Kill, Baby, Kill (Operazione paura) (Curse of the Living Dead) (Don't Walk in the Park) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kill, Baby, Kill (Operazione paura) (Curse of the Living Dead) (Don't Walk in the Park) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 22, 2011
A good ghost story, nicely directed by Mario Bava. The actors aren't so great, but the characters are interesting, strange, and surprising. The movie is sort of confusing at first, but it's a mystery, and you figure it out by the end. It's a cool, slightly surrea,l Gothic ghost story, and if you like Bava's work, you should check it out.
Super Reviewer
½ April 14, 2011
In a small town in Transylvanian, police detective Kruger calls upon Doctor Paul Eswai to perform an autopsy on a woman who died a violent death, but the unusual thing is that a coin was embedded in her heart. When Dr Eswai arrives in town he discovers that the town is paralysed by fear of a dreaded curse of a spirit of a young girl who died 20 years earlier and the towns folk aren't all to happy about doctor interfering in their business.

Breathtaking! Yes, breathtaking indeed. It's only my third viewing of a Mario Bava film and what a talented and versatile director he is. This film breathes Gothic atmosphere and chills, with air of mystery to keep you glued to this subtle nightmare. The remote nature of the film adds to the spooky sets with dark shadowy pathways, creepy graveyard, a misty town with its eerie ruins and a downright unnerving Villa Graps, where the locals fear to tread! The whole surroundings come across as rather forbiddingly stark and very alienating. With a colour scheme that jumps out at you and that only Bava can create. What compensates the visual flair is the horrifyingly tense, but mystical score and effectively jittery sound effects. Damn that hissing wind! Also profound camera work that's incredibly vivid and swirling panning all over the place helps convey such a brood mood. There always seemed to be lurking danger even if it wasn't evident on screen. With all that, we are put into a whirlwind of such unease, which bleeds with a high amount of tension and frights.

The odd plot builds on the superstition and the dialogue was rather interesting. Performances were so-so, no one really stood out, but they fit the buck. Really, Bava was the real star here and it shows. Even the special effects were well used, but the make-up of child spirit was damn freaky. Especially those scenes with those hands going pitta padder at the window seal. Shivers ran down my spine! Although, saying that it does have some weak spots in the continuity of the plot and I thought ending was all a bit too convenient. Anyhow, this didn't damaged my experience of this menacing chiller that grows on atmosphere, not violence. The story might be your standard run of the mill, but it's Bava's direction that makes it visually impressive and immensely spooky. Also, what a great title!
Super Reviewer
March 15, 2011
Another Mario Bava film, the last to review in the Mario Bava Volume 1 five movie box set, and like the rest an excellent old school horror film. Set in the Late 1800's - early 1900's a town has a curse over it. A Doctor is called to a town where people are dying to do an autopsy, while there people are dying and the inspector is also killed, a child in ledged is blamed for the killings. Pretty creepy for the time it was written. Micaela Esdra is most beautiful in this film, a shame she didn't show up more in films. Bava no less then 4 stars so far.
Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2011
Everything that I love about Bava films, all rolled into one moody (slightly cheesy) classic horror film.
While there is nothing here (story wise) that will shock or disturb much of todays movie gowing audience, those who appreciate the "charms" of classic horror will no doubt be pleased.
The psychedelic freak out scene (featuring Dr. Eswai) is realy quiet amazing and a testament to the grreat attention to visual styling and atmosphere of which Bava is one of the masters.
Super Reviewer
December 15, 2009
The once-human horror waits in the attic...for you to open the door!
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2008
creepy beautiful gothic ghost story by bava
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2007
Quite simply: the most terrifying film I've ever seen. If spooky children don't give you the willies this probably isn't for you, but it scared the crap out of me. A truly amazing exercise in sustained atmosphere. I would recommend watching it with the original Italian soundtrack, if possible, because it's more intense and the child's laughter is 100% creepier.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2007
A whole lotta fun. Great colors. Creepy atmosphere...the "going crazy" sequences are classic
Super Reviewer
½ May 13, 2007
Not my favorite Bava film but still great. It takes a while to get off the ground but the last 15 minutes make up for it. The title's a bit off in relation to the story but whatever. As always, the great lighting, sets and camerawork which have influenced today's filmmakers are present. Namely the scene where the doctor chases "the killer"--it's straight out of The Black Lodge from Twin Peaks.
Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2009
Beyond the surface allure of being an exotic, cultish item, this is simply a damn good horror film. Gorgeous colors and production design, a good story and solid acting which causes a minimum of unintended giggles. Did the scary little girl influence both the devil child in Fellini's "Toby Dammit" short *and* "Little House on the Prairie"'s Nellie Oleson?
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2011

Mario Bava's more well-known films work a certain charm for me, and I think I know why. Bava himself is one of the few horror directors who ever lived that could master nightmare surrealism as well as he does. While some believe that films such as Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond" capture the nightmare perfectly, I'm going to have to go along, disagree, and give people like Mario Bava more credit.

And he deserves it. Bava is a very good filmmaker. I last saw "Blood and Black Lace" when it comes to Bava films, and you know what; I loved it. That is what a great giallo thriller should be; gruesome, bloody, perhaps a bit perverse; but ultimately passionate in each of the three. Now, I'm reviewing "Kill, Baby, Kill", which you probably haven't heard of; but I have, I did, and I saw it. And I'm glad.

Violence as style works so much better than violence as just exploitation. I'm not one to side with ruthlessly sadistic or violent films unless they are actually saying something; but Giallo horror flicks tend to turn the red, red kroovy into art. This is something special; this is something very cool. But alas, this film that I'm talking about here does not rely on blood-and-gore, but rather atmosphere. It is 100% Bava, which is good, because any more or any less would have certainly destroyed any chance of the film being as well-made and entertaining as it is.

A young woman commits suicide by jumping onto a sharp fence early on in the film. We don't know why, because we are simply witnesses to her perhaps selfish act. Then, in the same village, women begin to die horrible deaths. Each one is found with a gold coin embedded in their hearts; and we learn that the "baroness", a sort of local sorceress in the village, is the one who placed them there. We don't know why...but we'll find out soon enough.

And that's as far as I'll go. In the end, it's not really the story of "Kill, Baby, Kill" that matters. I had more of an experience while watching it, and I must admit and be truthful; it was a pretty damn good one. The film is far from perfect; as there's not any particularly memorable scenes, and each character is either undeveloped or not worth caring too much about, but the dream-like quality of the film more than makes up for its flaws.

I suppose if you like a good surrealist joint, you could do better. But why complain? ANY good surrealist joint is one worth seeing; as long as you're up for it, and in to this kind of thing. Do I enjoy the film simply for its surrealistic pleasures? Yeah, I guess so. Great horror cinema this is not. Good horror cinema it is. It is relatively good at what it does, it deserves as much credit as I can give it, and for fans of the genre, it's a film to see.

But why would you NOT want to see a film with images so bizarre? Here, you'll find more of the regular Bava stuff (interesting color schemes and lighting, solid cinematography all-around and great atmosphere build-up) and some different things too. If you are appreciative enough, who might even love the movie. All I can tell you is that it's worth seeing. It's short, sweet, and to-the-point. It's a true horror movie that builds up tension before gore; and it goes by many of the rules of conventional horror films. And I'm ever-so-glad that it was outlandish without trying too hard to be.
Super Reviewer
October 18, 2012
Rural village populace accursed by a ghostly legend in late 1800's Germany, and Dr. Assenwipen arrives with his scientific skepticism to unravel the mystery but eventually gets the smirk scared off his face. Effectively chilling at times with a supremely creepy ghost girl who makes several startling appearances. Some atmospheric set decoration too for a film with a very small budget. Not a classic but should please fans of the genre.

(Now I really want to know which movie originated the child's bouncing ball motif, I can't think of an earlier example than this.)
Super Reviewer
½ July 2, 2008
A Bava masterwork.
July 29, 2012
One of Bava's very best--a suspenseful, occasionally surreal ghost story exquisitely designed, choreographed, and photographed. Masterful.
November 23, 2008
This is a nice ghost story complete with a spooky little girl who keeps appearing in the window. As Italian horror goes, this one is actually fairly easy to follow. Bava does a fine job and I really like the overall look of this film. The performances are well done and the editing is fantastic. But when all is said and done, I felt a little bored at times... Perhaps I am spoiled by modern horror and cannot appreciate sublty anymore.
½ July 4, 2008
Forget that little kid from The Ring. This is very creepy.

Bava is really good at exploiting children to terrify adults. The first time I saw him do it in Black Sabbath, I was terrified. But Black Sabbath was an anthology and that sequence with the Wardarlack imitating the young boy was extremely short. Really, we get to see what Bava really wanted to do with that character in this one. The only problem with the movie is that the story is a bit weak and confusing at times. This is the first of a series of movies where Bava is trying to justify his amount of super-gore with an extremely backwards story.

Besides the creepy blonde kid, there's a really great thing that this story has going for it. I like the idea of local myths and what they can do to influence a town. We see a lot of that in the Universal production of Dracula (which I will get around to reviewing very soon) and I think this movie really capitalizes on that same ancient tradition. I'm not sure what message that these kinds of movies are trying to get across, but the myths always prove correct. Perhaps it is a look at new technology and philosophies proving to be fads while something like traidtion and belief is something very old and unkillable. These people hate these newcomers to the village rather than hating the curse behind it all. It is the little girl killing all of these innocents, but the people who are trying to save them are considered to be the real banes to the village. It's an interesting take on the traditional scares when people are so entrenched in their misery that they would rather settle for their daily misery than risk more misery for the chance of joy and peace.

But the stuff that really bored me was the background of the little girl. Bava plays around with the backstory of the girl and lets you know bits and pieces of the backstory. Now, I'm not saying that the ghost shouldn't have a reason, but the payoff of the story was just dull. If the mystery was going to be as cryptic as it was, there should have been a heck of a revelation. We all knew that the blonde girl was a ghost so we had to assume that she died. Finding out that she died from an accident by a member of the town isn't as interesting as you'd think. But the cooler part (again) of this movie is the haunted house nature of the world.

Bava creates a world that is beyond reality. Most haunted house stories have people stuck in the house overnight. This haunted house works in a different ways. While there are the traditional traps, the house doesn't actually want them there. Most houses kill them off slowly and derives pleasure from the torment. There's torment, but people wake up outside the house, expelled by the evil forces within. While I didn't really get a lot of what the house was doing, there's a lot of good scenes (especially those concerning the room loops like in Zelda) that are easy to create, but are masterfully shown.

But again, the movie doesn't really have a strong throughline. I have to say that the same problem shows up in Lisa and the Devil and Bay of Blood, but I will address those when I get to them. As for now, know that there's a creepy movie in here somewhere, but you'd have to trim down an already hour-and-a-half movie to get to a really solid, tight, and accessible film.
½ March 7, 2008
There are some really neat camera effects. Also, there's quite a bit of atmosphere and suspense. But I thought it was boring.
December 14, 2007
A low budget film from what I've read, this gothic shocker looks amazing. The colors pop and the surreal sequences used to drive the characters in the film mad are as amusing as they are effective.

Well worth a rental, or hell, even the blind-buy.
July 7, 2007
A film about a ghost killing the CEO of a burger chain whose profits are the source of revenue of a small European village. Well, that's what I got out of it...
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