effective for it.

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Steve Sullivan and I continued our Mario Bava watch-along with Roy Colt & Winchester Jack (1970). This is the most atypical Bava we’ve seen yet β€” a Spaghetti Western. More precisely: a spoof Spaghetti Western.

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Baron Blood (1972)

Posted: May 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

Steve Sullivan and I continued our Mario Bava journey last week with Baron Blood (1972), a film I hadn’t seen for the best part of 30 years. Made immediately prior to the sublime Lisa and the Devil, and featuring Elke Sommer as well, this didn’t suffer quite so grim a fate β€” instead of being hacked to pieces with new inserts and turned into The House of Exorcism, it merely lost 10 minutes of running time and its original score. It was also a hit.

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Two Films by Mario Bava

Posted: May 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

I need to do a bit of catching up here, and Steve Sullivan and I have watched two more Mario Bava films recently: Kill, Baby… Kill! (1966) and Bay of Blood (1971, aka Twitch of the Death Nerve). I’d seen the former relatively recently, having taught it a few years ago, but it had been ages since I’d revisited the latter, except to show excerpts in class. I found that seeing the two of them together made for an interesting contrast, and really underscored the achievement of Kill, Baby… Kill!

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