One Night, Three Bava’s


Okay so I meant to post this on October 31st, 2013 but I tend to procrastinate and I was really far behind on reviews at that point anyways. This was mostly because I was too busy watching horror movies, and I spent Halloween night at home enjoying beer, food, and a trio of Mario Bava films:

1) 5 Dolls For An August Moon (1970)

In some ways I’m not even sure that 5 Dolls For An August Moon is a horror film, as most of the movie is a murder mystery/suspense drama with plenty of bodies to go around. Still its a loose slasher film/giallo crafted by the legendary Mario Bava, and I loved its ghoulish sense of humor. There is some amusement to be found in how this film unwinds, and there is a scene that possibly violates logic yet in this film’s loose and wild narrative its a scene that makes absolute sense. Oh and this film could have been subtitled “Rich people behaving badly. Really badly.”

A group of industrialists throw a party on a secluded island, with several of them attempting to pay off a scientist for his discovery of a formula that could be revolutionary. From early on when someone is horribly murdered to the group’s horrible way of dealing with the murders going on in their midst, 5 Dolls operates as a slasher comedy, with the characters rapidly dropping like flies. Like so many other slasher movies this film quickly becomes a guessing game, where the murder hides in plain sight and no one can be trusted. Its a nice level of paranoia that works fairly well in the best slasher movies.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending, and while I really liked this movie I think its one of Bava’s most uninteresting in terms of what happens. Yet I loved the pure style of the proceedings, and the final shot is in some regards a wonderful joke. Dead people haven’t been this funny or interesting in quite some time, I think.

2) Hatchet For Honeymoon (1970)

In some ways the great looking yet sinister manic John, the main character of Hatchet For The Honeymoon, reminds me of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Both are rich psychopaths who hide their murder lusts behind perfectly constructed facades, carefully wooing lovely beauties and then killing them. However Bateman wasn’t a mother’s boy, and he was too smart to be locked into a loveless marriage of connivance like John was. Poor John, much like Patrick, can barely keep it together: his world is a house of cards, and he is a lunatic bordering on absolute madness. This is Mario Bava’s masterwork, a film that takes us inside the world of a madman and achieves the tricky part of making us care if he can actually stay one step ahead of the law, that he escapes fate.

Not to mention the fact that midway through the movie loses itself completely in the tricky confines of John’s psychotic world view, operating as crazy as John does the rest of the way. The title by the way is a complete misnomer, as John doesn’t actually murder anyone with a hatchet, choosing instead to use a meat clever to nasty effect. The killings are gorgeous, constructed perfectly and therefore shockingly up close. You can almost feel and sense the fear of his victims and pity them even as John covers his awful behavior with the lies of a gentleman of leisure.

I cannot reveal here one of the film’s best aspects, nor can I say more about the ending, which is bone chillingly eerie. What I can note is that Hatchet For The Honeymoon is a classy giallo with plenty of surprises up its sleeve. So far the only other Bava I find that comes close to matching this film is Blood and Black Lace, another nasty piece of work that is another fine contribution to the slasher sub genre of horror movie making.

3) Twitch Of The Death Nerve/A Bay Of Blood (1971)

Okay so I can see why everyone feels that Friday the 13th: Part 2 ripped off Twitch of the Death Nerve, also known as A Bay of Blood. In fact its painfully obvious, and yet I like both movies-even though A Bay of Blood is the superior of the two. Mario Bava was really good at depicting horrible mayhem occurring onscreen to the point where its no surprise that the Americans decided to rip off his kills. Especially the famous “Spear through the two lovers” death scene that was so graphic the filmmakers of Friday the 13th were forced to cut parts of the scene just to avoid the dreaded “X” rating. Bava apparently did not have that problem in Italy, although I’m sure even the censors over there were strict to a certain degree.

Another thing I love about this film is that the killers are mostly revealed-there is little secret as to who is murdering who, and the body count is rather high. Since the lake front property is worth a great fortune a greedy brood has descended upon the area, desperately killing off one another to try and take control. In some ways this movie has the feel of a gory soap opera where someone is screwing someone else, another person has murdered someone else, and everyone seems to be in on some type of demented conspiracy. Its almost difficult to keep up with the machinations of the entire situation.


By the end of this movie I was a bit exhausted, although that was more so from having spent the entire Halloween night watching Bava movies on Netflix Instant Viewing. A Bay of Blood is gory, bloody (of course) and yet manages to keep that trademark dark humor that Bava featured in some of his later movies. I smiled at how the film ended, and I realize that the Friday the 13th series would have benefited from more dark humor in the series and maybe some nicely tuned irony.

The Leaves Are Changing…


Leaves are falling all around/Time I was on my way.

Ramble On, Led Zeppelin

Fall is my favorite season of the year. Its football and Oktoberfest beers. The leaves changing into wonderful colors, giving way to nice, cooler temperatures that kill off pesky insects. Halloween and Thanksgiving are my two favorite holidays: horror movies and candy, pumpkin pie and turkey all annual traditions.

Not to mention talligating, the start of basketball season, hoodies and blue jeans, jerseys and stocking caps. Too bad this season is so short-the weather is a nice mix of warm and cold. Not to mention Indian Summer and the pretty glistening twilight before night settles in early. Movie blockbusters give way to more adult fare, Oscar season quietly descending upon us. This is the most wonderful time of the year.

Halloween Playlist


Look this is based only off the music I have on my iTunes, but its still a decent playlist. Not one I would go with overall if I could make a truly great one, however:

1. Wolf Like Me, TV On The Radio. From: Return To Cookie Mountain

2. Psycho Killer, Talking Heads. From: Sand In The Vaseline

3. The Skin Of The Night, M83. From: Saturdays=Youth

4. The Omen, Jerry Goldsmith. From: Classic Horror Films

5. Psycho, Bernard Herrmann. From: Classic Horror Films

6. Scream, Marco Beltrami. From: Classic Horror Films

7. Halloween, John Carpenter. From: Classic Horror Films

8. The Exorcist, London Bells. From: Classic Horror Films

9. Poltergeist, Jerry Goldsmith. From: Classic Horror Films

10. Friday the 13th (Part 3 score), Harry Manfredini. From: Classic Horror Films

11. Dracula, Various Artists. From: Classic Horror Films

12. Nightmare On Elm Street, Charles Bernstein. From: Classic Horror Films

13. The Prince of Darkness, John Carpenter. From: Classic Horror Films

14. The Silence of the Lambs, Howard Shore. From: Classic Horror Films

15. The Shining, Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind. From: Classic Horror Films

16. Little House of Savages, The Walkmen. From: Bows + Arrows

17. Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival. From: Chronicle, Vol. 1

18. Hush (Live), Deep Purple. From: Deep Purple Icon

19. Screaming Skull, Sonic Youth. From: Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star

20. Shopping For Blood, Franz Ferdinand. From: Franz Ferdinand (Special Edition)

21. Pet Sematary [Single Version], The Ramones. From: Greatest Hits

Overall Length: 21 Songs, 1 hour 16 minutes 36 seconds running time, 390.4 MB.

After Midnight: Horrorfest 2013


Lon Chaney and some creepy woman are so happy that you stopped by for the introduction to this year’s Horrorfest. I’m carrying this over from my last blog, and I’ve been doing Horrorfests ever since 2008. From August until sometime in November I watch as many horror movies as I can, only this year I’m actually planning a theme for October-you’ll see. Just sit down, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. Don’t be alarmed if you scream or if sharp fangs press against your neck. Its all part of the show, see….

The List: (Subject to Change Whenever I Feel Like It)

The Pre-Show: Homecoming (2006, Joe Dante)-Zombies-Netflix DVD-70: https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/2013-horrorfest-presents-homecoming-2005-joe-dante/

August-

1.    The House of the Devil (2009, Ti West)-Demonic-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/2013-horrorfest-presents-the-house-of-the-devil-2009-ti-west/=91/100
2.    The Inkeepers (2012, Ti West)-Ghosts-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-innkeepers-2012-ti-west/=91/100
3.    The Prophecy (1995, Gregory Widen)-Angels and Demons-Netflix Instead Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/2013-horrorfest-presents-the-prophecy-1995-gregory-widen/=84/100
4.    The Man Who Laughs (1928, Paul Leni)-Man As Monster-Youtube-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/2013-horrorfest-presents-the-man-who-laughs-1928-leni/=95/100
5.    John Dies at the End (2012, Don Coscarelli), Monsters-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/2013-horrorfest-presents-john-dies-at-the-end-2012-don-coscarelli/=90/100
6.    House of a 1000 Corpses (2003, Rob Zombie)-Slasher-Family Video
7.    The Devil’s Rejects (2005, Rob Zombie)-Slasher-Family Video
8.    The Cabin in the Woods (2011, Drew Goddard)-Slasher/Meta-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/2013-horrorfest-presents-the-cabin-in-the-woods-2012-drew-goddard/=95/100
9.    Wolf Creek (2005, Greg McLean)-Slasher-Family Video
10.    Rouge (2007, Greg McLean)-Killer Animal-Family Video

September-

1.    Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971, Dario Argento)-Slasher-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/2013-horrorfest-presents-four-flies-on-grey-velvet-1971-dario-argento/=90/100
2.    Tenebre (1982, Dario Argento)-Slasher-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/2013-horrorfest-presents-tenebre-1982-dario-argento/=95/100
3.    The Lords of Salem (2012, Rob Zombie)-Demonic-RedBox-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/horrorfest-presents-the-lords-of-salem-2012-rob-zombie/=95/100
4.    The Evil Dead (2013, Fede Alvarez)-Demons-RedBox-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-evil-dead-2013/=76/100
5.    The Hamiltons (2006, Mitchell Altieri, Phil Flores)-Creepy Family-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/2013-horrorfest-presents-the-hamiltons-2006-butcher-brothers-phil-flores-mitchell-altieri/=65/100
6.    The Prophecy II (1998, Greg Spence)-Angels-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/2013-horrorfest-presents-the-prophecy-ii-1998/=60/100
7.    The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton)-Ghosts-Netflix
8.    What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962, Robert Aldrich)-Crazy People-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/horrorfest-2013-presents-what-ever-happened-to-baby-jane-1962-robert-aldrich/=95/100
9.    Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1972, Bob Clark)-Zombies-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/horrorfest-2013-presents-children-shouldnt-play-with-dead-things-1972-bob-clark/=85
10.    Stake Land (2010, Jim Mickle)-Vampires-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/horrorfest-2013-presents-stake-land/=87/100
11.    [REC] (2007, Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza)-Zombies-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/horrorfest-2013-presents-rec/=93/100
12.    Critters 2: The Main Course (1988, Mick Garris)-Creature Feature-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/horrorfest-2013-presents-critters-2-the-main-course/=79/100
13.    V/H/S (2012, Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swangberg, David Bruckner, Ti West, Radio Silence)-Anthology-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/horrorfest-2013-presents-vhs-2012/=83/100
14.    Cemetery Man (1996, Michele Soavi)-Zombies-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/horrorfest-2013-presents-cemetery-man/=95/100
15.    Hellraiser (1987, Clive Barker)-Satanic-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/horrorfest-2013-presents-hellraiser/=90/100
16.    Who Can Kill a Child? (1976, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador)-Slasher-Netflix
17.    The Blob (1988, Chuck Russell)-Creature Feature-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-blob-1988-chuck-russell/=83/100
18. Forbidden World (1982, Allen Holzman)-Aliens-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/horrorfest-2013-presents-forbidden-world-1982-allen-holzman/=75/100

October-

Hammer Studios Horror Films Edition:

1.    X The Unknown (1956, Leslie Norman)-Creature Feature-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/its-hammer-time-x-the-unknown-1956-leslie-norman/=74/100
2.    The Abominable Snowman (1957, Val Guest)-Creature Feature-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/its-hammer-time-presents-the-adominable-snowman-1957-val-guest/=60/100
3.    The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958, Terence Fisher)-Creature Feature-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/its-hammer-time-presents-the-revenge-of-frankenstein-1958-terence-fisher/=93/100
4.    The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959, Terence Fisher)-Creature Feature-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/its-hammer-time-presents-the-hound-of-the-baskervilles-1959-terence-fisher/=65/100
5.    The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959, Terence Fisher)-Madmen-Netflix
6.    The Plague of the Zombies (1966, John Gilling)-Zombies-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/its-hammer-time-presents-plague-of-the-zombies-1966-john-gilling/=83/100
7.    The Reptile (1966, John Gilling)-Creature Feature-Netflix
8.    The Witches (1967, Cyril Frankel)-Witches-Netflix
9.    Frankenstein Created Woman (1967, Terence Fisher)-Creature Feature-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/its-hammer-time-presents-frankenstein-created-woman-1967-terence-fisher/=84/100
10.    The Mummy’s Shroud (1967, John Gilling)-Mummies-Netflix
11.    Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968, Freddie Francis)-Vampires-Netflix
12.    Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969, Terence Fisher)-Creature Feature-Netflix
13.    Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970, Peter Sasdy)-Vampires-Netflix
14.    Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971, Seth Holt)-Mummies-Netflix
15.    Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972, Alan Gibson)-Vampires-Netflix
16.    Dracula: The Satanic Rites (1973, Alan Gibson)-Vampires-Netflix
17.    Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1979, Roy Ward Baker)-Vampires-Netflix

Rest of the Month:

1.    Ravenous (1999, Antonia Bird)-Slasher-Netflix
2.    Ghoulies II (1988, Albert Band)-Creature Feature-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/horrorfest-2013-presents-ghoulies-ii/=44/100
3.    Nomads (1986, John McTiernan)-Crazy People-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/horrorfest-2013-presents-nomads-1986-john-mctiernan/=52/100
4.    Kill List (2011, Ben Wheatley)-Cult People-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/horrorfest-2013-presents-kill-list-2011-ben-wheatley/=97/100
5.    The Devil’s Backbone (2001, Guillermo del Toro)-Ghosts-Netflix
6.    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986, John McNaughton)-Slasher-Netflix-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/horrorfest-2013-presents-henry-portrait-of-a-serial-killer-1986-john-mcnaughton/=92/100
7.    The Flesh and the Fiends (1960, John Gilling)-Slashers-Netflix
8.    The Bay (2012, Bary Levinson)-Creature Feature-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-bay-2012-barry-levinson/=85/100
9.    The Last Broadcast (1998, Lance Wiler, Stefan Avalos)-Supernatural-Netflix
10.    Immortality aka The Wisdom of Crocodiles (2000, Po Chih Leong), Vampires-Netflix Instant Viewing-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/immortalitythe-wisdom-of-crocodiles-1998-po-chih-leong/=90/100
11.    Resident Evil (2002, Paul W.S. Anderson)-82/100=https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/horrorfest-2013-presents-resident-evil-2002-paul-w-s-anderson/
12.    Pumpkinhead (1988, Stan Winston)-90/100=https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/horrorfest-2013-presents-pumpkinhead-1988-stan-winston/
13.    The People Under The Stairs (1991, Wes Craven)-86/100=https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-people-under-the-stairs-1991-wes-craven/
14.    Mimic (1997, Guillermo del Toro)-88/100=https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/horrorfest-2013-presents-mimic-1997-guillermo-del-toro/
15.    Bloody Birthday (1981, Ed Hunt)-76/100=https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/horrorfest-2013-presents-bloody-birthday-1981-ed-hunt/
16.    The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000, Patrick Lussier)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-prophecy-3-the-ascent-2000-patrick-lussier/=73/100
17.    Graveyard Shift (1990, Ralph S. Singleton)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/horrorfest-2013-presents-graveyard-shift-1990-ralph-s-singleton/=70/100
18.    Sisters (1973, Brian De Palma)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/horrorfest-2013-presents-sisters-1973-brian-de-palma/=91/100
19.    Village of the Damned (1960, Wolf Rilla)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/horrorfest-2013-presents-village-of-the-damned-1960-wolf-rilla/=90/100
20.    Terror Train (1980, Roger Spottiswoode)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/horrorfest-2013-presents-terror-train-1980-roger-spottiswoode/=80/100
21.    TerrorVision (1986, Ted Nicolaou)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/horrorfest-2013-presents-terrorvision/=81/100
22.    The Video Dead (1987, Robert Scott)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-video-dead-1987-robert-scott/=74/100
23.    City of the Living Dead (1980, Lucio Fulci)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/horrorfest-2013-presents-city-of-the-living-dead-1980-lucio-fulci/=81/100
24.    Leprechaun 2 (1994, Rodman Flender), Slasher-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/horrorfest-2013-presents-leprechaun-2-1994-rodman-flender/=79/100
25.    The Funhouse (1981, Tobe Hooper), Slasher-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/horrorfest-2013-presents-the-funhouse-1981-tobe-hooper/=91/100
26.    Phenomena (1985, Dario Argento)-Slasher/Supernatural-Netflix
27.    Opera (1987, Dario Argento)-Slasher-Netflix

One Night Three Bavas: https://madman731.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/one-night-three-bavas/

28.    5 Dolls for an August Moon (1970, Mario Bava), Slasher-Netflix Instant Viewing=81/100
29.    Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970, Mario Bava)-Slasher-Netflix Instant Viewing=92/100
30.    Bay of Blood (1971, Mario Bava)-Slasher-Netflix Instant Viewing=88/100

Thus ends Horrorfest 2013. I enjoyed watching a ton of movies and being scared and thrilled during a three month period. I can’t wait for Horrorfest 2014. Cheers.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑