lunes, 3 de agosto de 2009

Blood And Black Lace

Mario Bava’s one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. His cinematography, both in black and white and color, mixed in with production design, made him one of the most interesting of Italian horror filmmakers. This movie has a lot of historical importance, not just in Italian horror, but in horror in general. First of all it was the first body count movie, something that would go on to shape the world of the Italian giallo, and on to the slashers of the early 1980’s. It was also shot in vibrant Technicolor, which made the murders more explicit without really trying, not to mention more sexual.

The story deals with a fashion house where different models are being murdered by a white-faced killer that could pass off as The Blank from the Dick Tracy comics of the 1930’s. Being this a giallo, there is no insanity behind these murders, only profit, and soon enough it all escalates as everyone, EVERYONE involved has a dark past, and a reason to kill.

It’s all about production design for this film. The use of reds and greens pulse throughout the film, creating what one could call ‘painting with color’. Directors like Dario Argento would take this kind of cinematography to even bigger extremes, but Bava was there doing it first. The best murder sequence is definitely the second one, where a woman is chased through a multi-color antique store until having her skull crushed by a spiked glove. Then there’s the final drowning of the short-haired model, which really stays with you after the film is over, being almost like a rape as much as a murder, the woman maintaining her eyes open even when underwater. It’s easy to see why Almodovar chose it to appear in the beginning of Matador, as Antonio Banderas masturbates to it. One of the greatest movies ever made.

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