The Haunted World Of Mario Bava

Thursdays, July 25 - August 22, 2002

Mario Bava is one of the world's undisputed champions of horror filmmaking. As a young director in '60s Italy he pioneered the arresting, Pop Art influenced giallo genre. With its visceral, sensual action and bold visual and aural style, giallo defined the Italian-made horror film and, along with Bava, its directors include Dario Argento (Suspiria) and Lucio Fulci (The Beyond). This touring series of films, culled from the vaults of legendary producer Alfredo Leone, brings us many stand-outs from Bava's long career including his first feature, the iconic BLACK SUNDAY, his personal favorite, BLACK SABBATH, and one lost masterpiece, KIDNAPPED (aka Rabid Dogs). Joining us in our appreciation of Bava is the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline who has devoted its August Midnight Movies to this fright master. Their screenings will include encores of LISA & THE DEVIL and BLACK SABBATH plus exclusive screenings of Planet of the Vampires, Twitch of the Death Nerve and Four Times That Night. Check their website at for the full schedule.

"Bava conveys themes, meanings and emotions visually, with the eye of a master painter. His point of view is iconic and detached, and he never burdens his films with pious moral commentary. There is a quirkiness and sense of fun to Bava's challenging approach, suggesting that he is less interested in judging his characters than he is in recording their follies with a wry smile and cynical laugh. Even if Bava's opinion of the human race is low, he at least has a sense of humor about it, and he encourages the viewer to do likewise. Ultimately, the bulk of Bava's films are not really horror films at all: they are perverted dark comedies that form a commentary on the shallow, debauched and irredeemably greedy creature that is Man." - Troy Howarth, The Haunted World of Mario Bava

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Preview Screening! Bava's Legendary 'Lost' Film!
Kidnapped (aka Rabid Dogs)
at 3:30, 7:30
1974, 2002 Mario & Lamberto Bava w/Riccardo Cucciolla, Lea Lander, Maurice Poli

A major rediscovery in Bava's career, the unfinished Cani Arrabiati (Rabid Dogs) sat in a Rome film vault for over 20 years, until it was finally assembled for DVD release several years ago by Bava expert Tim Lucas Ð and now for theatrical release as KIDNAPPED by producer Alfredo Leone, featuring several new additional scenes directed by Bava's son Lamberto, and additional music by Stelvio Cipriani! An experiment in pure, psychological terror, KIDNAPPED follows a trio of ruthless bank robbers as they hurtle around Rome's super-highways in a stolen car with an old man and a seriously ill child. But stay alert Ð things are not what they seem to be in this brutally clever action thriller.

New 35mm Print!
The Girl Who Knew Too Much
at 5:30, 9:45
1963 Mario Bava w/Leticia Roman, John Saxon

Bava pioneered the giallo (Italian horror) genre with this Hitchcockian suspenser about a young American chased across Rome by 'the Alphabet Murderer.' Features some of Bava's most sexually complex imagery, including a young woman protected by a sinister spider's web. Originally released in the U.S. in a much altered version as THE EVIL EYE, this is the original Director's Cut.

Thursday, August 1, 2002

New 35mm Print! Complete European Version!
Black Sunday
at 3:30, 5:30, 7:30
1960 Mario Bava w/ Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Ivo Garrani

Bava's first full-length film as a director opens with a signature image: a beautiful witch spewing curses as she's clamped into a spiked mask. Steele is fabulous in a double role as the deathless witch and her own virginal descendant. Eerie, hallucinatory Ð essential Bava.

Thursday, August 8, 2002

New 35mm Print!
Five Dolls for an August Moon
at 3:00, 5:00, 7:00
1970 Mario Bava w/William Berger, Edwige Fenech, Ira von Furstenberg

A clique of idle rich gathered for a swinging weekend at an island beach house is murdered one by one in this ultra-groovy, Pop Art giallo. Soaked with a glamorously sleazy ambience and an absurd lounge music score, FIVE DOLLS emerges as one of the pinnacles of 1970's Euro-trash cinema! Supremely entertaining.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

New 35mm Print!
Lisa and the Devil
at 3:00, 7:45
1972 Bava w/Elke Sommer, Telly Savalas

Released in a butchered form as THE HOUSE OF EXORCISM, this complete version is one of Bava's masterworks. Tourist Sommer is lured by devil Savalas (yes, it's Kojak!) into a household of white lilies and rotting corpses. Elegiac and dreamlike, with Bava's own poetic brand of morbid, melancholic lyricism. Contains "Bava's most impressive scene of necrophilia." Ð Phil Hardy, Encyclopedia of Horror.

New 35mm Print!
Baron Blood
at 5:15, 10:00
1972 Bava w/Elke Sommer, Joseph Cotton, Massimo Girotti, Rada Rassimov

German sex pot Sommer is menaced by Orson Welles regular Cotton, a 400-year-old sadistic nobleman bent on restoring his youth in Bava's gruesome, grand guignol Gothic.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

New 35mm Print! Complete European Version!
Black Sabbath
at 3:30, 7:30
1963 Bava w/Boris Karloff, Mark Damon, Jacqueline Pierreux Reportedly

Bava's favorite of his films: three minimalist tales of terror, topped by 'The Wurdelak' with Karloff as a ravenous Russian vampire! This is the original European version complete with a different musical score, alternate introduction by Karloff, and the restored sexual implications that had been deleted when the film was released in the U.S.

New 35mm Print!
Kill, Baby, Kill
at 5:30, 9:45
1966 Bava w/Erica Blanc, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart

Forget the ridiculous title Ð this exquisite gothic brings together many of Bava's major themes: a murdered child who returns from the grave to exact vengeance; a village blighted by its own ignorant evil. One of the most atmospheric, effective ghost stories ever filmed.

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