The Mario Bava Collection Volume One
Film director Mario Bava (1914-1980) was responsible for some of the best horror and mystery films (as well as an occasional western or adventure thriller) to be released in the 60s & 70s. A former classical painter, Bava first entered the Italian film industry as a cinematographer and special effects technician. After doing second unit work as an assistant director, Bava was given his own films to direct starting in 1960. Anchor Bay Entertainment has now released this digitally remastered collection of five of his earliest films (in clor and black & white) beginning with Bava's first movie as official director, the haunting and atmospheric Black Sunday (1960) about a young woman (Barbara Steele) and her family tormented by an evil witch/vampire (also played by Steele).
The four other films included in this set are:
- Black Sabbath (1963): An anthology of short horror stories hosted by Boris Karloff, who also plays a vampire(!) in one of the stories. (NOTE: This is the original Italian version, with a slightly different running time and with the stories re-edited, not the dubbed American version that came out here in 1964. This version is in Italian with English subtitles.)
- The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963): A young woman visiting relatives accidently witnesses a murder...or does she? With the help of young doctor John Saxon, she tries to find out. (NOTE: Orginally released in the US as The Evil Eye in a dubbed & reedited version, the version presented here is in Italian, with English subtitles.)
- Kill, Baby...Kill! (1966): Despite the silly explotative title, this long-unavailable film about the homicidal ghost of a slain young girl terrorizing a small village is one of the scariest horror films ever made. Full of dark and brooding imagery with an unforgettable ending!
- Knives of the Avenger (1966): Think Alan Ladd's great western Shane remade as a Viking epic (albeit on a low budget)! The one non-horror/mystery film in this collection, this one finds the lone hero (Cameron Mitchell), who's really good with a knife, trying to save the king and his family from a disloyal and evil general. But what secret link does Mitchell's character share with the king's son? Fun and exciting, with terrific action scenes, and a nice break from the heaviness of the previous films in this collection (although Mitchell really is one moody Viking).