Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fun with Bava: Blood Brides

Welcome to the week. At the suggestion of my Rotten Ramblin' On co-host Shawn I tackle some more Mario Bava for your reading pleasure and my viewing enjoyment. A brilliant idea so I decided to dive right in on that today. With a series of unexplained murders of young brides-to-be, these grizzly deeds go unchecked. This is Blood Brides a.k.a. Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Honeymoon, Red Wedding Night and An Axe for the Honeymoon.

Italian Clint Eastwood??

Manager of bridal dress factory John Harrington (Stephen Forsyth of Love and Marriage, In a Colt's Shadow, Fury in Marrakesh, Death at Owell Rock, Acid Delirium of the Senses, Black Jesus, and Blood Brides) seems to suffer from narrative's disease. Thankfully no echo reverb like Chuck Norris in The Octagon. John also seems to have an Oedipus complex. While he is cool and collective on the surface, he has inner demons needing to be kept at bay with his older wife Mildred (Laura Betti of Teorema, The Canterbury Tales, 1900, Art of Love, To Catch a Cop, Mamma Ebe, All the Fault of Paradise, Sweets from a Stranger, Widow's Walk, The Blue Rose, Courage Mountain, Suffocating Heat and The Rebel) while he comes to grips with his obvious dementia. John keeps flashing back to some event in the past, something his own subconscious is attempting to forever conceal from him.

That being said he and the wife usually start the day with a screaming match at the breakfast table of John belting out about a divorce and Mildred will have none of it. John storms out of the house and to his office where he meets Helen Wood (Dagmar Lassander of Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, The Black Corsair, Seagulls Fly Low, Sugar, Honey and Pepper, The Black Cat, The House by the Cemetery, Devil Fish, The Pleasure, The Family and Tommaso), a full-figured gal applying for modeling for the bridal gowns after the previous model..."disappeared".

Why, this model is dead on her feet. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

With this new model put into employment, one of the lovelier models, Alice Norton (Femi Benussi of The Hawks and the Sparrows, Blood Brides, So Sweet, So Dead, The Countess Died of Laughter, When Love Is Lust, Special Killers, Tales of Erotica, Blood Money and The Private Lesson) seems to want to leave the salon due to getting married, so John offers her a choice of any of the dresses in storage. Foolishly trusting her boss who has embraced his inner goofballs he proceeds to hack her to death with a meat cleaver and dispose of her body with the furnace of his greenhouse.

Hmm, why does the cameraman have no pants?

The next day Inspector Russell (Jesus Puente of Teatro de siempre, Aventuras y desventuras de Mateo, Primera hora, Obsesion, El teatro, Novela, Blood Brides, Shouts of Anxiety and You're te One) comes snooping around Harrington at the request of Alice's fiancee giving Harrington pause as Russell points out that six models have disappeared from his bridal salon but no real evidence can bring Harrington in. Meaning John will have to kill with a tad bit more discretion. Meanwhile John is becoming smitten by Helen with plans of spending the rest of his days with her as soon as he gets rid of the nuisance that is his wife Mildred.

Will Mildred get more than split ends?? Will Helen ever figure out John belongs in the wacko basket??

Okay a few things of note now. Stephen Forsyth does an amazing balance of creepy and broken so well I wondered if they were just drugging his drinks on set or if the guy is a manic depressive. It was actually spellbinding watching him work. Patented Bava close up on hands and eyes while eerie as crap music ranging from a harpsichord to small orchestral plays gently in the background.

The story takes its time, builds suspense and gives gore fans some love as well. With lens shots through glass cut doorknobs, vases and mirror work, it gives the effect that the walls of reality are crashing down on John and he doesn't know what to do. Inspector Russell has been dubbed with the glory of authority of Edward Mannix. Man that guy got a lot of work. Sorry fellas but no large quantities of nudity. If you really need that in your giallo movie, toss me a message and I will point you in the direction for it to be found. This my friends is a psychological thriller.

Canoodling on a train can lead to DEATH!!!