11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Okay, it's a stupid title for a movie, and it sounds like it belongs to a cheap slasher flick.
But fortunately Mario Bava's "Kill Baby Kill" is much better than its hokey title suggests, as one would expect from a giallo master. Instead of a slasher movie, it's a gothic horror movie with impalements, ghosts and magic. It has all the beauty -- and terror -- of a decayed fairy tale.
When a young woman leaps onto an iron fence, young Dr. Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) is called in to do an autopsy, with the help of beautiful Monica (Erica Blanc). He finds a coin in the girl's heart, and none of the townspeople will tell him -- because if they do, they will suffer a similar fate. Eswai doesn't buy all this superstition.
He's even more annoyed when local sorceress Ruth (Fabienne Dali) begins using her powers to protect a young girl from a childlike specter -- little dead aristocrat Melissa Graps. But as the bodies pile up, and Monica is plagued by bizarre nightmares, Eswai must accept Ruth's help to save Monica from the ghost, and an evil baroness.
"Kill Baby Kill" is more gothic horror rather than straightforward "giallo." But it has the cinematic touches that Bava was known for. Bava fills the run-down village sets with broken doors, wrought-iron fences, coffins, and long fluttering canopies. It's gothically delicious.
Bava also adds dreamlike touches to his typical style-- the village is full of mist, tombstones, and green, blue and red lighting that flicks on and off. He packs this movie so full of visual opulance, it's like being locked inside a beautiful nightmare -- and it adds to the feeling of a fairy tale gone horribly wrong.
And he has a knack for the really spooky stuff too. A bouncing ball, childish giggling, and a little girl on a swing become really horrifying, not to mention all those impalements on everything from fences to, uh, candlesticks. Two particularly eerie scenes have Eswai chasing himself through endless rooms, and Monica running down an endless spiral stair.
The ghost story itself is quite simple, and the secret identities of two characters are quite obvious. But fortunately, this doesn't detract from the atmosphere. How could it? "Kill Baby Kill" is steeped in atmosphere from the first creepy scene, and rather than building in suspense, it runs steadily all the way to the end.
And the cast helps. Despite the emotionless dubbing, Rossi-Stuart and Blanc both do outstanding jobs, but the best performance of the movie belongs to Fabienne Dali, as a tragic sorceress who is trying to save the village from Melissa's revenge. The scene where she mourns her dead lover is exquisite.
"Kill Baby Kill" is a gorgeous, creepy ghost story, with good acting and stellar direction. Definitely a must-see for fans of atmospheric cult horror.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2010
DVD TRANSFER **
This is my first Mario Bava movie and I was amazed how much I enjoyed it! I am a big Argento fan so naturally I didn't bat an eyelid at the very obvious dubbing.
This movie is full of amazing scenery, from colours, shadows,cobwebs, old dark mansions...but best of all, it has for me a really inrteresting and original storyline.
I love the Hammer movies but watching this, I found myself wishing if only they had been as visually good as this. I was creeped out a few times, the scenes with Melissa are truly nerve-shattering at times!
Next up, I have Black Sunday and Bay Of Blood waiting to be delivered. If they are anything as good as this little gem, I won't be dissapointed!
The only gripe I have is the goddam awful transfer on the Dead Of Night release I bought. Very graint, sometimes blurry - looks like a straight VHS to DVD transfer to me. Can anybody tell me the best quality version that's available for this film? I read somewhere the anchor bay edition from the Bava boxset is supposed to be a lot better? Any info would be welcomed!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2014
This film in itself is superb and a classic of lighting colour and setting by a master of Gothic cinema but its disappointing that the Bci / Eclipse edition is as almost bad as the The Dead of Night edition with constant crackling popping on the sound allied to a grainy print
Much has been said on line regarding the Bava box set by Anchor bay but as its just this one title I wanted its sad its below par on Bci/Eclipse
0 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2010
This is one of the most dreadful horror movies I've ever seen. The cinematography is laughable. I could have done better with my camcorder. I yawned through the first twenty minutes and then gave up. DONT buy it. Get something good like Drag Me To Hell or Orphan for about the same price. Can I give it no stars?