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Mario Bava is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter, Producer, Assistant Director, Director of Photography, Editor, Title Designer, Visual Effects and Second Unit Italien born on 31 july 1914 at Sanremo (Italie)

Mario Bava

Mario Bava
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Nationality Italie
Birth 31 july 1914 at Sanremo (Italie)
Death 27 april 1980 (at 65 years) at Rome (Italie)

Mario Bava (31 July 1914 – 25 April 1980) was an Italian director, screenwriter, special effects artist and cinematographer from the "golden age" of Italian horror films. His work kick-started the giallo film genre and the modern "slasher film".


Mario Bava was born in Sanremo, Liguria. He is the son of Eugenio Bava, a sculptor who also worked as a special effects photographer and cameraman in the Italian silent movie industry. Mario Bava's first ambition was to become a painter. Unable to turn out paintings at a profitable rate, he went into his father's business, working as an assistant to other Italian cinematographers like Massimo Terzano. He also helped his father at the special effects department at Benito Mussolini's film factory, the Istituto LUCE.

Bava became a cinematographer in his own right in 1939, shooting two short films with Roberto Rossellini. He made his feature debut in the early 1940s. Bava's camerawork was an instrumental factor in developing the screen personas of such stars of the period as Gina Lollobrigida, Steve Reeves and Aldo Fabrizi.

Bava completed filming I vampiri (aka The Devil's Commandment) for director Riccardo Freda in 1956, a movie now referred to as the first Italian horror film. Bava was originally hired as the cinematographer, but when Freda walked out on the project midway through production, Bava completed the film in several days, even creating the innovative special effects that were needed. He also handled the cinematography and special effects on the 1957 Steve Reeves classic Hercules, a film credited with sparking the Italian sword and sandal genre.

Bava co-directed The Day the Sky Exploded in 1958, the first Italian science fiction film. Because he had no earlier credited experience as a director, the film was credited solely to Paolo Heusch. In 1959, Bava completed Caltiki - the Immortal Monster, again for Riccardo Freda who left the project prematurely, and also worked on the lighting and special effects for Hercules Unchained.

In 1960, Bava directed Black Sunday, a gothic horror film and his first solo directorial effort, which made a genre star out of Barbara Steele. His use of light and dark in black-and-white films is widely acclaimed along with his use of color in films such as Black Sabbath (1963) and The Whip and the Body (1963).

His work has proved very influential. Bava directed what is now regarded as the first of the Italian giallo films, The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) and Blood and Black Lace (1964), and his 1965 sci-fi horror film Planet of the Vampires was a thematic precursor to Alien (1979). Although comic books had served as the basis for countless serials and children's films in Hollywood, Bava's Danger: Diabolik (1968) brought an adult perspective to the genre. 1971's Twitch of the Death Nerve is considered one of the earliest slasher films, and was explicitly imitated in Friday the 13th Part 2. Many elements of his 1966 film Kill, Baby... Kill!, regarded by Martin Scorsese as Bava's masterpiece, also appear in the Asian strain of terror film known as J-horror.

Mario Bava was very disappointed with the distribution of some of his later films. His Lisa and the Devil (1972) was never picked up by a distributor, and had to be later re-edited (with new 1975 footage) into an Exorcist-clone retitled House of Exorcism in order to get released. Bava's Rabid Dogs (1974) was never released theatrically during his lifetime; the film only appeared on DVD in the late 1990s, re-edited a bit with some new footage, and was released again in 2007 in a slightly altered version under the title Kidnapped. Bava retired in 1978 (at age 63) after co-directing his last horror film, Shock, with his son Lamberto Bava (although he did some special effects matte work on Dario Argento's 1980 movie Inferno). Bava died of natural causes in 1980 at age 65. His doctor had given him a physical just days before he died from a heart attack, and had pronounced him in perfect health.

Mario Bava's son Lamberto Bava worked for fourteen years as Bava's assistant director (beginning with Planet of the Vampires), and went on to become a horror film director on his own. On several of Mario's movies, Mario was credited as John M. Old. Later, Lamberto was sometimes credited as John M. Old, Jr.

Several books have been published about Mario Bava: Mario Bava by Pascal Martinet (Edilig, 1984) and Mario Bava edited by Jean-Louis Leutrat (Éditions du Céfal, 1994) in French; Mario Bava by Alberto Pezzotta (Il Castoro Cinema, 1995) in Italian; The Haunted Worlds of Mario Bava by Troy Howarth (FAB Press, 2002) and most recently, the massive critical biography Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark by Tim Lucas (Video Watchdog, 2007; ISBN 0-9633756-1-X).

Best films

Hercules (1958)
(Director of Photography)
The Giant of Marathon (1959)
Hercules Unchained (1959)
Ulysses (1954)
Beautiful But Dangerous (1955)
(Director of Photography)

Usually with

Lamberto Bava
Lamberto Bava
(15 films)
Mario Serandrei
Mario Serandrei
(12 films)
Aldo Fabrizi
Aldo Fabrizi
(10 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Mario Bava (79 films)

Display filmography as list


Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, 1h22
Directed by Mario Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Science fiction, Fantastic, Comedy, Action, Comic science fiction
Themes Spy films, Comedy science fiction films, Robot films
Actors Vincent Price, Fabian Forte, Ciccio Ingrassia, Laura Antonelli, Frankie Avalon, Francesco Mulé
Roles Angel with Harp (uncredited)
Rating40% 2.0264252.0264252.0264252.0264252.026425
Price plays the titular mad scientist who is working with the Chinese government to use exploding female robots to disrupt a scheduled NATO war-game by blowing up the various generals involved in the exercise (one of whom looks exactly like Goldfoot, and whom Goldfoot later impersonates). Fabian is the hero who works to thwart the plot, when he isn't busy chasing women such as Laura Antonelli's character. The film ends with an extended frantic chase through the streets of Rome, and Goldfoot attempting to start World War III between Russia and the United States by dropping a nuclear bomb on Moscow.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much, 1h32
Directed by Mario Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Thriller, Comedy, Horror, Romance
Themes Serial killer films
Actors Letícia Román, John Saxon, Valentina Cortese, Luigi Bonos, Tiberio Murgia, Robert Buchanan
Roles Uncle Augusto
Rating69% 3.498373.498373.498373.498373.49837
On vacation, Nora Davis (Letícia Román) arrives by plane in Rome to visit her elderly ailing aunt. Nora's aunt is being treated by Dr. Marcello Bassi (John Saxon).
Caltiki, the Immortal Monster, 1h16
Directed by Riccardo Freda, Mario Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Science fiction, Thriller, Adventure, Horror
Actors John Merivale, Didi Perego, Gérard Herter, Daniela Rocca, Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Nerio Bernardi
Roles Mexican at police station (uncredited)
Rating58% 2.9498152.9498152.9498152.9498152.949815
The film begins as a delirious archaeologist stumbles into his group's camp without his partner, both of whom having been exploring a cave. He becomes mad, requiring hospitalization. Their interest piqued, the group sets out for the cave.


Voices from Beyond, 1h31
Directed by Lucio Fulci, Mario Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Drama, Fantastic, Horror
Actors Duilio Del Prete, Karina Huff, Lorenzo Flaherty, Lucio Fulci, Tom Felleghy
Rating50% 2.51452.51452.51452.51452.5145
Giorgio Mainardi (Diulio Del Prete), a wealthy, middle-aged financier, lies dying in a hospital bed surrounded by his family. He has collapsed suddenly, coughing up blood. His last word is to his stone-faced family is, "why?" The doctor's diagnosis of Giorgio's death is an internal hemorrhage, possibly from a stomach or intestinal ulcer. The following day, Giorgio's daughter Rosie (Karina Huff) arrives at the Mainardi estate having taken a leave of absence from her college studies to attend the funeral and for the reading of the will. Rosie soon finds her entire family squabbling over the estate. Giorgio's stepmother Hilda (Frances Nacmen), refuses permission for an autopsy, and taunts her elderly husband, Giorgio's father Paolo (Paolo Paoloni), who is near death himself from a recent stroke and is unable to move or speak. Meanwhile, Hilda's son Mario (Pascal Persiano) is revealed to be having an affair with Giorgio's third wife Lucy (Bettina Giovannini). Lucy is only a few years older than Rosie, and is apparently the only one of the Mainardi family who shows any compassion for her presence.
Inferno (1980)
, 1h47
Directed by Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Thriller, Fantasy, Horror
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Ghost films, Witches in film, Children's films
Actors Irene Miracle, Leigh McCloskey, Eleonora Giorgi, Daria Nicolodi, Alida Valli, Veronica Lazăr
Rating65% 3.2521353.2521353.2521353.2521353.252135
Rose Elliot (Miracle), a poet living alone in New York City, finds an ancient book called The Three Mothers. It tells of three evil sisters who rule the world with sorrow, tears, and darkness. The book, written by an architect named Varelli, reveals that the three dwell inside separate homes that had been built for them by the architect in Rome, Freiburg, and New York. Rose suspects that she is living in one of the buildings and writes to her brother Mark (McCloskey) in Rome, urging him to visit her. Using clues provided in the book as a guide, Rose searches the cellar of her building and discovers a hole in the floor which leads to a water-filled ballroom. She accidentally drops her keys and enters the water to find them. After she reclaims the keys, a putrid corpse suddenly rises from the depths, frightening her.
The Venus of Ille, 1h30
Directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Thriller, Fantastic, Horror
Actors Daria Nicolodi, Marc Porel, Adriana Innocenti, Mario Maranzana
Rating63% 3.181353.181353.181353.181353.18135
Adaptation de la nouvelle fantastique La Vénus d'Ille de Prosper Mérimée.
Shock (1977)
, 1h35
Directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
Genres Thriller, Horror
Themes Ghost films
Actors Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, Ivan Rassimov, Lamberto Bava
Rating62% 3.1495453.1495453.1495453.1495453.149545
Dora Baldini (Daria Nicolodi), her son Marco (David Colin Jr.) and her new husband Bruno Baldini (John Steiner) move into Dora's former home, from her first marriage, after Dora is released from a mental institution following the mysterious death of Dora's abusive first husband. With Bruno away as a commercial airline pilot, Dora is left alone with her son Marco and her shattered memory of the events of her husband's death, caused by extensive electroshock treatment she received while institutionalized. Her insanity grows when she believes that her son has become possessed by the ghost of his deceased father, leading to Dora learning the truth about her first husband's death: she murdered him after he forcibly injected her with heroin and LSD. When she contacted Bruno for help, he arranged for her dead husband's body to be dumped out in the ocean while arranging for Dora to be placed in an insane asylum, as the drugs injected into her caused her to have a nervous breakdown. Now killing her new husband, Dora is compelled by her husband's ghost (and her guilt) to commit suicide. The ending shows Marco, the sole survivor, having tea with his parents' ghosts (who are invisible).
The House of Exorcism, 1h31
Directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
Origin German
Genres Horror
Actors Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Robert Alda, Gabriele Tinti, Alida Valli
Rating46% 2.3172652.3172652.3172652.3172652.317265
Après avoir vu une fresque représentant le Diable, une touriste, Lisa, est prise de convulsions et est hospitalisée. Un prêtre vient à son chevet, et, reconnaissant une possession démoniaque, décide de pratiquer un exorcisme. Entre deux crises, Lisa se souvient d'avoir été l'hôte d'une étrange villa. La maison de l'exorcisme est une version de Lisa et le diable voulue par le producteur au détriment de Mario Bava.
Rabid Dogs
Rabid Dogs (1974)
, 1h36
Directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Drama, Thriller, Horror, Crime
Themes Transport films, Films about automobiles, Road movies
Actors Riccardo Cucciolla, George Eastman, Maurice Poli, Ettore Manni
Rating74% 3.701793.701793.701793.701793.70179
Les Chiens enragés est un film italien réalisé par Mario Bava tourné en 1974, mais le film a été saisi par les tribunaux durant les derniers stades de la production lorsque le producteur a fait faillite après que le principal investisseur du film meure dans un accident de voiture et n'est finalement sorti qu'en 1998 en VHS et réédité en 2007 sous une forme légèrement différente, sur DVD aux États-Unis sous le titre Kidnapped. Le titre original Semaforo rosso (traduction : feu rouge) est issu d'une scène clé du film dans laquelle les personnages font un arrêt fatal à un feu de circulation, cet évènement déclenche tous les évènements de l'intrigue.
Lisa and the Devil, 1h35
Directed by Mario Bava
Genres Science fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Themes Films about religion, Demons in film
Actors Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Gabriele Tinti, Eduardo Fajardo, Alida Valli
Rating62% 3.1495953.1495953.1495953.1495953.149595
Tourist Lisa Reiner (Elke Sommer) wanders away from her tour group in Toledo to go shopping inside a store, where she encounters a man named Leandro (Telly Savalas), who is purchasing a dummy and a carousel Lisa attempts to buy. Due to his resemblance to the portrait of the devil in a fresco she has just seen, Lisa flees, only to be confronted by a mustachioed gentlemen...who falls from a flight of stairs to his apparent death.
Baron Blood, 1h38
Directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
Origin German
Genres Horror
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Vampires in film
Actors Joseph Cotten, Elke Sommer, Massimo Girotti, Rada Rassimov, Umberto Raho, Luciano Pigozzi
Rating59% 2.953972.953972.953972.953972.95397
Peter Kleist (Antonio Cantafore) is an American who arrives in Austria to take a break from his college studies and to look up his family's history. At the airport, he is greeted by his uncle, Karl Hummel (Massimo Girott), who invites him to stay at his house. Peter asks Karl about his great-grandfather, Baron Otto Von Kleist. Karl explains that the Baron's name still spreads fear among the local people for he was a notorious sadist who tortured and murdered over 100 of the villagers for which he earned the nickname "Baron Blood". Karl also tells Peter that the Baron's old castle and former residence is being remodeled into a hotel for tourists. Peter persuades his uncle to take him to the castle.
A Bay of Blood, 1h24
Directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava, Roberto Rossellini
Origin Italie
Genres Thriller, Horror, Slasher
Themes Serial killer films
Actors Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Laura Betti, Claudio Camaso, Leopoldo Trieste, Isa Miranda
Rating65% 3.2513553.2513553.2513553.2513553.251355
At night in her bayside mansion, wheelchair-bound Countess Federica (Isa Miranda) is attacked and strangled to death by her husband Filippo Donati (Giovanni Nuvoletti). In turn, an assailant suddenly stabs him to death. Donati's corpse is then dragged to the bay. The police find what they believe to be a suicide note written by the Countess. Donati's murder goes undiscovered.
Four Times That Night, 1h23
Directed by Mario Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Comedy, Comedy-drama, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Daniela Giordano, Brett Halsey, Valeria Sabel, Michael Hinz, Pascale Petit, Rainer Basedow
Rating57% 2.8522952.8522952.8522952.8522952.852295
Tina et Gianni se sont connus à Castel Fusano. Un soir, ils se retrouvent chez Tina et sortent dans un night-club où ils rencontrent les amis de Gianni : Duccio, Sergio et Pino.
Roy Colt and Winchester Jack
Directed by Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Comedy, Action, Western
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Films about prostitution, Erotic thriller films
Actors Brett Halsey, Marilù Tolo, Bruno Corazzari, Isa Miranda, Federico Boido, Charles Southwood
Rating47% 2.370472.370472.370472.370472.37047
Gunslingers Roy Colt and Winchester Jack fail to make a living through crime and Roy dissolves the partnership to earn an honest buck in Carson City as a sheriff. Sheriff Roy is then entrusted by the townsfolk with a replica of a treasure map said to lead to a fortune in buried gold, and his old partner Jack and a gang of desperados try to get to it first.
Five Dolls for an August Moon, 1h28
Directed by Mario Bava
Origin Italie
Genres Thriller, Horror
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Serial killer films
Actors William Berger, Edwige Fenech, Howard Ross, Ely Galleani, Helena Ronee, Maurice Poli
Rating56% 2.8495452.8495452.8495452.8495452.849545
At the private island retreat of wealthy industrialist George Stark (Teodor Corrà), a group of people have assembled for a weekend getaway. Among the guests is Professor Gerry Farrell (William Berger), a scientist badly in need of a vacation. The first night passes uneventfully, but Farrell is enraged the next morning to discover that Stark and several of the guests planned the weekend to coerce him to sell his latest invention: a formula for industrial resin.