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The Whip and the Body
The most deliriously romantic horror picture ever made!
In the 19th century, a sadistic nobleman terrorizes the members of his family. He is found dead, but his ghost soon returns to haunt the residents of his castle.
So many of Bava's films take place in remote or near abandoned places -- Kill, Baby, Kill!'s remote village, the isolated farm house in Black Sabbath's wurdulak sequence, deserted planets in Planet of the Vampires, or even, for a more modern example, the nearly uninhabited island of 5 Dolls for an August Moon. But none of them felt quite as remote as The Whip and the Body.
Bava punctuates the film over and over with long shots of a lonely sea shore, the dark silhouette of a castle brooding above it. The sun, at times, a dim pinprick of light in the deep distance. This, to me, is the film's dominant, central image. The dimming light of a (dying?) world.…
Sexual liberation through pain and death, somehow only Bava's second most erotic film.
Crashing waves and muddy, lingering footsteps become motifs in a simply staggering ghost story; a relationship piece which dissolves into flame and orgasmic torture. Performances take on the nature of an impression rather than a typical human presence, and it supports the ethereal Gothic trappings, all rolling storms and reverberating pasts.
"You've always loved violence. You haven't changed and you never will."
After being pretty underwhelmed by Mario Bava's Black Sunday earlier this Hooptober, now I can see what all the fuss is about. The Whip and the Body is, as far as I can tell, the more obscure and less loved of the two, and yet it is the richer and more thematically complete tale by far.
The film is about female sexuality, and how women deal with their sexuality in a patriarchal society. The answer for our protagonist, Navenka (Daliah Lavi), is that they can't. Her marriage to Christian is passionless, and her attraction to Kurt is dangerous. He whips her when they make love, and she can't get…
"You haven't changed. You always loved violence."
The Whip and the Body is a gothic ghost story, and yes, it's as tinted with BDSM undertones as the title would lead you to expect. Christopher Lee (RIP) haunts the other inhabitants of this medieval cathedral. Thematically it plays out as a tale of sexual perversion: Lee's lover likes being whipped, and both his death and her subsequent haunting feel like punishments for their sexual deviancy (particularly when transposed onto its old-timey setting).
Mario Bava's usual eye for visuals (lighting, staging, set design) plays exceptionally well in the heightened setting of gothic horror. The world is thoroughly permeated by dark shadows, and shots are often composed primarily black with isolated pools of…
An all-time fave. Suppressed desire rising to annihilate everything, oscillating qualities of light, repeated visual motifs (the fire place door, the threatening windows, the light from the crypt) given haunting resonance, colors saturating each image with an array of violent passions. Formally overpowering, Bava impossibly maintaining mood, not rigorously but through gradual envelopment with the spirit of the inevitable: Nevenka is undone by her own carnal, transgressive desires, but they are desires, there is a twisted love, and in the dead aristocratic world of the film that is not just something, it is everything. It's Bava's grand romance, as such a twisted and painful thing, fraught with immorality and sadism. Nevenka's hypnotic descent into madness, bracketed by compositions of waves, inky purple and blue, invites more sympathy than any other film of his I've seen.
Les fouets de l'amour, diffusé du lundi au vendredi à 14h sur les ondes de TVA.
Incredibly stylish and absolutely gorgeous, as is to be expected by the brilliant Mario Bava. But unfortunately, that's all this film has to offer.
Terminally slow gothic murder mystery with nothing beyond its beautiful imagery.
idk maybe i'm just too tired but there was sadomasochistic necrophilia in this film and i was still bored
Probably Bava's best use of score music. Brilliantly over the top. Romantic and perverse in a way that could only be done with a Victorian era period piece. And I can't believe how dashing Christopher Lee was without fangs.
Film #46 of Hoop-tober 3.0
Bava has a real talent for creating atmosphere. His use of light, the howling wind, the way he frames his actors. He really makes you feel the isolation of this family. Not just the isolation of their home, with its seaside view and rugged cliffs, but the isolation they have from each other. For all that they are family, it is in name (or blood) only.
Christopher Lee really stands out as well. His entire manner presents a threat in every move he makes in this film. Daliah Lavi equally portrays the increasingly unhinged Nevenka very well. The rest of the cast is solid, but unremarkable.
I enjoyed this quite a lot. I'd recommend it to fans of gothic horror or of Mario Bava. This is my fourth film of his, and it compares very well to Black Sabbath and Blood and Black Lace, both of which were very good.
This might be a second tier Bava film with a less than gripping whodunit aspect to the story, but the beautiful gothic imagery and all the eroticism (crack that whip!) reminds us that even second tier Bava is solid.
Gothic ghost film that I loved with all my heart. Christopher Lee is amazing but so are all the others and the script and locations and wow. This goes straight to become one of my favourite movies ever.
After being left stunned by my first Mario Bava film, Black Sunday, this one was a bit of a step back. Exploring themes of sadomasochism and female sexuality in the 19th century, The Whip and the Body is a gorgeously crafted horror flick that just never felt too horrifying. Rather, it was a sad and moody film that explored Nevenka's (Dalilah Lavi) eternal torment at the hand of Kurt (Christopher Lee). Try as she might, she is unable to escape his clutches or his whip. For this element, the film is wildly successful in creating nuanced characters with thematic importance. Yet, as a horror film, this one fails in comparison to the previous Bava film I…
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
The 2016 (2nd) edition of the list. You can see the original and more info here.
With a list of…