Friday, June 03, 2005

Mario Bava / Luigi Cozzi / Peter Cushing

I'm not a big fan of Orange County, but I'm even less of a fan of the stretch of freeway between here and Los Angeles. Poor Cub has to drive it to take us to the Fangoria convention in Burbank tommorow morning. At least the traffic won't be bad. I tell her that there will be grab bags of free goodies. Oh, there better be. Expect a full report on!

I like to go online during my lunch breaks at work, but today a guy from corporate was in the office and I decided to stay out of view in the breakroom. No good magazines have come in yet this week so I grabbed a somewhat mangled copy (too bad, no one will buy it with this bent up cover) of 'The Haunted World of Mario Bava' from our book section. I doubt it was damaged by customers flipping through it. That section of the store gets very little traffic. We probably battered it ourselves one of the many times we condensed the ever-shrinking book section in order to make it take up less valuable floor space. The particular book is pretty heavy duty, so I barely finished it in the 45 minutes allotted for my break.

Ok, I mean I barely finished looking at the pictures in that time. There is a lot of poster art inside along with stills from all of his movies. Each one gets a chapter. The introduction is written by Luigi Cozzi who directed Contamination and wrote the much hated Devilfish for Mario's son, Lamberto Bava. Cozzi got his start as a fan and as the Italian corespondent to Famous Monsters of Filmland. He was the first journalist to tell Mario Bava that he thought he was a good director. Here is the scoop: None of Bava's films played in first run theaters in Italy. Critics would not bother to review the movies, thinking them too low to even comment on. The interviews at the back of the book (at least one by Cozzi) reveal that Bava did not think much of his own films either. He comes off as very humble. Cozzi speaks well of him.

Bava began to get respect as his protégé Dario Argento became well known.

Bava's one flaw is overuse of the zoom lens.

Not sure if this fact is mentioned in the book, it must be, it's a fun bit of trivia. Friday the 13th Part 2 rips of multiple kill scenes from the far more gory Bava pre-slasher, Bay of Blood.

unrelated Peter Cushing talk - the following paragraph from a
review of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith:

And when Darth Vader and the Emperor stand triumphant on the flight deck of their ship, they are joined at the end by an actor bearing a remarkable resemblance to the late Peter Cushing, the original Grand Moff Tarkin. So with Christopher Lee as the menacing Count Dooku at the beginning, this Star Wars in a way brings together the two old Hammer Film horror actors.

Yes, I'm a big Peter Cushing fan, I called him the greatest horror star of all time on a list I made for this blog. Cushing died in 1994 so seeing this person (briefly, he has no lines) who looked very much like him really surprised me. An internet search turned up fans in at least two places who think that it was either a digital Cushing or old Cushing footage inserted in the film. No. IMDB user UnforgivenSpaceCowboy sets it straight:

He is not digitally created...he was played by the versatile Wayne Pygram who I fear was cut out of the film like many of the other Episode IV-VI characters were (for example Mon Mothma) etc. Since Tarkin is my favorite original trilogy character, it sucked his role was cut. But then again, I could be wrong...he did walk away as soon as Vader and Sidious stepped up to the window...but I do know for a fact he wasn't digital.

unrelated - horror blogs in full effect - the following horror blogs are active and I've been reading them... if anyone feels left out, leave a comment with your link..

Corpse Eaters
Dark, But Shining this includes writer Sam Costello whom I like
M Valdemar
Groovy Age of Horror


Blogger lonesome-cowgirl said...

you do a nice job much info on so much splattery horror film. goody!! glad to hear you like wow too!

8:54 PM  

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