Mario Bava’s masterpiece of infant fears, small town myths, long felt sexual repression and Gothic horror. Bava made some of the most intelligent, playful genre movies from Italy and even the world. Revealing Bava as a master of any genre and any time frame. Breaking bounds of time and space, legend and mystery. Here Bava blends well established troupes with sophistication while still keeping the creeping fear and unsettled desires at the forefront. Its a high point in a career of exceptional high points. This is him at the top of the game.
A physician is called to small town Transylvania. He has to act as a coroner, after the apparent suicide of a young woman. The cab driver refuses to enter the town. As he disembarks a coffin is pulled passed and sent to the graveyard. He enters town to find suspicion everywhere. No one wants to help. He then begins to encounter sinister supernatural forces. They want him gone and his investigation over the mysterious death stopped. However as more people die, he begins to panic about what will happen next.
I love Bava. I love him as a film maker and as a skilled auteur. He proves that directors can be versatile in form and translation. Especially when you are limited in what can actually be spent and what can be achieved. Bava takes simple production values, story and concepts.
He infuses them with his clever wit and cunning direction. Taking the elements and subverting them with children and corruption at their heart. Then he finishes off with a wonderful visual take that exposes the darkness of the truth with a colour hue of dawn like propriety. It is a stunning thing to behold.
The disc is excellent. The 2k transfer ironed out that colour issue from the DVD. The commnetary from Lucas is sublime , as is Kat Ellinger who is always worth time and consideration. Not taken with the homage film as it feels like a hack job and one that lacks skill. Overall excellent.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• Restored 2K high definition digital transfer
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
• English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
• New audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava – All the Colors of the Dark
• The Devil’s Daughter: Mario Bava and the Gothic Child, a new video essay by critic Kat Ellinger
• Kill, Bava, Kill!, an interview with assistant director Lamberto Bava
• Yellow, Semih Tareen’s short film homage to the cinema of Mario Bava
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic Travis Crawford