KILL, BABY, KILL (1966)
(a.k.a. OPERAZIONE PAURA)
Article #1552 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-14-2005
Posting Date: 11-11-2005
Directed by Mario Bava
Featuring Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Erika Blanc, Fabienne Dali
A coroner is called to a small town to perform an autopsy on a woman who died an unusual death. He discovers a coin buried in her heart, and finds out that her death is tied to strange visions of a little girl.
This movie has a variable reputation. Some people consider it Bava’s best movie, while others feel disappointed. I can understand both reactions. The movie is enticingly mysterious, effectively moody, and uses color wonderfully. It is also full of very striking scenes; in particular, I like a sequence where the hero chases someone through the same room several times in succession only to catch him and discover—well, I won’t give it away. Yet that scene also points to the movie’s problem; ultimately, there’s no satisfactory explanation for it. It’s a case where the mystery element is a lot more compelling than the disappointing and incomplete explanations, and the climax of the movie doesn’t quite deliver the necessary scares. Certainly, the title doesn’t help; it makes it sound for all the world like it’s about a serial killer, and that doesn’t capture it. Still, I think the movie is worth catching for the mood and certain individual moments; only the disappointing ending really holds it back.