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Mario Bava: Maestro of the Macabre (2000)

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After landing on a mysterious planet, a team of astronauts begin to turn on each other, swayed by the uncertain influence of the planet and its strange inhabitants.

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Cast

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Himself
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Himself
Fabrizio Bava ...
Himself (as Roy Bava)
Georgia Bava ...
Herself
...
Himself
Allan Bryce ...
Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
Mark Kermode ...
Himself - Narrator
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Himself
...
Himself
Tim Lucas ...
Himself (Interviewee)
Ib Melchior ...
Himself
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Superb introduction to "the Italian Hitchcock" Mario Bava, a strong contender for the most underrated director of all time!
23 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

Rabid Mario Bava fans might possibly complain about this documentary for not covering ALL his major movies, for not discussing the ones it does in greater depth, for not showing enough of the actual films themselves, or for not explaining his influence on subsequent film makers in a more explicit fashion, but hey, this is only an hour long, and I think it manages to cover a great deal in the short time available. I think even the most knowledgable fan of Bava will find it interesting, and even better I'm certain that any fan of horror not familiar his work will be curious to investigate his movies after watching this. And if this show can make ONE viewer into a Bava fan then it's done a great service. Bava is one of the most underrated directors in modern film history. He shouldn't just be a cult figure, but a household name! Most of his major films are discussed, including his astonishing debut 'Black Sunday', one of the three or four greatest horror movies ever made in my opinion, and 'Black Sabbath', 'Planet Of The Vampires', 'Kill, Baby...Kill!', 'Diabolik', 'Baron Blood' and 'Lisa And The Devil'. Interviewees include directors and admirers Tim Burton, John Carpenter and Joe Dante, all major Bava fans, actors John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi and John Philip Law (sadly, no Barbara Steele), and writer and critic Kim Newman (whose novel 'Judgement Of Tears: Anno Dracula 1959' includes references to several Bava movies, most notably 'Kill, Baby...Kill!'). Along the way they discuss such things as the influence 'Planet Of The Vampires' had on Ridley Scott's SF/horror classic 'Alien', that 'Bay Of Blood' had on the hugely popular 'Friday The 13th' series, how Martin Scorsese deliberately referenced 'Kill, Baby...Kill!' in 'The Last Temptation Of Christ' (true!), and Tim Burton admits that his 'Sleepy Hollow' is his major homage to Bava's work, especially 'Black Sunday'. Every horror and cult movie fan should try and see watch this documentary as it is a real eye opener if you aren't that familiar with the movies covered. Nearly all of Bava's movies are now available on DVD, though unfortunately usually in dubbed versions. I hope one day Bava gets the recognition he deserves. Until now critics, other film makers and cult movie fans around the world have kept his name and movies alive, but it's about time the larger movie viewing public get hip to this fantastic director. This documentary is a big step in the right direction! Highly recommended!


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