I mentioned in my review for The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970) the love/hate relationship I have with Dario Argento and his “visuals first, storytelling second” approach to filmmaking. That goes double for Argento’s progenitor Mario Bava. Bava was incredibly influential in his use of color and framing, using his background as a painter to design tableaus that are evocative and enthralling. Unfortunately, his regard for film as a primarily narrative art was somewhat lacking. By the end of Blood and Black Lace (1964), the viewer certainly remembers distinct scenes and shots, but not so much the whole of what they have just experienced for the last 90 minutes. And if you know me, you know that’s a problem for me.

Plus: The last week to vote for Reader Revenge Month! This week’s options are The Arena (1973), The Giant Gila Monster (1959), and The Vision (1987).

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