Mario Bava: Destination Terror
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Do not believe in what you think you see. Creeping mist, the milky fog of terror that can obscure untold dangers and shroud the confines of limited studio sets. Splashes of colour - purple, blue, green, deep red - a spectral spectrum, flooding the spaces between the darkness. Do you believe in ghosts? You must admit that there are things that frighten us. What's that strange shadow on the wall, or that flickering candle in the derelict crypt? Is it a trick of the light, or a trick of your imagination? That old castle perched on the cliff looks real, but it could simply be a photograph. And those hundreds of extras. A multiple-exposure? In the illusory world of cinema, would you like to learn what is real and what is unreal? Come closer please, I've something to tell you. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mario Bava.
– nothing in this story is what it seems. Bava motifs include the swing in John’s pad, which recalls Melissa’s in Kill, Baby…Kill!, the open glass showers from Diabolik, and John is referred to as ‘the Devil himself’, so the film depicts a relationship between ‘Tina (not Lisa) and the Devil’. For its nudity and depiction, abeit coyly, of lesbian and homosexual encounters, the film ran into trouble in Italy, where it was initially banned. This explains the gap between its filming dates and
of Ulysses – the bewitching queen, shipwrecks, action, amnesia and monsters – was a rough formula that reappears in both of Francisci’s ‘Hercules’ outings. In this respect it is very much an early prototype for late-1950s and ‘60s pepla. The English language dub of Ulysses, with Douglas, Mangano and Quinn voicing themselves, begins with the titles over Ulysses’ ship tossed on a stormy sea. It’s available on DVD from Studio Canal/Lionsgate. The massive international box office success of
other amid a permanent atmosphere of distrust. Nero is assisted by Vittorio De Sica’s tired philosopher Seneca and sexpot Poppea, as played by a young Brigitte Bardot. Sordi is a madcap Nero, sending up Peter Ustinov in Quo Vadis. He is introduced composing music with his menagerie orchestra, including a pig, a goat, a rabbit and an owl, and later plans to invade Britain with an army of dancing girls. In one scene, he attacks a plumber who he mistakes for an assassin. Nero tries to crush his
Freda’/Riccardo Freda 86 mins Steve Reeves (Hadji Murad, the White Warrior), Giorgia Moll (Sultanet, Haslem Bey’s daughter), Scilla Gabel (Princess Maria Vorontov), Renato Baldini (Akmed Khan), Gerard Herter (Prince Sergei), Milivoje Zivanovic (Tsar Nicholas I), Nikola Popovic (King Shamyl), Jovan Gec (Ibram Bey), Niksa Stefanini (Ganzolo), Milivoje Popovic-Mavid (doctor), Antun Nalis (Eldur, Murad’s lieutenant), Massimo Righi (Tsar’s orderly) Bava was the credited director of photography on
wear. Freda’s grandiose epic (which Bava worked on uncredited as a cinematographer) features a thrilling chariot race, six years before William Wyler’s remake of Ben-Hur (1959).Canale also appeared in Freda’s version of the Spartacus story, Spartacus the Gladiator (1953 – aka Sins of Rome) and was later Antea, the bewitching queen of the Amazons in Pietro Francisci’s Hercules (1958). As well as being a horror film, there’s a bit of class commentary at work in I Vampiri too: Giselle is noble,