Lisa And The Devil (Lisa e il diavolo) (1973)

MARIO BAVA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  Italy/West Germany/Spain/USA, 1973.  Leone International.  Screenplay by Mario Bava, Alfredo Leone.  Cinematography by Cecilio Paniagua.  Produced by Alfredo Leone.  Music by Carlo Savina.  Production Design by Nedo Azzini.  Film Editing by Carlo Reali.   Elke Sommer is terrific as a tourist visiting Spain who is distracted from her walking tour after seeing a fresco depicting the…

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Hercules Unchained (Ercole e la regina di Lidia) (1959)

PIETRO FRANCISCI Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  Italy/France/Spain, 1959.  Galatea Film, Lux Film, Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France, Urania Film.  Story by Pietro Francisci, Screenplay by Ennio De Concini, Pietro Francisci, based on the play Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles and The Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus.  Cinematography by Mario Bava.  Produced by Bruno Vailati.  Music by Enzo Masetti.  Production Design by…

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5 Dolls for an August Moon (5 bambole per la luna d’agosto) (1970)

MARIO BAVA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  Italy, 1970.  Produzioni Atlas Consorziate.  Story and Screenplay by Mario di Nardo, based on the novel And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  Cinematography by Antonio Rinaldi.  Produced by Luigi Alessi.  Music by Piero Umiliani.  Production Design by Giuseppe Aldrovandi.  Costume Design by Giulia Mafai.  Film Editing by Mario Bava. A wealthy industrialist…

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The Bay of Blood (Reazione a catena) (1971)

MARIO BAVA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  Italy, 1971.  Nuova Linea Cinematografica.  Story by Dardano Sacchetti, Franco Barberi, Screenplay by Mario Bava, Giuseppe Zaccariello, Filippo Ottoni, English dialogue by Gene Luotto.  Cinematography by Mario Bava.  Produced by Giuseppe Zaccariello.  Music by Stelvio Cipriani.  Production Design by Sergio Canevari.  Costume Design by Enrico Sabbatini.  Film Editing by Carlo Reali. After a wealthy older woman (Isa…

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Baron Blood (Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga)

BB.5 (out of 5) Antonio Cantafora shows up in Austria to find out more about his family background, particularly interested in the legend of his horrible ancestor known as “Baron Blood” thanks to the horrible murders he committed in his dark and mysterious castle.  That property is now a historic site curated by the beautiful Elke…

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Black Sabbath (I Tre Volti Della Paura)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Mario Bava films three scary stories adapted from horror writers (cleverly billed as Chekhov, Tolstoy and Snyder, the first two not the ones you think they are).  Boris Karloff introduces the project in a delightful prelude that then leads to The Telephone, in which Michèle Mercier is terrorized by phone calls from…

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Hatchet For The Honeymoon (Blood Brides) (Il Rosso Segno Della Follia)

BBB (out of 5) Stephen Forsyth plays a bridal dress manufacturer who seems to have a harmonious business going on with his older, indulgent wife (Laura Betti). What no one knows is that he is a cold-blooded killer whose childhood-induced Oedipus complex compels him to murder every woman he sees wearing a wedding dress, which is…

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Hercules (Le Fatiche di Ercole)

BBB.5 (out of 5) The film that launched decades of gladiator movies and ignited the career of Steve Reeves, whose beautiful face and impressive physique more than made up for passable if not amazing acting talents (here he is dubbed anyway).  He plays the legendary hero who, in this tale, is hired by the king…

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Planet Of The Vampires (Terrore Nello Spazio)

BB (out of 5) Brightly colourful science-fiction horror film by B-movie champion Mario Bava, about a group of astronauts whose ships are drawn by an overwhelmingly powerful gravitational force onto a mysterious planet. Once there they are all taken over by a virus that makes them sadistically violent towards each other, at least temporarily, but…

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Esther And The King

BBB.5 (out of 5) Highly enjoyable Biblical epic that does a dramatically impressive job of telling the story of Queen Esther, the woman who saved her fellow Jews from complete extermination by the King of Persia. Having been kidnapped on her marriage day and brought to the palace as a possible wife to King Ahasuerus…

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Black Sunday (The Mask Of Satan) (La Maschera Del Demonio)

BBBB (out of 5) Centuries after a woman (Barbara Steele) is burned as a witch in medieval Russia, an eminent surgeon and his associate disturb her grave on the grounds of an aristocratic estate and, without realizing it, awaken her vampiric self from the grave. Now, the princess of the castle, who happens to look…

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