Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fun with Bava: Shock

Welcome back for more Fun with Bava. Today I thought we would focus on the last feature Bava worked on in 1977. The ending of disco, cocaine and freaky deaky sex acts to later be replaced with the 80s. Chilling thought.  Now I bring up this film because we once again run into an also know as scenario.   Because we the subculture, crass Americans couldn't possibly distinguish different directors this film today was released in the US under the title Beyond the Door II.  IT HAS NOTHING to do with the original Ovidio G Assonitis' Beyond the Door.  If anything Beyond the Door is Italian Rosemary's Baby.  This is Shock a.k.a. Beyond the Door II, Suspense and The Demon is Nuts.

Ugh. He just kneed me in the boob.

Personally I love the last title because I am curious to wonder what would drive a demon crackers. Too much Barney? Sat through Dora the Explorer one too many times?

Dora Baldini (Daria Nicolodi of Deep Red, Tenebre, Phenomena, Delirium, Opera, Sinbad of the Seven Seas, Paganini Horror, School of Fear, The Devil's Daughter and Notes of Love) has returned. Returned to the house of her first marriage to live after an extended stay in an asylum for seven years. She moves back into this home that brought her horrors along with her son Marco (David Colin Jr of Beyond the Door and Beyond the Door II). OoOoO Pseudo Sequel!!!  The kid from the first one is in spite of playing a completely different character.   With her new husband Bruno (John Steiner of Beyond the Door II, A Man Called Blade, Question of Love, Caligula, The Last Hunter, Tenebre, Yor, the Hunter from the Future, The Ark of the Sun God and Cut and Run) or is that Biondo from Salon Kitty? Oh crap it is. Lady don't trust an ageless Nazi with you and your son!

gorgogliare is Italian for gurgle.

Any rate Dora was released from the wacko basket given her incarceration was based around the mysterious death of her first husband. Bruno is an airline pilot and is gone most days of the week leaving Dora with Marco (POLO!) all alone. Thanks to extensive electroshock treatments (They still did that in the seventies?) she believes her son is channeling her dead husband to torture and torment even beyond the grave.

Dora starts to recall the events that lead up to late husband's death and what the memories of this house brings. She needs to flee and would take Marco but she now fears him. The walls of sanity are crashing down Dora as she looks about her in a feeble attempt to hold on to her mind and her son.

Will Dora succumb to madness?? Will Bruno inherit the house?? Can Marco lose both parents??

First off loving the handheld camera work. Some of these angles looks like tracking shoots panning for full 360 degrees, dolly track, other looks like the poor cameraman would have been hanging over a railing to capture certain shots. All in all a gorgeous shoot.   As far as the storyline, you can see the influence this film had on things like Stir of Echoes or What Lies Beneath. A notion of past horrors manifested in spirit and guilt.

You see dear, normally my British accent is allowed but not this film.

Looking at the earliest reviews of this movie, most of the critics give it a pass or call it mildly notable that Bava did this film. From trick cinematography, talented actors, moody lighting and an excellent musical score, this macabre film has creepy down pat. I was amused to hear Edward Mannix yet again for dubbing but sadly he was only voicing one of the movers at the very beginning of the film. Such a waste! 

Should have used lanolin on those dry monster hands.