Kill, Baby, Kill

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Kill, Baby, Kill
KillBabyKillItaly.jpg
Film poster under original Italian title
Directed by Mario Bava
Produced by Luciano Catenacci
Nando Pisani
Written by Mario Bava
John Hart
Romano Migliorini
Roberto Natale
Starring Erica Blanc
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Giana Vivaldi
Fabienne Dali
Piero Lulli
Music by Carlo Rustichelli
Cinematography Antonio Rinaldi
Edited by Romana Fortini
Production
company
FUL Films
Release dates
8 July 1966 (Italy)
8 October 1968 (United States)
Running time
85 min.
Country Italy
Language Italian
Box office ITL 201,000,000

Kill, Baby, Kill (Italian: Operazione paura) is a 1966 Italian horror film by director Mario Bava. It is known under many titles including Curse of the Dead, Curse of the Living Dead, Don't Walk in the Park, Kill, Baby... Kill! and Operation Fear. Slant Magazine called it "arguably Bava's greatest achievement", giving it four stars out of a possible four.[1] In 2015, Time Out conducted a poll with several authors, directors, actors and critics who have worked within the horror genre to vote for their top horror films. Kill, Baby... Kill! was ranked number 56 on the list of the top 100 horror films of all time.[2]

Plot[edit]

One of the more prominent works of Italy's premier horror stylist Mario Bava, this occult murder mystery interweaves elements of the traditional giallo thriller formula with an unusual Gothic ghost story. In a turn-of-the-century Carpathian village a series of murders are occurring in which the victims are found with silver coins embedded in their hearts. The coins are revealed to be talismans placed on the victims by the town witch (Fabienne Dali), meant to ward off the supernatural powers of the aged Baroness Graps (Giana Vivaldi). The baroness has been performing these duties for the ghost of her murdered daughter, who wants to claim the villagers' souls. In order to free the village from the curse, Dali must find the sequestered baroness and destroy her.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The exterior scenes were filmed on location in the medieval town Calcata.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Taste of Cinema observed that "Martin Scorsese called this Bava's best film...probably the most successful realization of Gothic horror-meets-bad-acid-trip."[4] Scott Beggs said "This might be Bava’s greatest achievement, and he doesn’t hold out on the lush production design or the trippy camera tricks."[5] Derek Hill designated Kill, Baby, Kill! as "one of his best efforts and what is arguably one of the most effective and chilling supernatural gothic horror films of all time. It has influenced Federico Fellini...Martin Scorsese...Kill, Baby, Kill! creates such a palpable mood of dread and oppression in its first few minutes and so effectively sustains the momentum until the last frame that it is easy to see why it has cast such a quiet legacy on other filmmakers."[6] James Travers noted that it was "one of the most unsettling and chillingly atmospheric films in the entire horror genre...the colour-saturated chiaroscuro and unsettling camera positionings give the film an ethereal, brooding unreality, which the discordant score complements...one of Bava's most understated films."[7] Jeffrey M. Anderson commented that "Bava has never presented his moods so vividly and with such effervescence."[8] Allmovie called the film "an eerie and atmospheric effort that reflects many of the elements that have made the popular Italian director's films so compelling: excellent cinematography and strong performances from the talented cast."[9]

Biography[edit]

  • Staff (2004). The Scarecrow Movie Guide. Seattle: Sasquatch Books. p. 17. ISBN 1-57061-415-6. 
  • Hughes, Howard (2011). Cinema Italiano - The Complete Guide From Classics To Cult. London - New York: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-608-0. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ed Gonzalez (15 June 2003). "Kill, Baby...Kill!". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "The 100 best horror films". Time Out. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  3. ^ Hughes, p.82
  4. ^ Scot Mason. "10 Essential Mario Bava Films Every Horror Fan Should See". Taste of Cinema. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Scott Beggs. "Mario Bava's 'Kill, Baby, Kill!'". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Derek Hill. "Kill, Baby...Kill!". Images Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  7. ^ James Travers. "Kill Baby, Kill! (1966)". Film de France. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Jeffrey M. Anderson. "Kill, Baby...Kill! (1966)". Combustible Celluloid. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Patrick Legare. "Kill, Baby, Kill (1966)". Allmovie. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 

External links[edit]