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Schock

Shock
Beyond the Door II / The Grim Reaper

Italy 1977
produced by
Ugo Valenti, Turo Vasile for Laser Film
directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
starring Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, David Colin jr, Ivan Rassimov, Nicola Salerno, Paul Costello
written by Lamberto Bava, Gianfranco Barbieri, Paolo Brigenti (= Alessandro Parenzo), Dardano Sacchetti, based on the novel The Shadow Guest by Hillary Waugh, music by I Libra (= Dino Cappa, Alessandro Centofanti, Walter Martino)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Dora (Daria Nicolodi) and Bruno (John Steiner) move into a new house with Marco (David Colin jr), her 7 year old son from a previous marriage. But actually it's not a new house but the house Dora lived with her first husband Carlo (Nicola Salerno) - but years ago, Carlo, a heroin addict, killed himself, which temporarily turned her into a mental case. Thing is, now that she's back in the house, she starts being haunted by her past more and more ... and that Marco starts to behave ever more strangely and even menace his mother doesn't help one bit either. Soon enough, Dora is convinced that the house is haunted Carlo ... but Bruno simply refuses to believe her, thinking it's just a slight case of hysteria set off by bad memories, and whatever bad happens to her is just a series of unfortunate accidents. And even Marco behaving oddly can be explained away by just  phase the boy's in. Thing is, after much to and fro Dora starts to remember things about her husband's death, things that might offer an alternative explanation to his apparent suicide - and the uncertainty about what has happened back when pushes her further and further over the edge ...

 

Italian horror maestro Mario Bava's last theatrical feature, and frankly, not a super-deserving swan song: For the most part, the richness of Bava's imagery is gone, giving room to a more perfunctory style of filmmaking - and that's allegedly due to Bava being absent during much of the filming, leaving direction in the hands of his son and assistant director for a decade now Lamberto Bava - who as a director in his own right always lacked the flamboyancy of his father. However with Mario Bava's stylistic brilliance gone, one can't help but notice that the script isn't exactly brilliant, and some of the setpieces (like Daria Nicolodi being menaced by a cupboard in the finale) are a little on the silly side. That said, Shock is still an effective shocker, a nice mix between haunted house flick and The Omen-style evil kid thriller. Not one of Mario Bava's best films, that's for sure, but a pretty entertaining genre piece still.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD