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5 Dolls for an August Moon: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] [1970] [US Import]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Blu-Ray Revelation 19 Sept. 2013
By Anon. - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It's extremely unfortunate that Kino has chosen to release this Mario Bava film (as well as others) on Blu-Ray without the option of hearing it in Italian with English subtitles, especially since the release of a number of these works on region 2 has made it clear how readily available such options appear to be. For this alone, it would normally receive a one or two star deduction in my book. If I refrain from doing so in the case of FIVE DOLLS it is because the image quality is absolutely stunning, and the audio commentary by Tim Lucas is also truly first-rate. (One of the highlights: the discussion of Bava vis-à-vis Kandinsky.) In fact, the ideal way to watch this Blu-Ray may be with the audio commentary, since it allows you to focus not on the silly plot or egregious dubbing (neither of which can be attributed to Bava) but on the compositions and overall visual design of the piece. Bava, who spent nearly twenty years as a cinematographer before he directed his first feature, is a master when it comes to lighting, framing, etc., and once you focus on this aspect FIVE DOLLS seems less like "minor Bava" than like a major example of his remarkable talent. So while Kino has missed the boat on releasing the absolutely definitive FIVE DOLLS, the image quality + commentary more than make up for its flaws. (But having said all this, newcomers to Bava beware: FIVE DOLLS is not the place to start with this director. If anything, it is where you may want to end. Because it allows you to appreciate his specific talents almost unadulterated, without the distraction of an interesting plot, characters, etc.)
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Why Butcher Bava, The Maestro? Have it your way... 30 July 2013
By 4-Legged Defender - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
I don't really understand folks who claim to love Eurohorror, but won't watch films that are subtitled. Anyone with an 8th grade education can read subs, and seeing these classics dubbed by people who do cartoonish voiceovers is nothing more than insulting - to the viewer, to the director, to the actors involved, to the viewing experience. The entire film's focal point is diverted to the gutter and suffers as a whole. Many casual viewers will disagree, but devotees understand my point completely. The English-dubbed version is wretched to listen to - you will not hear ANY of the actual actors real voices, and the flick suffers as much as the viewer does who wastes his/her time screening it. How do I know this? I've seen it in BOTH languages, and it's like two completely different movies...

First off, these are Bava films, so you either love his late-60's work or hate it, period. The same things that we fans of his later 60's output love are usually the very same things that turn others off. So I'm not going to spend a lot of time reviewing the actual movie itself, but rather what's on display in them - the luscious Euro babes with big, teased hair and false eyelashes, the accompanying mini-skirts, go-go boots and chain belts, the futuristic furniture, accessories and decor (the same stuff that's resurgently popular today), the elaborate architecture and European landscapes, the cool cars, the extravagant, permissive lifestyles and hedonistic parties and, of course, Edwige Fenech.
I realize that these things have nothing to do with whether these are good movies or not, but I also know I'm not alone in my rabid fascination for all things from this particular time period, and that WILL have an impact on whether you enjoy these films. Derivitive plot? Sure. Annoying soundtrack? Yup. Predictable outcome? Absolutely. It's akin to Agatha Christie on acid. So if the plot steers off course here and there while enjoying the visual feast on display as described above, who cares? Besides, Bava displays a black sense of humor here that's not present in most of his work outside of his few comedies.

I'm giving it 4 stars because, although flawed, I don't want folks to think it's a cinematic clunker - it's of of Bava's minor gems that's not often seen or available in the states, but definitely worth your time + attention if you enjoy seeing the master having some fun while delivering the gothic goods with a late 60's psych feel, unbelievable architecture, and a cast that includes the luscious Edwige Fenech in one of her first truly sexy and memorable roles. It's a relentless mod murder mystery and pristine parade of eye-candy and loungy, kitschy atmosphere, peppered with sultry sex and murder as only Bava can pull off effectively. But do yourself a favor and watch it in Italian w/ subs to see, taste, feel and enjoy it as it was meant to be.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Where are all those marbles going? 24 Mar. 2014
By orvuus - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This Kino blu-ray has only one flaw to my mind -- it's in English and has no option for Italian with subtitles, as with all their titles. Boo hoo. Also, big deal. Even if you heard the "original" audio, Bava never used direct sound to my knowledge, and the actors either post dubbed their own lines or in some cases were dubbed themselves (like Barbara Steele). That being said, you just can't beat this fabulous, lucious version of one of Bava's most beautiful films. It is also the ONLY blu ray of this great film available, so I applaud Kino in hopes they'll come out with more of the same. (P.S. in one case the Kino version to me is far preferable for not having the "original" audio -- Black Sabbath on their blu ray -- as it has the original far superior Boris Karloff dialogue!)

I've heard it said this is one of his lesser movies, that he did it only for the money, etc., but to my mind it is the maestro at his height, filled with Bava touches that no one of the time (or now) comes close to. Several new Italian obscurites have been remastered and reissued by that great company Raro, but with the exception of one or two, nothing comes close to Bava. This film does indeed have a "Ten little indians," or "Then there were none" kind of plot. But I don't think Agatha Christie could have come up with the idea of hanging bodies up like a musical mobile of death in the walk-in freezer! William Berger, the exquisite Edwege Fenech, the ultracool Ely Galleani (the youngest woman), and all the other actors are top notch for their roles.

Bava's wicked wit is supreme here, in the deaths, the freezer scene, and the final denouement. It's like a crazy carnival of color, blood, and fabulously dressed Italians! SEE the wildest '60's/'70's party of them all! Thrill at the inventive and gory deaths of nearly all concerned! GAPE at the dangling bodies wrapped in plastic moving slightly to a jaunty theme! FOLLOW the bouncing glass beads and see what secrets they reveal! AND try to figure out exactly how all this stuff was cleaned up so neatly for a special turn in the plot .... I love this movie. I think you will too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another Bava Film 16 May 2014
By McEwan - Published on
Mario Bava's work as a filmmaker has been interesting over the years.
However, when looking for a good, solid Bava production look no further than "Black Sunday ( aka: Mask of Satan.)"
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"Let's Play A Little Parlor Game, Shall We?"... 20 Nov. 2013
By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein - Published on
A group of industrialists is visiting the isolated, island home of a scientist. They are there to purchase his formula for a new type of resin, but he won't sell. Meanwhile, the wives of the businessmen are bored stiff, so they take turns hooking up w/ the houseboy. Predictably, he ends up w/ a knife in his ribs. Now, the phone is dead, and the boats have disappeared! After hanging the houseboy in the walk-in freezer, the tycoons get back to their attempts to undermine each other, and secure the professor's formula. Here begins a rather dull period before anything remotely interesting happens. At least all of the women are stunningly beautiful, but even that gets old during this 30 minute dead zone! Thankfully, the pace eventually picks up when the Professor is shot by a sniper. Now, the businessmen are trapped, and suspicious of each other. A perfect set-up for the rest of this little murder mystery. Suffice it to say that they just might need a bigger freezer! While not Bava's best film, FIVE DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON is entertaining nonetheless...
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