Monday, April 23, 2012

KILL, BABY...KILL! (Mario Bava, 1966) Dr Paul Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) is summoned to a shadowy, secretive village, after the residents begin to die under mysterious circumstances, and coins are found embedded in their hearts. Paul finds the townsfolk less than cooperative, and frightfully superstitious. They inform him that the town is haunted by the ghost of seven year-old Melissa Graps, whose apparition causes the death of anyone who beholds her. Being a man of science, Paul thinks the story ridiculous - a sentiment seconded by the police inspector assigned to the case. But reason gives way to nightmare as Melissa appears to the doctor and his love interest, Monica (Erika Blanc), both of whom must uncover the town's guilty secret before the vengeful spirit strikes again. Kill, Baby..Kill! is another Bava Gothic classic, and one that uses more chills than spills to provide the frights. Bava's innovative lighting and subtly creepy imagery come together to form a memorable film, though it's general lack of action and gore might add a touch of tedium for some. There's also a rushed feeling about Kill, Baby...Kill!, a certain sloppiness (jerky shots, corpses' eyes fluttering, lazily-made sets, etc) uncharacteristic of Bava, though it doesn't much detract from the viewing experience. Worth a gander.

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