Shock (1977 film)

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Directed by Mario Bava
Produced by Turi Vasile
Ugo Valenti
Written by Lamberto Bava
Dardano Sacchetti
Starring Daria Nicolodi
John Steiner
David Colin Jr.
Ivan Rassimov
Music by Libra
Cinematography Alberto Spagnoli
Edited by Roberto Sterbini
Laser Films
Release dates
  • 12 August 1977 (1977-08-12)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Italy
Language English
Box office ITL 99,000,000

Shock (original title: Schock; also released as Beyond the Door II) is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava. It was Bava's last theatrical feature before he died of a heart attack in 1980. The film stars Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner and David Colin, Jr.


Dora Baldini (Daria Nicolodi), her son Marco (David Colin Jr.) and her new husband Bruno Baldini (John Steiner) move into Dora's former home, from her first marriage, after Dora is released from a mental institution following the mysterious death of Dora's abusive first husband. With Bruno away as a commercial airline pilot, Dora is left alone with her son Marco and her shattered memory of the events of her husband's death, caused by extensive electroshock treatment she received while institutionalized. Her insanity grows when she believes that her son has become possessed by the ghost of his deceased father, leading to Dora learning the truth about her first husband's death: she murdered him after he forcibly injected her with heroin and LSD. When she contacted Bruno for help, he arranged for her dead husband's body to be dumped out in the ocean while arranging for Dora to be placed in an insane asylum, as the drugs injected into her caused her to have a nervous breakdown. Now killing her new husband, Dora is compelled by her husband's ghost (and her guilt) to commit suicide. The ending shows Marco, the sole survivor, having tea with his parents' ghosts (who are invisible).


For its US release, Film Ventures International decided to rename the film Beyond the Door II, under the guise of it being a "sequel" to Ovidio G. Assonitis's 1974 film Chi sei?, renamed Beyond the Door for US release. The reason for the change was the fact that the two films starred child actor David Colin Jr. as a boy possessed.

In spite of this false rebranding of the film through its renaming, Film Ventures International was quite faithful with its English dubbing of Shock. Lamberto Bava's script was adapted quite faithfully and unlike Lisa and the Devil, did not include any reshoots or omission of footage, making it one of the few films by Mario Bava to appear in the US intact.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

AllMovie called it "perhaps one of the more conventional offerings from a man whom many consider the founding father of Italian horror", though it "still bears the trademark style and technical trickery of Mario Bava's previous efforts".[1]


  1. ^ Buchanan, Jason. "Shock (1977) - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 

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