Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Introducing THE BAVA BEAT

Certain events precluded me from putting together a proper Best of 2007 DVD list, but up until last month I had the magnificent Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky set in my top spot. I still feel it's one of the best compilations to come along in years, but in February I started to unpack The Bava Box Set, Vol. 2 -- and I've been unable to put it down ever since. Not only is the set filled with 8 diverse and fascinating movies, but it is put together with the kind of care usually reserved for well-known classics. International one-sheets decorate the cases, Bava master Tim Lucas provides scholarly commentaries, picture and sound are restored to optimum levels. Everything makes sense, such as pairing Lisa and the Devil with its grindhouse'd re-cut The House of Exorcism and adding a thorough featurette with Kidnapped that explains just how extraordinary it is that the movie has finally seen the light of day.

I had known of Bava, and was formally introduced to him through the frighteningly entertaining Danger: Diabolik two years ago. The fact that Tim Lucas was able to fill 1,100 pages on the man intrigued me enough to buy the box set, and it has turned out to be the perfect way for a Bava newbie to break into the director's oeuvre. Each movie in the set has captured my imagination as a film fan more than the previous, to the point that writing a singular review of the box set now seems silly. So I present THE BAVA BEAT, a label that will feature individual reviews of Vol. 2's films, and eventually Vol. 1 and beyond. The first entry will focus on Baron Blood, hopefully before next week.

Incidentally, next week also marks the opening of Mario Bava: Poems of Love and Death from the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. I have heard it on good authority that one Dennis Cozzalio could be in the audience at the Egyptian during this series, and hopefully he'll give his readers a word or two (thousand) on the experience.


TALKING MOVIEzzz said...
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Adam Ross said...

By all means seek him out. Even if he's not your cup of tea, Bava's movies are rarely boring.

Erich Kuersten said...

Hmmm, you almost make me want to finally knuckle under and buy this set. I still cant find a use for Roy Colt and Winchester Jack, though. Or can I?

Adam Ross said...

I'm hoping to answer that question, Erich. That's one of two in the set I still haven't seen, but I'm planning on reviewing it in the future.