Kill, Baby... Kill!

Kill, Baby... Kill! ★★★★½

"The child has seen her. She's after our daughter and now there's no help for her!"

Kill, Baby, Kill is one of the best Gothic-horror films you will ever see. 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, with a color scheme that jumps out at you and that only Mario Bava can create.

The film is set in the beginning of the 20th Century, which follows Inspector Kruger (Piero Lulli) who calls Dr. Paul Eswai (Giacomo Rossi Stuart) to perform an autopsy in the corpse of a woman named Irena Hollander (Mirella Panfili) who's found dead in the village where she lived. The coachman leaves Dr. Eswai in the boundary of the village and advises him to return, since the place would be abandoned by God.

Dr. Eswai is helped in the autopsy by Monica Schufftan (Erika Blanc), a young woman that has just returned to her hometown and they find a coin slipped in the heart of the woman. Inspector Kruger goes to the Graps Villa to investigate the rumors about a local curse that the victims are killed by the ghost of a girl called Melissa Graps (Valerio Valeri) with Baroness Graps (Giovanna Galletti), but he never returns to the inn.

Meanwhile, Ruth (Fabienne Dali) who is the local witch and mistress of Burgomaster Karl (Max Lawrence), tries to help the daughter of the innkeeper Nadienne (Micaela Esdra) with magic under the protest of Dr. Eswai. When Karl and Nadienne are murdered, Dr. Eswai goes to Trap Villa, discloses an evil curse on the feared and superstitious villagers produced by the hatred of her grieving mother.

The film is a frightening and original horror tale of hatred, curse and fear. The film also has a level of violence that must have been quite shocking in 1966, with a throat-slashing, temple-piercing and even an impalement on an iron fence. The cinematography, atmosphere and sets are excellent, I have startled several times with the appearance of Melissa. The scene in the spiral ladder is fantastic and visibly inspired by Alfred Hithcock's "Vertigo" (1958).

Overall, Kill, Baby, Kill is a truly remarkable film, with boasting superb cinematography and incredibly eerie atmosphere that contains some really memorable and impressive imagery: a misty Transylvanian village, dusty corridors, black cats, creepy dolls, shadowy figures stealing through fog-bound graveyards, etc. and the film is so wonderfully weird it has to be seen to be appreciated.

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