Some time ago, we posted about a Mario Bava Film Festival that was being held in New York, and that since we’re in the Chicago area, it was just too far to even think of making it to it. But now Chicago fans don’t need to worry since those Bava titles are coming to the Gene Siskel Film Center, starting next weekend, on August 4th! If you have never had the chance to witness the wonder of Mario Bava on the big screen, I couldn’t recommend it enough, especially titles like Blood and Black Lace or Black Sabbath. The colors alone on these two will just blow your mind. But even the beautiful black and white cinematography in Bava’s directorial debut, Black Sunday, is just stunning to see. Seriously, if you are a fan of horror films, Italian horror, or cinema in general, do yourself a favor and make it out to some of these (if not all of them!).
If you are even remotely close to the Manhattan area in NY this month, then you need to make sure you check out some, if not all of these Mario Bava films that are screening all month long in a tribute to this Italian cinematic master. Starting July 14th, the Quad Cinema will be screening more than two dozen of Bava’s titles, such as A Bay of Blood, 5 Dolls for an August Moon, Baron Blood, Black Sabbath, Black Sunday, Blood and Black Lace, Danger: Diabolik, Evil Eye, Lisa and the Devil, Kill, Baby…Kill!, Planet of the Vampires and more.
Black Sunday (1960)
Directed by Mario Bava
Starring Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici, Enrico Olivieri, Antonia Pierfederici, Tino Bianchi
Once you start to wander down the path of Italian horror cinema, there is one director that is a must for you to seek out. While I know quite a few fans start out with Dario Argento, which is a great place to start, but you mustn’t stop there, but go further back. Back to 1960 when the film Black Sunday was released. There are many titles that are considered ‘classics’, but director Mario Bava’s tale of witchcraft, Satanism, and revenge, is one of the best examples of black and white horror cinema, or really horror cinema in general.
The very following Saturday, on the 22nd of October, was when the other 24-hour marathon, called simply The Massacre, was being held at the Patio Theater. This is another old Chicago theater that is just beautiful. The lobby is just incredible, like stepping back in time. It thrills me to no end that someone is trying to keep this place open and alive. The theater itself is just huge, with plenty of seating for all the fans coming out to enjoy these movies. In the past, there had been issues with heat, either not having any or in the summer being just way too warm. Lucky for all of us, there weren’t any of those issues now, which was a great relief. Plus, I was not working this event, but was there just to sit back and enjoy the films, which was going to be a nice change of pace after the previous week. Since this time of year tends to be pretty busy for me, it’s tough for me to actually have time to sit and watch a flick every now and then. So this was going to be a great opportunity to do just that.