KILL BABY...KILL (1966)
Marks my first stint into Mario Bava territory. The reason why I have held off Bava was that the gothic horror movies of the 50s early 60s always had this artifice about them. The Hammer films especially. I could never quite get into them. Bava has influenced genre filmmakers like Guillermo Del Toro with his gothic atmosphere and is the predecessor to all the Italian horror directors of the 70's and 80's.
The deaths are ghastly, having someone jump onto a spiked gate right at the start of the movie. The set design is very painting like. Bava's fluid use of camera techniques comes from his background as a cinematographer. Lots of crash zooms that emphasize the reveal of a shadowy figure or a witch. Or even crash outs to reveal a setting. A lot of it is over used and gets distracting after a while. One thing that I hope to see more of in Bava's color films is his use of color. His use of tinting is an obvious influence on Argento's work. I just wished the film as a whole would have held up.