30.9.13

Black Sunday.

Bava is a legend.  And this movie, about an undead witch (played by Barbara Steele) coming back to do bad shit, was a damn good one from what I can gather.  The movie starts with Barbara Steele being executed for being a witch, and as they hammer a devil mask to her face and kill her, she tells them that she will return, armed with the power of Satan to KILL THEM ALL.  So, this ain’t no fake witch.  She’s a straight up evil woman.

[...]

Starkwell: Music in movies was so much damn better back then.

[...]

Bava’s a real pro, and it shows IMMEDIATELY.  The production is fantastic.  The cinematography looks genius, and the sets look absolutely mystical and terrifying.

[...]

Lovelock: So much fog!  How did they do that?

Starkwell: By actually caring about how the movie looks.  Something modern day film makers should learn.

[...]

[Two main characters, doctors, ask their carriage driver to take a shortcut through the HAUNTED WOODS.]

Starkwell: Pretty dumb for a couple of "doctors".

Lovelock: Rational science is about to FAIL YOU!  GHOSTS ARE REAL!

Starkwell: Wait… you mean in this movie, or… ?

[...]

Then the two doctors go into a crypt that they stumble upon, and therein find the Witch’s Tomb.  While fighting with a seriously awesome looking fake bat, the doctor breaks the cross that sits above the witch’s tomb.  Then he takes off her mask.  Then he accidentally feeds her a couple of drops of blood after cutting his hand on the glass.

[...]

[The Princess appears to them, and she has two big fucking dogs with her.]

Starkwell: How did the doctor manage to do THREE accidental things that could potentially lead to the re-animation of the satanic witch?

Lovelock: Blind luck?

Starkwell: Doctor Whateverhisfuckingnameis?  More like Mr. Magoo.

[...]

[The younger of the two doctors is clearly smitten with the princess.]

Starkwell: Quite possibly the two dumbest doctors in the history of medicine.

Lovelock: Mr. Magoo and his sidekick, Boner MD.

[...]

The shots of the witch corpse are utterly horrifying, crawling with worms, maggots and oozing black tar of some kind.  It’s both effective, and creepy as balls.  So Barbara Steele plays the present day Princess, living at the mansion with her brother and father.  I assume this also means that she is a descendent of the witch from the beginning of the film.

[...]

[Young girl goes through the woods to get to the barn to milk the cow.]

Lovelock: Talk about a shitty mom.  Sending her daughter out, in a storm, through the creepy woods, NEXT TO A CEMETERY, to milk a cow.  In the middle of the night.  Who keeps their cow there?

Starkwell: Those shots following the girl through the woods are amazing.  I’m actually kind of scared.

Lovelock: That’s because you’re a fucking pussy.

[Creepy Witch Corpse starts talking, telling dead people to “RISE”.]

Lovelock: Well, shit, now I’m scared.

[...]

Then a devil-masked zombie rises from the grave, and Lovelock and Starkwell high-fived and started doing roundhouse kicks and playing air guitar.  It’s amazing that they didn’t break anything.  I should add that the zombie has a shirt with a shiny winged dragon on it.

[...]

[Dr. Magoo follows zombie dude into the crypt, where he then witnesses the witch RISE.]

Starkwell: There he goes, blindly following again!  Good ol’ Magoo!

Lovelock: Maybe she’s going to grant him three wishes for freeing her?

Starkwell: You’re thinking of a genie, and no, I don’t think that’s about to happen.

Lovelock: You ain’t never had a friend like me.

[Dr. Magoo makes out with the corpse, dies and becomes a zombie.  The witch, however, is fully awake now, and continues to order around her zombie horde (currently consisting of two zombies).]

Starkwell: A whole new world.

Lovelock: Don’t you dare close your eyes.

[...]

The plan seems to be to get the witch into the Princess body, and then she can be all alive and sexy again.  Walk around, kill people, get revenge, etc.  Later that afternoon, Dr. Boner finally wakes up from his hangover and realizes that Dr. Magoo is gone, and goes off to find him at the castle.

[...]

[Princess Katia faints into Dr. Boner’s arms and he carries her to his room, staring at her breasts, pretty much the whole time.]

Starkwell: Boner MD certainly is handsy.

Lovelock: Can you blame him?  Barabara Steele is stunning.

[...]

Zombie Magoo botches an attempt to kidnap Katia for the Witch, and it only further drives her into the arms of Boner MD, much to his delight I’m sure.  Anyways, Boner and the Prince and the Priest continue to investigate and get to the bottom of what is happening.  After a few choice deaths, an exorcism, some zombie on zombie action, and an incredible burning corpse scene, Katia is brought before the witch.

[...]

[Shiny Dragon Shirt Zombie tears her shirt off.]

Starkwell: Did the witch really need for her undergarment to be exposed to complete the ritual?

Lovelock: Probably not.  Bava likely just wanted to see them boobies shake.

[...]

Well, Boner shows up just in the knick of time to save Katia from the witch, but he fails to really do anything, because he sees the witch and she looks at him with her captivating eyes, and he goes all "boner" and just sits there spellbound.  And Katia looks dead.  Thankfully, a mob of townspeople show up and set the witch on fire and Katia comes back and immediately makes out with Boner MD like crazy.  Fucking awesome.

8 comments:

  1. I'll have a second go; I think my last commend got lost to the internet ether or I forgot to click publish (more likely).
    I'd come across references to this here and there but never really considered it a zombie film, but your review really paints quite the favourable picture and after warming to Bava from watching Demons it sounds a must get.
    I won't hide it either but I also want to see Mr Magoo and Boner MD in action.

    Excellent commentary.

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    1. Demons is done by Mario Bava's son Lamberto. Very different styles of film making :)

      I'm surprised that it's not considered a zombie film, it has some pretty sweet rise from the dead scenes.

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    2. Aha, thanks for the clarification! In that case I don't think I've seen a film by Bava Snr. This sounds like just the place to start.

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    3. I haven't seen much from Mario Bava, but this one is HIGHLY recommended.

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  2. teddy crescendo18:45

    The atmosphere that Bava imbued into this movie is perhaps THE most astonishing in the entire history of cinema.

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  3. One of the most amazing resurrection scenes ever filmed! That scene with the dude in the helmet coming out of his grave...with the myst and the thunder and the wind....so freaking awesome, LOVE this movie to death.

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    1. I'm kind of disappointed in myself that I hadn't seen it before. I really enjoyed it.

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