Kill, Baby, Kill (1966)

Genres - Horror, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Costume Horror, Gothic Film  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Directed by Mario Bava, this chiller is an eerie and atmospheric effort that reflects many of the elements that have made the popular Italian director's films so compelling: excellent cinematography and strong performances from the talented cast. Set in a small Transylvanian village that believes it is cursed by the vengeful ghost of a little girl, the mystery concerns a series of murders that have occurred in the 20 years since the child's death. Early on, Bava allows the ghostly girl to be seen to chilling effect. Many of the scenes are accompanied by a goosebump-inducing piece of music and a bouncing ball -- the same ball that led to the girl's death in the first place. Bava's signature visuals are particularly noteworthy in two scenes -- one featuring a number of dizzying views from the top of a spiral staircase and another in which the main character chases a man through several rooms, only to realize after catching him that he's looking at himself! The performances are serviceable, but somewhat lost amidst the scary atmosphere. A great music score by Carlo Rustichelli (Blood and Black Lace) includes a brief interlude from his romantic composition used in Bava's The Whip and the Body.