Archive for Lamberto Bava

Blade in the Dark (1983) Review

Posted in Blade in the Dark with tags , , , on July 9, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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A BLADE IN THE DARK

**** Out of 5

Release Date- May 11th, 1983 (Italy)

Running Time- 108-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Elisa Briganti & Dardano Sacchetti

Director- Lamberto Bava

Starring- Andrea Occhipinti, Anny Papa, Fabiola Toledo, Michele Soavi, Valeria Cavalli, Stanko Molnar, Lara Naszinsky

Despite having a pretty successful career it’s not easy being Lamberto Bava seeing as his father is the legendary Mario Bava one of the most influential filmmakers to come out of Italy. Despite his success, Lamberto will always compared to his father and for me Lamberto Bava has always been hit or miss and A Blade in the Dark in my opinion is not only his best film, but also one of the very best Giallos of the 80s; A Blade in the Dark is one of those movies that there is this potential for greatness and while it doesn’t fully reach that level, but again for me it’s one of the best Giallos of the 80s.

The screenplay was written by Elisa Briganti & Dardano Sacchetti and both writers should be fairly well-known to fans of Italian horror with Sacchetti being one of the more prolific writers in Italian horror in the 80s. Of all their scripts I think this might just be one of their best and the only script in my opinion they did a better job with was Lucio Fulci’s Zombie. While at times some of the dialogue can be a little silly it’s a well written mystery that is quite interesting and while it may not break any new ground in the Giallo is works well with some fairly interesting characters and an interesting twist at the end.

Director Lamberto Bava takes a few cues from his father and Dario Argento and delivers a mostly solid movie with some solid suspense and some good tension and handles the mystery aspect very well. The pacing is a bit sluggish in some areas, while I can’t say I was ever really bored the pacing can be quite slow at times. Some scenes did drag in spots and had the editing been a little tighter the pacing would have been a lot better. But there is a good sense of dread through the movie and the kill scenes are well-done with the 2nd murder being quite brutal.

A Blade in the Dark doesn’t feature a lot of death scenes as more is put on the mystery and I really liked the fact the movie focuses more on suspense rather than death scenes and while the 2nd death scene is rather brutal the gore level isn’t as high as one would expect for an Itlain horror film from the 80s. A lot of Giallos in the 80s were quite graphic and that was done probably to keep up with the American slasher films, but I really liked how the movie again doesn’t just focus on gore and Bava really does an excellent job with the death scenes.

Overall A Blade in the Dark is one of the better Giallos of the 80s and the movie features some strong writing and directing and really the only flaw is some scenes do slightly drag and at 109-minutes the movie might have been better off losing a few minutes, but despite that A Blade in the Dark is my favorite Lamberto Bava movies and again one of the better Giallos of the 80s.

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Demons 2 (1986) Review by Dave Kaye

Posted in Demons 2 with tags , , , , , on March 27, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave Kaye

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DEMONS 2

** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- The Nightmare Returns

Release Date- October 9th, 1986

Running Time- 91-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini, Dardano Sacchetti

Director- Lamberto Bava

Starring- David Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Bobby Rhodes

Released in 1986 Demons 2 like the original has built up a large cult following and while I found the first Demons to be flawed it was also a lot of fun as well and in general I’ve never really been a big fan of Lamberto Bava with the exception of the first Demons movie and A Blade in the Dark. Demons 2, was for me the typical Bava movie where I didn’t really dislike it, but I can’t say I really enjoyed it either. Upon my first viewing of Demons 2 I actually liked it more than the original, but going back and revisiting the movie I’m not quite sure why I ever felt that way as quite honestly I was mostly bored while watching it. In general Demons 2 is a sequel by name only as it doesn’t really have much of a connection to the first film and while the events of the original are brought up there really isn’t a connection between the two films and plot wise Demons 2 is the same exact movie only this time set in an apartment building rather than movie theater.

The screenplay was written by Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini and Dardano Sacchetti and I’m not really sure why it took four people to write this. The characters are mostly boring and lack any depth at all and a good majority of them are inter-changeable and while the original film didn’t have the best developed characters some at least had their own identities and some of the characters in Demons 2 are sort of copies of those in the original. The writing is quite weak and boring with a rehash plot and boring and lifeless characters that you really don’t care in general if they live or die and I suppose some could say the same about the characters in the original, but I actually liked some of them whereas here the faster they die the better since the movie would be over. A lot of the characters are also quite dumb as they try to break the glass in the building using weights, but when that doesn’t work one decides to try and use a flower pot. If the weights didn’t work I think it would be a safe bet to say that a fucking flower pot won’t work either and while it is sort of funny it’s also a bit annoying as well.

Director Lamberto Bava delivers a mostly sluggish movie with boring pacing and the death scenes lack the gore of the original. It takes a good 25-minutes before anything really exciting happens and when the action does kick in the movie does get better, but its pacing is still sluggish and the action sequences lack any excitement as we’ve seen this done and done far better. Lamberto Bava does manage a few entertaining scenes, but for the most part I just found them lacking for the most part and for a good portion of the running time I was mostly bored.

While I can understand the cult following Demons 2 has gotten over the years and like I said originally I actually really liked the movie, but it just doesn’t hold up for me and I was mostly bored throughout most of the movie. The only thing of note is Demons 2 marks the acting debut of a very young Asia Argento.

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