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The Mario Bava Collection Volume 2

Claudine Auger , Luigi Pistilli , Mario Bava    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 149.59
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The most flabbergasting remake of Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon ever mounted, Mario Bava's frothy Italian sex farce is a swinging sixties piece of peek-a-boo exploitation set to a jazzy score. Leggy brunette Daniela Giordano struts in miniskirts (and less) as a nice church-going girl picked up by a leering hunk in a red convertible (Brett Halsey). "You try and stay pure and I'll try to stop you. It'll be fun," he exclaims as he chases her around his funky bachelor pad. At least that's her version of the story. When Halsey brags to his drinking chums he's the shy guy taught a few things by his insatiable date, and the peeping tom landlord follows with a complicated tale of a gay nightclub, naked dancing girls in go-go boots, and wild lesbian sex. The "real" story, told by a narrating psychologist, is a let down after all these outrageous sex fantasies. Elegantly shot and sleekly designed in bright, bold colors, it makes for a handsome helping of cheesecake and tame centerfold-style nudity, and Bava employs all the abrupt zooms and fuzzy focus transitions we expect from our hip sixties pictures. It's quite a contrast from his usual baroque thrillers, handsome and even a little kinky, but hardly memorable. --Sean Axmaker

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4.0 out of 5 stars Bava has some fun June 4 2004
Italian director Mario Bava (1914-1980) is a giant in the horror film genre. Bava's big break into the field came with his 1960 black and white classic "Black Sunday" starring Barbara Steele. This was only the beginning, as Bava churned out a mix of gruesome shockers and non-horror films over the next seventeen years; his films always promised great style mixed with scenes of murder and mayhem. Perhaps Mario's biggest contribution to the horror genre was his 1972 picture "Twitch of the Death Nerve," also known as "Bay of Blood." It doesn't take too long to realize "Friday the 13th" shamelessly cribbed from this slasher bloodbath. At least two of the murders in the film appear almost unchanged in the first installment of the Jason Voorhees franchise. That's right-Mario Bava gave birth to the modern slasher film. But he also dabbled in non-horror films with the immensely entertaining peplum classic, "Hercules in the Haunted World" and this film, the slightly racy romantic comedy "Four Times That Night." After watching his contributions to the sword and sandal, horror, and romantic comedy genres, I have to express further admiration for this amazing filmmaker; he could make an entertaining motion picture no matter what the subject.
"Four Times That Night" is an interesting film about how different people perceive the same event in different ways. It all starts when Tina (Daniela Giordano) meets a suave ladies man named Gianni (Brett Halsey) while walking her dog. Uncomfortable with the attention she's receiving from this guy in a fancy sports car, Tina runs off through the park only to discover Gianni is following her. After some small talk, she agrees to go out on a date with him.
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By A Customer
"Four times that night" is supposed to be Bava's, according to
the liner notes obligatory, "blue movie".
Probably in order not to make the movie too flat, the
creators adapted the conception of "Rashomon".
Unfortunately, I haven't seen the latter movie so far,
so that I cannot tell how much Bava copied from it.
Anyway, Bava presents the material, a one night stand
presented from four different viewpoints, as a light
hearted comedy. Though not particularly convincing, I
found the movie entertaining and enjoyed how Bava was
playing with his audience, especially, when the psychiatrist tells his mock version of what "really"
happened. The colourful visual style and the mastery
of the camera added further delight.
As far as the DVD is concerned, it is another sloppy
release by Image - they didn't even take the pain to cut
out those frames announcing the beginning and the end of the break when - being in a movie theatre - you are
supposed to buy your ice cream. Though the transfer is
sharp and colourful, it has been drawn from an extremely
speckled master. The audios are equally damaged.
There is NO bonus material - not even a trailer - worth
mentioning, except for the informative liner notes by
Tim Lucas.
People interested in Bava's work and intrigued by his
visual style will probably want to buy this DVD which at
least features the original version. To others, I hesitate
to recommend the DVD.
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It seems that every review I read for a Bava film has to praise his work no matter how average the picture. Even if a critic isn't crazy about the film at hand they find some way to call it great. Why? Is it blind allegiance? Bava made some influential and great films but not everything he touched turned to gold. Four Times... is very dull. Yes it looks good. And yes Bava did a lot with a small budget and short shooting schedule but that doesn't make it a "great" film. It's average at best. I almost couldn't wait for the film to end. The only thing that makes this movie stand out from other professional looking erotic films from this period is Bava's name. According to Tim Lucas' liner notes Bava filmed Four Times...out of fear of being labeled a homosexual director. Pretty silly if you ask me (esp. since the movie did not help his career). His fear explains why the films eroticism feels so forced. If you're a Bava completest you'll want this DVD. Otherwise I can't imagine too many people will find much of interest here. Image's DVD presentation is very nice. The colors are fairly strong. The film looks and sounds as good as can be expected.
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4.0 out of 5 stars INSATIABLE March 18 2001
Almost invisible for 32 years, italian director Mario Bava's FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT is now presented by Image in the DVD standard. Shot in late 1968, at the beginning of the erotic wave that submerged the B cinema of Italia, Germany and France, this movie didn't make it in front of the italian censorship and was banned from italian and international screens until 1973. It can not be denied that FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT delivers a certain amount of eroticism due mostly to the sculptural Daniela Giordano, Miss Italy 1966.
Other problematic scenes - for the censors, I mean - include homosexual and lesbian behaviours, mostly verbal and a night in a club for special people. I suppose that the producers of FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT, if they only had produced it two years later, would have a tremendous success because the cinematography is, as always in Mario Bava's movies, original and innovative. The first story, partly narrated " off " by Daniela Giordano is a little masterpiece that doesn't leave unharmed womanizers nor innocent sex symbols.
The theme of FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT is well known, the same story is told not from two three different points of view but rather from three different perspectives. A psychiatrist has the difficult task to propose the fourth version which could be or...not the real one.
The copy presented by Image is deceiving if we have in mind the Mario Bava movies that Anchor Bay or VCI released a few months ago. White spots haven't been digitally treated and the colours are very sad. As bonus features, biography and filmography of Mario Bava and english subtitles. Less than the minimum.
A DVD zone discovery.
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