Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Lisa and the Devil (1973, Mario Bava)


Sure Mario Bava has done better, yet Lisa and the Devil is still a solid horror movie that in the tradition of Italian horror doesn’t quite make a lot of sense to me. That’s alright, it’s part of the film’s charm and the visuals are fantastic as usual when it comes to a Bava movie. One of my favorite scenes is a dinner party of the damned, all of the undead guests decked out in their finest. A demonic last supper if there ever was one!

Telly Savalas plays a man who is probably the Devil, yet acts the part of a man servant for a pair of rich people in one of those old mansions in the countryside. Elke Sommer, who embodies the title character, spends a lot of this movie running and screaming while dealing with being as confused by what is happening as the rest of the audience.

There is an airplane scene that is definitely partly inspired by the famous Carnival of Souls bus scene, and this movie has plenty of mayhem and gore. Even mid tier Bava is worth a watch, and yet I wonder if this movie wouldn’t benefit from a second viewing, as some of his films have from my experience. Also I have little interest in seeing the American recut version, which is just an Exorcist ripoff from the sound of things. Sometimes director’s cuts are highly unnecessary.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Night Tide (1961, Curtis Harrington)


Night Tide may be more of a psychological horror thriller than a supernatural one, and yet it operates as both quite well. This is a tightly paced film that still has wonderfully lyrical and also eerie moments, often within minutes of each other. Dennis Hopper is a lonely sailor desperate for love and companionship, this settling on a woman that may be a mermaid. Or thinks she’s a mermaid. Well she plays one at the local carnival, anyways.

Linda Lawson is the alluring and mysterious woman Mora, who may or may not have killed her previous lovers. Hopper’s Johnny learns of this, yet in typical horror movie fashion he doesn’t believe it and he continues to see her. Love sure is blind. There is a dream sequence that looks even more fantastic in the movie’s black and white cinematography, and that sequence leads into an ocean scene that is pure 1950s melodrama.

While the movie probably could have been longer, oddly enough, Harrington was limited by his budget and he smartly wraps up the picture under 90 minutes. Parts of Night Tide definitely had to have been an influence on The Lighthouse, and I’ll be thinking about this one for quite a while even if I didn’t give the movie a perfect score. Harrington’s early 1960s movie, much like Cat Peope and Carnival of Souls, offers up people haunted by a past that endangers their future. I would love to see the ocean at night, as long as I don’t stare too hard into those black, deep waves…

Favorite Horror Movies


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  1. Night of the Living Dead (1968, George A. Romero)
  2. Gremlins (1984, Joe Dante)
  3. Videodrome (1983, David Cronenberg)
  4. Halloween (1978, John Carpenter)
  5. Night of the Creeps (1986, Fred Dekker)
  6. The Last Man On Earth (1964, Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow)
  7. The Horror Express (1973, Eugenio Martin)
  8. Shaun of the Dead (2004, Edgar Wright)
  9. Carnival of Souls (1960, Herk Harvey)
  10. Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)
  11. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987, Sam Rami)
  12. Scream (1996, Wes Craven)
  13. Tremors (1990, Ron Underwood)
  14. Re-Animator (1985, Stuart Gordon)
  15. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984, Joseph Zito)
  16. Horror of Dracula (1958, Terence Fisher)
  17. Sleepy Hollow (1999, Tim Burton)
  18. Trick ‘r’ Treat (2008, Michael  Dougherty)
  19. The Frighteners (1996, Peter Jackson)
  20. Arachnophobia (1990, Frank Marshall)

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