Kill Baby, Kill - Kill Baby, Kill( DVD/ Blu Ray) [Arrow Video - 2017]From itís ill-fitting US title Kill Baby, Kill may sound like some sort of low-grade female spy movie, but in reality, itís a classic slice of gothic horror from respected Italian director Mario Bava. Here from Arrow Video we have a new dual format Blu Ray & DVD reissue of the film
Released in 1966 under itís original title Operazione paura(Fear Operation) has gone on to be known as Curse of the Dead( in the UK), Curse of the Living Dead( US reissue), & Donít Walk In The Park- but sadly it's most known as Kill Baby, Kill. The film was the 53rd film directed by Mario Brava and is set in partly derelict & isolated 19th-century European village. Into the village comes Dr. Paul Eswai, to investigate a series of strange murders- is it the work of one the villages, an outsider, or the ghost of a creepy young girl?.
From the very start, till it's very end the film perfectly cultivates a very tangible feeling of both dread & intensely creepy atmospherics. With its blend of skilful & moodily masterful camera work. The eerie backdrop of the village, Bavaís trademark colored lighting, gothic set dressing, lots of mist & cobwebs, effective & ghoulish sound-tracking, implied violence, and some simple but extremely creepy set pieces.
Iíll have admit Iím not the biggest of Bava fans. I certainly respected his prime influence on different horror films sub-genres such as gothic horror with Black Sunday, Giallo with Blood & Black Lace, and the Slasher film with Bay Of Blood. But I have always felt many of his films were uneven, dated( in a bad way), uneventful, and often more than not a bit hokey. But with Kill Baby, Kill he is completely successful in not only summoning up a very real feeling of dread. But also creating a film that keeps one's attention firmly held throughout, doesnít feel dated( as many of the tropes in here are still been used today), and ultimately creates not only a great horror film but a great film.
Extras wise on the discs we get a small selection of things- first & foremost is the new commentary, which is by Tim Lucas, who wrote one of the definitive books on Bava All The Colors Of The Dark. Mr. Lucas gives an extremely informative track- which finds him discuss the film's production, itís setting, the actors, the score( which amazingly is cobbled together from other films soundtrack & library music), and the films generally impact. Otherwise extras wise we get The Devil s Daughter: Mario Bava and the Gothic Child- a twenty minute audio essay about the film, which was little too scholarly for my liking. Kill, Bava, Kill!- an interview with assistant director Lamberto Bava, and Yellow a short film by Semih Tareen that pays tribute to & mimicking Bava traits.
In conclusion, If you've never seen this before, and have even vague interested in the horror genre itís a must-see film, as it truly is a master class in gothic horror, and one of Bava most consistent productions. And if even youíve seen it in the past, this new 2K( on the blu ray) is well worth the upgrade.Roger Batty