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Mario Bava-SHOCK -Film Review

I have seen a good few films from the increasingly respected and admired Italian horror and genre film director over the last few years, and now I have recently viewed what was his final film, which even had some help with script and direction from his son Lamberto Bava who soon became a confident and distinctive horror director after his father passed away.
Like Hitchcock experienced changes in pop culture and trends in filmmaking and audiences, Bava also saw that he should need to change as the 1980’s arrived and with SHOCK he emulated films like The Omen and Psycho but with his own familiar visual style still remaining strong.
As this film is now decades old, it does feel slow at times, and the plot and themes may seem far too familiar now but on release it was still quite fresh and new we must remember.
The plot sees a young woman moved into a house with her second husband and small boy who she had with her first. As times passes a number of strange events occur and the boy seems to have some odd behaviour. Accidents take place, mysteries appear, and the house and the truth of the past seem increasingly dark.
Sadly it is obvious that for a film released in very late 70’s, Bava was very much reaching a real serious creative peak but then sadly left us a couple of years after this film.
As usual, the budget seemed fairly low, and this was all in a time before any CGI or computer special effects. All effects in the film are very simple but as usual with Bava surprisingly effective. Images such as her dead husband appearing and then gone in an instant, the blood dripping through bricks and more shock and terrify.
Given how his films are often viewed as cheap and trashy, this final film is actually incredibly psychological, and many of the scenes could be interpreted in a number of ways relating to the connection and trouble between mother and son, the mother’s past, much of the imagery from her point of view and the view of the small son.
This movie really possibly was a great triumphant and creative high swansong for Bava to leave us with.

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About JAMES E PARSONS

Author of science fiction novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-also horror, literary fiction, many short stories and screenplays. Always reading, writing, watching films, playing guitar/bass, and am a husband with a coffee addiction. New horror novel due for 2017. This is my blog, offshoot from my website. It will be where I post current thoughts, opinions, views, reviews, or discussions about contemporary film, movies, books, video games, television series mostly in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and their sub-genre offshoots. The entertainment not in the mainstream (for the most part) and proud of it. Also follow me on twitter- @ParsonsFiction, and facebook - James E Parsons

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