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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blood And Black Lace (1964)

Starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante DiPaolo
Directed by Mario Bava
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

The beautiful models of a fashion salon become the targets of a vicious murderer, who assaults and tortures them for the secrets hidden within a scandalous diary.

An extremely stylish Italian thriller from director Mario Bava, it's also a very entertaining one with the killer's identity kept a mystery until late in the film, although Bava gives us some visual hints.  The cinematography by Ubaldo Terzano (and per IMDB, an uncredited Bava) is superb, with a grand and beautiful color scheme, and effective use of a roving camera.  Composer Carlo Rustichelli contributes some haunting themes, and the performances are excellent.  I was entranced from the dynamic opening credits sequence, which has the cast pose like the models of the film, and although I was disturbed by the violence committed against the film's victims, which made me very uncomfortable, I understand how this approach heightened the suspense and made the killer's assaults more terrifying to the audience.  Bava here has crafted a film that not only looks spectacular, but is intelligent and gripping on the same level.

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