4 Shots From 4 Daria Nicolodi Films: Deep Red, Shock, Inferno, Tenebrae


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

RIP, the amazing Daria Nicolodi.

4 Shots From 4 Daria Nicolodi Films

Deep Red (1975, dir by Dario Argento)

Shock (1977, dir by Mario Bava)

Inferno (1980, dir by Dario Argento)

Tenebrae (1983, dir by Dario Argento)

Scenes That I Love: Daria Nicolodi in Shock


As soon as I heard the great Daria Nicolodi had passed away at the age of 70, I knew that I had to find a scene from one of her films to share here on the Shattered Lens.

Unfortunately, YouTube was not very helpful.  I was tempted to re-share the scene of her arm-wrestling David Hemmings in Deep Red but I chose not to because, according to our stats, a lot of you already visited that post after the news of her passing was announced.

I also nearly shared the finale of Shock.  This was Daria’s best performance and one that she always cited as being a favorite.  However, I hesitated to do so because that scene features Daria’s character dying in a rather gruesome manner and I worried it was perhaps a bit too morbid to share under these circumstances.  But this scene also shows what a good actress Daria Nicolodi was and, again, Shock was a film that she always cited as being one of her personal favorites.  That said, I just can’t bring myself to pay tribute to someone on the day of their passing with a scene in which they die.  So, I’m sharing a different scene from Shock.  This one is perhaps a bit less dramatic than the finale but it still shows what a good and expressive actress Daria Nicolodi was.  She makes the scene below feel real.

So, in memory of the great Daria Nicolodi, here she is in Mario Bava’s Shock:

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Boris Karloff Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, TSL pays tribute to the one and only Boris Karloff, born on this day in 1887 in London.

It’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Boris Karloff Films

Five Star Final (1931, dir by Mervyn LeRoy)

House of Frankenstein (1944, dir by Erle C. Kenton)

Black Sabbath (1963, dir by Mario Bava)

Targets (1968, dir by Peter Bogdanovich)

 

6 Trailers For October 30th


 

Halloween comes closer and that means that it’s time for another holiday edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers.  Today, we have 6 of my favorite Italian horror trailers!

  1. The Beyond (1981)

I’ve always liked the trailer for Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.  It does a good job of capturing the dream-like amtosphere of Fulci’s classic film.

2. Raiders of Atlantis (1983)

Raiders of Atlantis is hardly my favorite Ruggero Deodato film but I do really like the trailer.  Add to that, I think this might be the only Deodato trailer that’s actually safe for work.  The trailer for Cannibal Holocaust features that body being found with the stake driven through it.  The House on the Edge of the Park trailer features the scene with straight razor.  Meanwhile, the trailer for Raiders of Atlantis has fun music and a laser-shooting statue!  It also has Tony King shouting, “Come on, come on, come on!”

3. Zombie 5: Killing Birds (1987)

This movie sucks but, for some reason, I’ve always found the trailer to be very effective.  I think it’s the scene with the woman smiling despite being pinned to the wall and apparently dead.  That’s pure nightmare fuel.

4. Spasmo (1974)

This is from director Umberto Lenzi.  I sometimes feel as if I’m the only person in the world who likes this film.  As for the trailer, I just enjoy the anguished cries of “Spasmo!  Spasmo!”

5. Lisa and the Devil (1973) 

This is one of my favorite Mario Bava films.  Yes, some of it is because the lead character is named Lisa.  I’ll admit it, I like my name.  However, it’s a really good film as well!

6. Tenebrae (1982)

And finally, here is the trailer for Dario Argento’s brilliant, Tenebrae!

Seriously, if you want to have a truly wonderful Halloween, watch some Italian horror!  If you haven’t already discovered Bava, Fulci, Argento, Lenzi, Soavi, D’Amato, and all the rest, now is the perfect time to do so!  Do it now before their work gets canceled by the online puritan mob.

(Always remember: invest in physical media.)

4 Shots From 4 Mario Bava Films: Black Sunday, Planet of the Vampires, Baron Blood, Lisa and the Devil


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re going to be using 4 Shots From 4 Films as a way to honor some of our favorite horror directors!  Today, we honor the one and only Mario Bava!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Black Sunday (1960, dir by Mario Bava)

Planet of the Vampires (1965, dir by Mario Bava)

Baron Blood (1972, dir by Mario Bava)

Lisa and the Devil (1973, dir by Mario Bava)

Scenes That I Love: Valmont’s Nightclub from Danger Diabolik!


The film is 1968’s Danger Diabolik!  The music is courtesy of Morricone.  The direction is courtesy of Mario Bava.  Does the scene make any sense?  Does it have to?  This film is all about pure style and it’s hard to think of any place as stylish (by 1968 standards) as Valmont’s Nightclub.

Today, as we continue to honor the memory of Ennio Morricone and celebrate the birthday of Mario Bava, this just seems like the perfect scene to share.

Song of the Day: Deep Down by Ennio Morricone


Danger: Diabolik (1968)

Since today is Mario Bava’s birthday, it only seems appropriate that today’s song of the day should come from one of his films.

From Ennio Morricone’s score to Mario Bava’s 1968 film Danger: Diabolik, here is Deep Down!

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)
  10. The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  11. The Main Theme From The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  12. Regan’s Theme (The Exorcist II: The Heretic)
  13. Desolation (The Thing)
  14. The Legend of the Pianist (The Legend of 1900)
  15. Theme From Frantic (Frantic)
  16. La Lucertola (Lizard In A Woman’s Skin)
  17. Spasmodicamente (Spasmo)
  18. The Theme From The Stendhal Syndrome (The Stendhal Syndrome)
  19. My Name Is Nobody (My Name Is Nobody)
  20. Piume di Cristallo (The Bird With The Crystal Plumage)
  21. For Love One Can Die (D’amore si muore)
  22. Chi Mai (various)
  23. La Resa (The Big Gundown)
  24. Main Title Theme (Red Sonja)
  25. The Main Theme From The Cat O’Nine Tails (The Cat O’Nine Tails)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Mario Bava Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

106 years ago today, the greatest of all director, Mario Bava, was born in Italy!  Today is a bit of a holiday here at the TSL Bunker.  In honor of the great Mario Bava, here are….

4 Shots from 4 Films

Black Sabbath (1963, dir by Mario Bava)

Blood and Black Lace (1964, dir by Mario Bava)

Kill, Baby, Kill (1966, dir by Mario Bava)

Bay of Blood (1971, dir by Mario Bava)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special John Saxon Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Rest in Peace, the great and iconic John Saxon.

Here are….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Evil Eye (1963, dir by Mario Bava)

Enter the Dragon (1973, dir by Robert Clouse)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987, dir by Chuck Russell)

Hellmaster (1992, dir by Douglas Schulze)

Film Review: Esther and the King (dir by Raoul Walsh)


The 1960 Italian-American co-production, Esther and the King, opens in ancient Persia.  King Ahasuerus (Richard Egan) has just returned from conquering Egypt and he is angered to discover that his wife, Vashti (Daneila Rocca), has been cheating on him with not just his main advisor, Haman (Sergio Fantoni), but also with the entire palace guard as well.  After the Queen shows her further displeasure with the King by doing a topless dance in front of the entire royal court, the King banishes her from his life.

Since the king now needs a new wife, every attractive woman in the land is dragged off to the palace so that she can audition for the role.  Among those forcibly recruited is the strong-willed Esther (Joan Collins), who was previously engaged to a rebel named Simon (Rick Battaglia).  What the king doesn’t know is that Esther is both Jewish and the cousin of Mordecai (Denis O’Dea), who has recently offended Haman by refusing to bow down before him.  Haman and his wife (Rosalba Neri) are now plotting to execute all of the Jews is Persia.  Despite her love for Simon, Esther remains in the competition to become the Queen so that she can save her people….

There are a few things that you immediately notice about Esther and the King.

First off, it’s an extremely loose adaptation of the story of Esther, one that is designed to make the King out to be a far more sympathetic figure than he actually was.  Whereas the King actually banished his wife after refused to attend a banquet where the drunken King wanted her to pose naked, Esther and the King presents the King as being the wronged party as his wife is literally cheating with every available man in the kingdom.  (Ironically, the film actually presents the King as being forced to banish his wife after she removes her top during a banquet whereas, in actuality, it was her refusal to do so that led to be her being exiled.)  The film also adds in considerably more battles and a lot more court intrigue as all of the king’s potential wives compete for his attention.  And, of course, then there’s Esther’s fiancee, Simon, who does not appear anywhere in the original text.

The other thing that you immediately notice about Esther and the King is that ancient Persia apparently looked a lot like ancient Rome.  That’s not surprising when you consider that this was an Italian co-production and that Esther and the King is as much of an old school peplum film as a biblical adaptation.  This is a biblical adaptation that is as concerned with sword fights and banquets as it is with prayer and religion.

Regardless of whether it’s historically accurate or not, it’s an entertaining film.  Admittedly, Richard Egan is a bit of a stiff as the King and Joan Collins really doesn’t bring much beyond beauty to the role of Esther.  But the sets are properly ornate and the costume are to die for.  Mario Bava was the film’s cinematographer (and some sites credit him as being the film’s co-director as well) and Esther and the King is gorgeous to look at.  This is one of those historical epics where almost everything feels appropriately big, from the palaces to the emotions to the melodrama.  The supporting cast is largely made up of Italian actors who all appear to be having a great time playing up the drama of it all.  Sergio Fantoni is wonderfully hissable as the evil Haman.  (Boo!  Haman!  Boo!)  Rosabla Neri also has some memorably manipulative moments as Zeresh, the wife of Haman (boo!)  For those of us who like big and not necessarily historical accurate epics about the ancient world, Esther and the King is a lot of fun.