Plot: What’s it about?
Grief can drive people to some extreme ends, but man, is Baroness Graps (Gianna Vivaldi) taking things above and beyond the norm. After her daughter was murdered, she has never been able to come to grips with things, which isn’t helped by the ghost of her fallen child. Yeah, Melissa has a ghost and as things turn out, she likes to kill folks and unless something is done to discover the truth, no one will survive her wrath. It isn’t that Melissa is so evil, but her mother’s grief and suffering is too much and drives her to these acts. But the people being hunted don’t know the truth as of yet, so they call in Dr. Paul Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) to unravel the events and that’s just what he plans to do. It becomes soon evident that a curse is present on the town, which causes the females to be killed and of course, something has to be done to end the madness. In order to make the curse fizzle out, the Baroness must be found and dealt with, but that will be no easy task in the least. Will Melissa vanquish the souls of all those she desires, or will the locals learn to fight back and overcome the spirits?
I do love Mario Bava’s films and Italian horror on the whole, but Kill, Baby…Kill is one of my favorites, even with a couple weak areas at times. This might not be the best made European horror flick, but I like it a lot and with a ton of effective atmosphere, I think most horror fans will also find a lot to like here. There is of course, some good blood work as well, but this one has such an eerie atmosphere, which is what makes me like it so damn much. Kill, Baby…Kill has some terrific camerawork and visual composition throughout, which is what ensures that atmosphere remains intact. This one might lack in terms of storyline and character development, but it comes up big in terms of style and creepiness, which count for a lot. This new version from Dark Sky Films has a much improved transfer, plus a couple of supplements. So if you’re a fan of the movie, you can ditch the old VCI disc and upgrade to this Special Edition.
I like a lot of Italian horror movies, so of course, Mario Bava is a name I am used to reading in the credits. But Bava is not that well known outside of horror circles, which is a shame, as his innovative direction is superb and worth a look, even to those outside the genre. I suppose the blood and sex might scare off some folks, but in truth, I think even horror haters could learn from watching Bava’s picture. Like many other Italian horror directors, Bava used stunning visuals to draw in his audience and create good atmosphere, which served his films very well. Bava’s work is of course important to horror mavens, but I think anyone who likes excellent direction would be well served to check out his resume of films. Other films directed by Bava include Black Sunday, Rabid Dogs, Shock, Four Times That Night, Planet of the Vampires, Black Sabbath, and The Girl Who Knew Too Much. The cast here includes Erika Blanc (Human Cobras, Hell In Normandy), Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (Sex on the Run, War of the Robots), Fabienne Dali (The Libertine, The Erotic Touch), and Gianna Vivaldi.
Video: How does it look?
Kill, Baby…Kill is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. VCI’s only offered a full frame transfer, so this new 16:9 widescreen treatment is most welcome. The print is in decent condition, but still shows some debris and grain, while softness pops in from time to time. I’ve seen several versions of this movie on DVD however and this treatment is the best of the lot, with a much cleaner and crisper presentation. The colors are bright, but natural and a slight bit faded, while contrast is solid and holds up well even in the darkest of scenes. As far as detail, the image is on the soft side, but detail is decent and this presentation looks more refined than the others I’ve seen.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not much to discuss here, as this disc includes a decent track, but not much to praise or pan here. I am let down with the inclusion of only an English language track, but since this was an older release, I can overlook it somewhat. I think Dark Sky Films should have redone the disc and included an Italian option, but hey, this is still a stable track. Not memorable, but the music, sound effects, and dialogue all seem in fine enough form. I wouldn’t use this as a demo disc by any means, but it seems to get the job done and that counts in the end.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The main attraction is an audio commentary with Tim Lucas and if anyone should be commenting on a Bava film, it is Lucas, as he seems to have endless knowledge on the man’s films. Lucas is well prepared and covers a lot of ground here, touching on the production, Bava’s other films, the cast, and the genre itself, so quite a lot of insight to be found here. This disc also includes an interview with Lamberto Bava, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.