Mario Bava's more well-known films work a certain charm for me, and I think I know why. Bava himself is one of the few horror directors who ever lived that could master nightmare surrealism as well as he does. While some believe that films such as Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond" capture the nightmare perfectly, I'm going to have to go along, disagree, and give people like Mario Bava more credit.
And he deserves it. Bava is a very good filmmaker. I last saw "Blood and Black Lace" when it comes to Bava films, and you know what; I loved it. That is what a great giallo thriller should be; gruesome, bloody, perhaps a bit perverse; but ultimately passionate in each of the three. Now, I'm reviewing "Kill, Baby, Kill", which you probably haven't heard of; but I have, I did, and I saw it. And I'm glad.
Violence as style works so much better than violence as just exploitation. I'm not one to side with ruthlessly sadistic or violent films unless they are actually saying something; but Giallo horror flicks tend to turn the red, red kroovy into art. This is something special; this is something very cool. But alas, this film that I'm talking about here does not rely on blood-and-gore, but rather atmosphere. It is 100% Bava, which is good, because any more or any less would have certainly destroyed any chance of the film being as well-made and entertaining as it is.
A young woman commits suicide by jumping onto a sharp fence early on in the film. We don't know why, because we are simply witnesses to her perhaps selfish act. Then, in the same village, women begin to die horrible deaths. Each one is found with a gold coin embedded in their hearts; and we learn that the "baroness", a sort of local sorceress in the village, is the one who placed them there. We don't know why...but we'll find out soon enough.
And that's as far as I'll go. In the end, it's not really the story of "Kill, Baby, Kill" that matters. I had more of an experience while watching it, and I must admit and be truthful; it was a pretty damn good one. The film is far from perfect; as there's not any particularly memorable scenes, and each character is either undeveloped or not worth caring too much about, but the dream-like quality of the film more than makes up for its flaws.
I suppose if you like a good surrealist joint, you could do better. But why complain? ANY good surrealist joint is one worth seeing; as long as you're up for it, and in to this kind of thing. Do I enjoy the film simply for its surrealistic pleasures? Yeah, I guess so. Great horror cinema this is not. Good horror cinema it is. It is relatively good at what it does, it deserves as much credit as I can give it, and for fans of the genre, it's a film to see.
But why would you NOT want to see a film with images so bizarre? Here, you'll find more of the regular Bava stuff (interesting color schemes and lighting, solid cinematography all-around and great atmosphere build-up) and some different things too. If you are appreciative enough, who knows...you might even love the movie. All I can tell you is that it's worth seeing. It's short, sweet, and to-the-point. It's a true horror movie that builds up tension before gore; and it goes by many of the rules of conventional horror films. And I'm ever-so-glad that it was outlandish without trying too hard to be.