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Gila von Weitershausen,
Hans Hass Jr.
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Strange things have been happening to Valentina, a young and beautiful professional photographer, ever since she made the acquaintance of Baba Yaga, a mysterious older woman who gave her a lift home late one night. For one thing, Valentina has been having weird, kinky nightmares. For another, one of Valentina's cameras seems to have acquired a deadly curse. And then there was that visit to Baba Yaga's house, where Valentina discovered bizarre relics, including a dominatrix doll, and a bottomless pit in the living room. Valentina comes to realize that Baba Yaga is a witch who is out to possess her - body and soul. Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
'Baba Yaga' is a fascinating mess which will appeal to fans of arty Eurotrash like Franco's 'Vampyros Lesbos' and 'Eugenie De Sade' and Bava's 'Lisa And The Devil'.
'Baba Yaga' is a fascinating mess. Corrado Farina seems like an intelligent guy but even he admits that he failed in his attempt to adapt the erotic comics of Guido Crepax to the movie screen. Farina's initial choices for the lead roles of Valentina and Baba Yaga fell through and so he had to reluctantly make do with Isabelle De Funes and Carroll Baker. On top of that his movie was recut behind his back by a producer with second thoughts and he had to fight to salvage it. Despite all this behind the scenes drama it is a movie which will appeal to fans of arty Eurotrash like Franco's 'Vampyros Lesbos' and 'Eugenie De Sade' and Bava's 'Lisa And The Devil'. The plot of the film is minimal and frankly not its strong point. Valentina (De Funes) is a successful photographer who comes under the spell of a mysterious witch Baba Yaga (Carroll). That's about it folks. The movie attempts to create a dreamlike atmosphere, mixing up fantasy and reality. It isn't entirely successful but some sequences are quite impressive. In fact it's probably best enjoyed if you ignore the minimal story and just concentrate on the imagery and the music. Farina complained that Carroll Baker wasn't the right physical type to play Baba Yaga, who in the original comic strip was androgynous and not conventionally beautiful. That may be so but I certainly enjoy looking at Ms. Baker, an actress who made several left of center movie choices in the '60s and '70s including 'Orgasmo', 'The Sweet Body Of Deborah', 'Bad' and 'Bloodbath'. The DVD by the way includes a brief outtake of a full frontal scene from her for those that are interested. 'Baba Yaga' is one of those movies that you either love or hate. I'm in the former camp.
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