THE WHIP AND THE BODY
LA FRUSTA E IL CORPO
1963, Kino Lorber, 87 min, Italy/France, Dir: Mario Bava

Demonic aristocrat Christopher Lee returns from the dead to whip his brother’s wife, Daliah Lavi, into a sexual ecstasy in this chilling essay on the ties that bind. Amour fou is taken to its ultimate conclusion in a deliriously romantic study in perverse psychology, widely censored at the time of its release and our choice as the most sumptuous, atmosphere-drenched Gothic chiller from the last 50 years! Carlo Rustichelli provided the melancholic score, rife with haunting love themes for the damned. “Lee once said that this inspired sadomasochistic fantasy is the best of his Italian films … Bava creates an uncannily sensuous atmosphere, especially when he trains his camera on Lavi, obsessively detailing her face as desire, pleasure and pain mingle in a hallucinatory erotic delirium.” – Phil Hardy, Overlook Film Encyclopedia of Horror.


FIVE DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON
5 BAMBOLE PER LA LUNA D’AGOSTO
1970, NAOR World Media Films, 88 min, Italy, Dir: Mario Bava

A clique of the idle rich gathered for a swinging weekend at an island beach house is murdered one by one in this ultra-groovy, Pop Art giallo. Soaked with a glamorously sleazy ambience and an absurd lounge music score by the great Piero Umiliani, FIVE DOLLS emerges as one of the pinnacles of 1970s Eurotrash cinema! Supremely entertaining, with more of Bava’s unique imagery that seems poised on that intangible borderline between sensual dream and inescapable nightmare. With William Berger, Edwige Fenech and Ira von Furstenberg.


HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON
IL ROSSO SEGNO DELLA FOLLIA
1970, Kino Lorber, 88 min, Italy/Spain, Dir: Mario Bava

Wealthy psychopath and wedding dress designer Stephen Forsyth is perfectly aware that he is crazy, and he skillfully covers his tracks as he stalks and murders potential brides before their nuptials. He’s also tormented by a childhood secret that he can’t quite remember, an overwhelming force that sucks him ever deeper into the maw of madness. His own bitter wife (Laura Betti) finally pushes him over the edge to where he can no longer distinguish between fantasy and reality. The deliciously macabre script was co-written by Spanish genre specialist Santiago Moncada (A BELL FROM HELL) and an uncredited Bava. “… one of Mario Bava's … most playful thrillers, a demented black comedy that pokes fun at the murderous psychos which were littering the European cinema screens during the late '60s … a beautifully filmed drawing room murder tale which unexpectedly leaps midstream into a bizarre and wholly original ghost story.” – Mondo-Digital.com.


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