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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$ 116.12
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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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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bava, take two Aug. 29 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Mario Bava was one of the most underrated filmmakers of the 20th century. So it's appropriate that the first volume of the "Mario Bava Collection" (or "Bava Box") was one of the best releases of the last year, and reintroduced us to classics of Bava's that had fallen out of view. The second volume just continues that tradition, with big chunks of classic, stylish horror.

"Baron Blood" begins the collection -- Baron Otto Van Kleist was a savage, depraved guy who liked to torture people for fun (think Vlad Tepes), until a witch's curse put him out of commission. Centuries later, his descendent Peter (Antonio Cantafora) returns to his family's gothic castle, and decides that he and visiting student Eva (Elke Sommer) will recite the incantation that will return "Baron Blood" to the world. Of course, he actually DOES return, and soon Peter, Eva and Peter's uncle are forced to battle his psychotic, deformed ancestor.

"Lisa and the Devil" is more or less what it sounds like, with our heroine Lisa (Elke Sommer) a tourist going through Italy. She encounters some freaky folklore involving a local painting of the Devil and the Dead -- and a man (Telly Savalas) who eerily resembles the painted Satan. When her travel group is invited by the man to stay at a spooky villa, Lisa becomes ensnared in a maze of nightmares and death.

Then we get something that ISN'T gothic horror -- "Roy Colt and Winchester Jack," a comedy-western. Failed outlaw Roy Colt (Brett Halsey) has decided to become a law-abiding sheriff -- until he learns of a treasure map to buried gold. Of course, he scurries after it -- but to get his hands on it, he'll have to beat out an Indian prostitute, a dynamiting Russian Reverand, and his old partner Winchester Jack (Charles Southwood).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bava has some fun June 4 2004
Format:DVD
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
Format:DVD
"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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