Category Archives: Italian Horror Films
Directed by Mario Bava
Screenplay by Alessandro Parenzo
“Rabid Dogs” is an intense thriller that packs more claustrophobic, sweltering action into 90 minutes than Michael Bay has packed into his entire career. What’s even more amazing is that most of the action takes place within the confines of a small white car filled with three desperate men and their prey; a woman, a man and a sick child in need of medicine. The three men are on the run from the police and their abductees are in the wrong place at the wrong times as they usually are in movies like this.
Mario Bava’s film has been compared to Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” and I guess I can understand the comparison. Both films are about the aftermath of a botched robbery/escape attempt, both feature the abduction of innocent(s) and both feature characters that are cruel and without moral foundation. In “Reservoir Dogs” it is the razor wielding Mister Blonde; in “Rabid Dogs” it is Bisturi and Trentadue (Thirty-two). Like the title implies, they are men needing to be put down.
However, the main difference in the two films is the twist. Tarantino lets the audience in on the secret early in the film. With “Rabid Dogs” Bava never once lets us in on the secret and the final scene in the film is a complete surprise. For a director to have that kind of control over a film is a work of genius and it’s no wonder that Bava was compared to Hitchcock throughout much of his career.
“Rabid Dogs” is not an easy film to watch. There are scenes in the film that I hated at first; but then came to realize that they are necessary in conveying the cruelty of the characters. In the end, my final assessment of the film is that if you can find it, watch it.
- The 10 Best Crime Films You Will Ever See (thebambooshoots.com)
- Did The Events Of ‘Inglourious Basterds’ Change The Rest of Quentin Tarantino’s Film Universe? (slashfilm.com)
- BLACK SUNDAY (The Mask of Satan) (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Morning Banana Oatmeal: Female Versions of Reservoir Dogs (bananascoop.com)
- How INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Fits into Tarantino’s Film Universe (geektyrant.com)
- Bombast #31 (sundancenow.com)
- The unified theory of Quentin Tarantino’s movie universe (kottke.org)
- Crazy Connections: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Fits Perfectly into Quentin Tarantino’s Movie Universe and Influences the Entire Filmography (collider.com)
- Quentin Tarantino and Johnny Depp saddle up to give new life to the western (guardian.co.uk)
- Sam’s Order of Tarantino Favoritism (greencarbon2112.wordpress.com)
- The American (mrmovietimes.com)
- 15 Insane Theories About Movies And Television That Will Blow Your Mind (buzzfeed.com)
- Drive-By Dogs (colliefarm.wordpress.com)
- The Buzz: The Dark Knight Rises 13-Minute Featurette (filmophilia.com)
- uppity women and the neo-nazi rabid dogs (toomanytribbles.blogspot.com)
- The Heart is in the Edit: Camera Technique ‘Black Sunday’ (collectivefriction.com)
- Rabid bats prompt warning in Camden County (jacksonville.com)
- What Famous Directors Said About Making Their First Feature Films (theatlantic.com)
- Dog Poop And Leash Signs (dogpoopsigns.com)
- Health Ministry: Watch Out for Rabid Dog in North (israelnationalnews.com)
- Mountain lion that attacked dog rabid (myfoxphoenix.com)
- Cat confirmed as rabid in Niagara Co. (wivb.com)
- Rabid Afghan dog bite kills US soldier (bigpondnews.com)
- 7 Crawford County residents exposed to rabid raccoon (goerie.com)
- California man bitten by rabid bat while cleaning pool (foxnews.com)
- Larimer County officials confirm two more skunks rabid (denverpost.com)
- Middle Ga. officials on lookout for rabid foxes (onlineathens.com)
- Two more rabid skunks found in Larimer County (denverpost.com)
- Man, 55, Bitten By Rabid Bat In Riverside (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
BLACK SUNDAY (The Mask of Satan)-Italy-1960
Directed by Mario Bava
Screenplay by Ennio De Concini, Mario Sarandrei and Marcello Coscia
Based on the short story “The Viy” by Nikolai Gogol
Is “Black Sunday” a film about a witch and her illicit lover who vow vengeance on her brother’s descendants? Yes. Is “Black Sunday” a film about a vampire and her illicit lover who vow vengeance on her brother’s descendants? Again, yes. Are the witch and the vampire the same person as portrayed by the hauntingly beautiful Barbara Steele? Oh, hell yes. In fact, there is no doubt in my mind that this is Steele’s film in every way. The woman is so strikingly gorgeous that there is absolutely no way you can take your eyes off of her. Who better to portray not only the evil witch/vampire Asa Vajda and her descendant the innocent princess Katja Vajda? With one look into those eyes Steele can make your heart melt and you fall madly in love, or you will do her bidding on the path to your destruction. I have racked my brain trying to figure out a way to review this film and this is the only way I know how. This is Mario Bava’s debut film as a director and it would be the first in a long line of Italian horror classics that include “Black Sabbath”, “Blood and Black Lace” and “Planet of the Vampires.” But make no mistake about it, Bava’s name may be above the title but it is Barbara Steele and her raven beauty that is the star of “Black Sunday.”
In the October 17-23, 1998 edition of “TV Guide”, director Tim Burton says this is his favorite horror film.
Both Barbara Steele and Arturo Dominici were fitted with vampire fangs. Mario Bava decided against using them in the film. They can be seen in some of the publicity photos.
In the Italian language version Princess Asa and Javutich are brother and sister which hinted at an incestuous relationship. This relationship is not part of either English language version.
- Black Friday or Black Sunday? (infocult.typepad.com)
- Barbara Steele Front, Center, and Deadly on New Butterfly Room Art (dreadcentral.com)
- The Butterfly Room to Premiere in Brussels – New Stills! (dreadcentral.com)
- At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (Mojica Marins, 1964) (dcpfilm.wordpress.com)
- Black And Gold Sundays With Rob Pratte (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- What’s the matter, Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day? Can’t I fondle my own grandson? Give him to me! (aintitcool.com)
- Black & Gold Sunday (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- Sunday Overlay | Manhattan – Down | Black and White (nycfstop.com)
- Black & Gold Sundays: April 29, 2012 (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- Snazzy Sundays ~ In Black & White (kittenlounge.onsugar.com)
- Looks of the Week! (fabsugar.com)
- Day 46 – Snowy, black and white Sunday (withreverence.wordpress.com)
Written and Directed by Lars von Trier
I like to think that I’m a smart person. I like to think that, but sometimes what I think and the way I feel are two different things. Take the film “Antichrist”, for instance. I like to think that the film is about the stages of grief that a person or persons goes through after experiencing the sudden death of a loved one. The couple in this film remains nameless and is only referred to in the credits as He and She. Their names are not important. What’s important is their grief and how they come to terms with it. Then again, maybe I’m just blowing smoke out of my ass.
Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” is one of the most visually striking and thematically confusing films I’ve ever watched and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have no idea what this film is about. At first I think that it’s about the stages of grief; but when I get comfortable with that notion the film shifts and I find myself watching a cross between Man vs. Wild, the Salem Witch Trials and a misogynistic rant. Then the film again shifts and becomes the most bizarre murder movie I’ve ever seen. Looking back at what I just wrote I sound like a madman who can’t form a coherent thought or sentence. There’s a lot of smoke coming out of my ass, but there’s no fire.
Instead of trying to figure the film out, maybe I should just give my opinion of it. It’s fucked up. There’s my opinion of it. It’s a fucked up mess of a movie that is both riveting and repulsive and beautiful and pornographic. It is a drama and a horror film and it rolls all of that up into one neat little fucked up masterpiece of a package. The biggest compliment I can give this film is that after it was over all I could think was “What the fuck just happened?”
Eva Green was considered for the leading lady but rejected because her contract was too complex.
The story is divided into four chapters, “Grief”, “Pain (Chaos Reigns)”, “Despair (Gynocide)” and “The Three Beggars”, in addition to a prologue and an epilogue, all displayed over abstract designs by Danish artist Per Kirkeby.
The title was the first thing that was written for the film.
The aria being sung during the Prologue is called Lascia ch’io pianga from Handel’s opera ‘Rodelinda’. The libretto translates from the Italian as: Let me weep my cruel fate, and I sigh for liberty. May sorrow break these chains of my sufferings, for pity’s sake.
- Film: Newswire: Don’t worry, Lars Von Trier’s next movie will feature an abused woman (avclub.com)
- The uses of sacrilege: On Von Trier, Tarkovsky, and “Antichrist” (somecamerunning.typepad.com)
- Cronenberg’s “Crash.” Sex, Connection and Comparisons. (pekkyandthefilms.wordpress.com)
- Charlotte Gainsbourg Signs On to Do More Art Porn for Lars Von Trier (hintmag.com)
- Antichrist – Movie Interpretation (introspheric.com)
- Antichrist Movie review (thebitemagazine.wordpress.com)
- Structures of Depressive Experience in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia (Philosophy Seminar, 1 March 2012) (medicalhumanities.wordpress.com)
- Antichrist. (theslaughteredlamb.wordpress.com)
- New Official Info on Lars von Trier’s “Light and Poetic” and Hardcore ‘Nymphomaniac’ (slashfilm.com)
- Attention Splatterdeathcore Fanzz: von Trier is BACK!! (andrewhammel.typepad.com)
- In Praise of Von Trier-ian Excess, Or: Someday, You Will Ache Like I Ache (tigerbeatdown.com)
THE SEARCH TEAM
Directed by Ruggero Deodato
Written by Gianfranco Clarici (story)
A group of filmmakers set out to make a documentary and are never seen or heard from again. Six months later their footage is found. Sound familiar? In his interview with Written in Blood, The Blair Witch Project co-writer/director Eduardo Sanchez stated that if Daniel Myrick and he had been shown this film before doing Blair Witch they would have never made their film. The film he’s referring to is Ruggero Deodato‘s Cannibal Holocaust and it just may very well be the prototype to the modern-day ‘found footage’ film. But that’s where the accolades come to a screeching halt. Normally I’m in favor of the original over the copy. For instance, Tom Waits’ original version of ‘Downtown Train’ is a better version than the Rod Stewart cover. For those of you who have no idea who I’m talking about allow me to direct your attention to either tomwaits.com or rodstewart.com . That of course is for the benefit of the younger readers. Now, back to the CH-BWP debate; Blair Witch may not be the first found footage film, but it’s definitely the better. Cannibal Holocaust seems more interested in the shock value of its images rather than in maintaining an interesting storyline. What made the film famous was the controversy surrounding it. Deodato and his film crew were arrested on the charges that they had made a genuine snuff film and that some of the actors had actually been killed on camera during shooting. I have a feeling that if this hadn’t happened that Cannibal Holocaust wouldn’t be enjoying the notoriety that it has for the past 30 years. Simply put, the film is just not that good. I’ll take Team Blair Witch over Team Cannibal Holocaust any day of the week. *
*That is NOT a Twilight reference! Put that out of your minds.
- Cannibal Holocaust Assaults UK Blu-ray in New Director’s Edit w/Less Animal Death! (dreadcentral.com)
- ‘Blair Witch’ actress Heather Donahue quit acting to grow pot (cnn.com)
- An Interview With Eduardo Sanchez (jmountswritteninblood.com)