I must admit this isn't the world's most interesting documentary and it's mainly intended for audiences that already know Mario Bava was a genius filmmaker, so they can simply nod their head whenever his great influence on horror cinema is mentioned. However, it is interesting to see how many great nowadays directors are big fans of Bava too! For example, I knew Quentin Tarantino loves pretty much everything that was obscure, foreign and released in the rancid 70's, but I didn't really know he's a Bava-admirer as well! Or Tim Burton! Ever since I first watched his "Sleepy Hollow", I was secretly hoping Bava's influence contributed to the macabre atmosphere of that film and, apparently, it did! "Operazione Paura", which is also the original title of one of Bava's best horror films, is a series of sensational clips and short interviews, hosted by Joe Dante and covers pretty much all his horror movies except for "Hatchet for the Honeymoon" and, rather surprisingly, "Bay of Blood". Naturally, a little more attention is given to Mario Bava's debut and ultimate masterpiece "Black Sunday" and the efforts that single-handedly launched a cult trend, like "Blood and Black Lace", "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" and "Danger: Diabolik". Then the documentary also centers on the director's most recognizable trademarks, like the vivid use of bright colors and the extreme (over-)use of camera zooms and close-ups. Everyone who means something in the Italian horror industry, from producer Dino De Laurentiis over to fellow director Dario Argento to legendary composer Ennio Morricone, comes to tell us why Mario Bava is generally considered to be the 'master of terror', while the American guys bring back memories how how they watched his films in cheap grindhouse theaters or drive-ins. It's not a very informative documentary, but it's a delight to see so many prominent people share their enthusiasm and admiration towards the greatest horror-director who ever lived.
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