aka Operazione Paura (Original Title), Curse Of The Dead, Curse Of The Living Dead, Operation Fear, Don’t Walk In The Park, etc.
83 min., 1966
Written by Romano Migliorini/Roberto Natale/Mario Bava
Directed by Mario Bava
My rating: ★★★★
Can a movie from 1966 still hold up today? Fuck yeah!
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The beginning of this movie has a woman running away from something as she climbs some stairs, and at the top she throws herself onto some gate spikes, dying.
Next we see four men in red hoods walking through town with a casket, as people look out their windows and door, and then hide. Enter our hero, Dr. Paul Eswai, as he comes to town to perform an autopsy on said woman. He meets most of the locals and starts to hear strange stories about a place called Villa Graps. Another strange thing that’s happening is that there is a coin placed into the heart of the dead woman. How did it get there? Why is it there?
With questions in the mind, we learn a little bit more about a curse that is affecting the town. A little girl in white is “killing” young people, in that she is causing them to kill themselves. So the doc sets off to solve the mystery and head to Villa Graps.
It’s really hard to rate older films by today’s standards, but sometimes movies still hold up. Kill, Baby…Kill! is a good example of holding steady with modern advances in film. The locations where it was filmed are just beautiful. The old and rundown stone town really adds to the feel of fear that the townsfolk experience. Villa Graps is quite creepy with long corridors and candleholders that are human arms and hands. Not everything is location, though, like the graveyard which is painfully a set.
Acting is all around really good, with the only really bad actor being our hero. Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (Paul) walks around like he has a stick consistently up his ass, and then anytime he stops or does an action, he takes an over the top dramatic pose. Everyone else plays their parts as well as they can. Fabienne Dali (Ruth) does a great job as the mysterious witch who is “helping” the town with their supernatural problems. Playing the part with a very subtle crazy person hiding inside, she steals the show whenever she’s on screen.
A movie from the ’60s usually makes me cringe with the thought of special effects, and this one really made me think twice about that feeling. The effects were at the top of the list for the best things in the movie. Ranging from fast cuts of impaling to a man cutting his throat off screen and only seeing the aftereffects, both are done with great care. Credit goes to the effects crew and the use of smart editing. Thank you for proving me wrong and giving me hope for future ’60s movies.
One of the best parts of the movie is when Paul is chasing himself from room to room in a crazy loop; the scene is short, but extremely cool. Check out the movie if you have some time, and try to ignore the bad acting of the overly made-up Paul. Mystery is what pushes this one to the top; questions arise, and the answers are always satisfying.Have You Read...?