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Kill Baby Kill! [Import]

Giacomo Rossi-Stuart , Erika Blanc , Mario Bava    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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From the title, you might expect a modern slasher picture or a serial killer drama, but Mario Bava's Kill, Baby... Kill is actually an eerie gothic ghost-story-with-a-body-count set in a quaint Italian turn-of-the-century village. When a city coroner arrives to examine the latest victim in a long string of "suicides," he discovers a town of deserted streets, suspicious and terrified townspeople, and a conspiracy of silence. The town is haunted by the specter of a homicidal adolescent girl, a creepy vision in white whose little-girl giggles become chilling as she randomly chooses her victims and sends them to their gory deaths. Bava sets a moody stage of empty streets blanketed nightly in a swirling mist and flooded with lights of red, blue, and green--an expressionist night-cum-nightmare as unreal as it beautiful. This fanciful nocturnal world becomes the stage for virtual pageants of death in which the victims become tortured puppets of the malevolent spirit and are forced to murder themselves. The often arch and operatic performances are deadened by flat dubbing and an often prosaic translation, which creates an odd dissonance between the story and style. Though hardly to the tastes of modern slasher movie mavens, Bava's imaginative horror-thriller is full of grotesque and sometimes grueling murders, but trades the gore for an unsettling mood of doom. --Sean Axmaker

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kill, kill! Feb. 22 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Okay, it's a stupid title for a movie, and it sounds like it belongs to a cheap slasher flick.

But fortunately Mario Bava's "Kill Baby Kill" is much better than its hokey title suggests, as one would expect from a giallo master. Instead of a slasher movie, it's a gothic horror movie with impalements, ghosts and magic. It has all the beauty -- and terror -- of a decayed fairy tale.

When a young woman leaps onto an iron fence, young Dr. Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) is called in to do an autopsy, with the help of beautiful Monica (Erica Blanc). He finds a coin in the girl's heart, and none of the townspeople will tell him -- because if they do, they will suffer a similar fate. Eswai doesn't buy all this superstition.

He's even more annoyed when local sorceress Ruth (Fabienne Dali) begins using her powers to protect a young girl from a childlike specter -- little dead aristocrat Melissa Graps. But as the bodies pile up, and Monica is plagued by bizarre nightmares, Eswai must accept Ruth's help to save Monica from the ghost, and an evil baroness.

"Kill Baby Kill" is more gothic horror rather than straightforward "giallo." But it has the cinematic touches that Bava was known for. Bava fills the run-down village sets with broken doors, wrought-iron fences, coffins, and long fluttering canopies. It's gothically delicious.

Bava also adds dreamlike touches to his typical style-- the village is full of mist, tombstones, and green, blue and red lighting that flicks on and off. He packs this movie so full of visual opulance, it's like being locked inside a beautiful nightmare -- and it adds to the feeling of a fairy tale gone horribly wrong.

And he has a knack for the really spooky stuff too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A creepy masterpiece of horrific art June 19 2006
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Kill Baby Kill is a surprisingly good, beautifully presented, deliciously atmospheric horror film from noted Italian director Mario Bava. This is actually a fairly creepy ghost story, but there is a pretty significant death count nonetheless. The very first scene shows us a distraught young lady throwing herself, quite reluctantly, onto a spiked rail fence. Finding himself stymied in his investigation of the victim's death by a superstitious town population, Inspector Kruger calls in a coroner to perform an autopsy on the victim. Dr. Eswe finds himself having to walk a short distance into the small village because his driver refuses to enter it. He arrives to find a pretty desolate place with deserted streets, highly suspicious townspeople, and a mysterious but undeniable sense of gloom and doom. A young lady named Monica (Erica Blanc) soon arrives to witness the coroner's autopsy, one in which a coin is found nailed into the heart of the victim. Monica is one of the few people to have ever left the village, being taken away at just two years of age, but her connection with the townsfolk is predictably much deeper than even she knows. The townspeople won't talk about the suicide because "the child" will kill them if they do; based on later evidence, this is sound thinking on their part. The evil force seemingly responsible for what becomes a string of deaths is the ghost of a little seven-year old girl who died twenty years earlier while the townspeople failed to notice or just refused to respond to her cries for help. Little Melissa does much to make this movie compelling, as the child actress is genuinely frightening with her large eyes, forceful glances, and innocent yet malevolent laughter. Read more ›
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Director Mario Bava ("Black Sunday," "Black Sabbath") creates an atmosphere gothic horror film in "Kill, Baby, Kill" ("Operazione Paura"). At first glance this is an old fashioned ghost story with all of the required horror movie elements, from the ignorant and superstitious villages, an old crone uttering curses, swirling mists, rooms strewn with cobwebs, and even a black cat. Of course there is also the one person who understands what is really going on and is ignored until it is way too late.
When Dr. Paul Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) shows up to perform an autopsy on a young woman who died a violent death, he finds a fear stricken town in the best gothic tradition. When he finds the victim has a coin embedded in her heart, the town's shameful secret is told: twenty years earlier a young child, Melissa Graps, was run over and left to die during a festival. The townspeople are convinced Melissa's ghost is driving the guilty to suicide by appearing to them, and the good doctor's plea for rationality is ignored as the townsfolk are whipped into a frenzy of fear by the local sorceress, Ruth (Fabienne Dali). When Dr. Eswai and the lovely Monica (Erika Blanc) go to the local castle, Villa Graps, they find the Baroness also dead, another apparent suicide. There is only one thing left to do; explore the castle and find its deadly secret.
Title notes: "Kill, Baby, Kill!" was the film's 1968 release title, although it was first seen in the United States two years earlier as "Operation Fear." Other reissue titles were "Don't Walk in the Park" and "Curse of the Living Dead" (not to be confused with "Curse of the Dead," the release title in the United Kingdom).
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