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KILL, BABY...KILL!
1966 - Mario Bava
Italy
98
Opening Shot

"NO!! NO!!!" Immediate screams of terror open what is one of the very greatest masterworks of horror cinema. From a high exterior shot we see a young running out of a house. She stops briefly before continuing to run away from the house shouting, "Help, Help!!"...

The Film

Both a mystery and hallucinatory gothic horror, Kill Baby Kill is one of cinema all-time horror masterpieces, made from one of its defining masters, Italian filmmaker Mario Bava. Bava's sheer mastery of mood through his mesmerizing style leaves an unsettling yet beautiful cinematic experience. Bava is an unquestionable influence not only to Italian horror filmmakers but various filmmakers throughout the entire world, and this may be his most completely stunning work as a horror filmmaker. Kill Baby Kill blends Bava's trademark mysterious and sexual tensions with a nightmarishly gothic tone of science and superstitions. As expected from one of the great visual masters of filmmaking, Kill Baby Kill features some of the most remarkable imagery sequences in horror cinema (the image of Melissa's ghost looking through the window at Nadienne; the rocking camera of Melissa on the swing set; the spiral staircase with the ball rolling down; the stylish nightmare sequence). A minimal budget and production (it took only 11 days to shoot) Kill Baby Kill is a remarkable achievement in filmmaking artistry and it belongs mention among the most relevant films of horror and Italian cinema.

The Filmmaker

Italian filmmaker Mario Bava worked with many genres of filmmaking, but is undeniably known for his horror films. In fact, Bava is one of the very great stylists of horror filmmaking. Bava is the son of Eugenio Bava who was a cinematographer during the early era of Italian cinema. Mario Bava began as a painter and then moved on to work as a cinematographer. The history of his father as well as his own artistic vision, is very evident in his work as a filmmaker. Bava is a master of visual imagery and he has a masterful ability at capturing emotions (in most cases terror and fear) through visuals. Above all Bava has complete control over the visual presentation of his work (he was the cinematographer on most of his own films). He is a perfectionist in colors, lighting, shadows and every aspect of the visual composition. His films are almost entirely focused on the visual imagery and style which captures the audience and the emotions. His visual expression and atmosphere recalls the films of the great master of lighting and shadows, FW Murnau. Usually working on extremely small budgets and limited equipment, Bava was still able to achieve some remarkable camera techniques throughout much of his films (his masterpiece Kill Baby Kill is a quintessential example of this mastery). Because he was known as a horror or genre filmmaker and many of his films are too strange or disturbing for mainstream audiences, Bava remains a very under-appreciated filmmaker. As a visual stylish, he is undoubtedly one of the greats and also one of the most important horror filmmakers ever.

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Resources
trailer (youtube)      
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