10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

Mario Bava 
Written by: on August 3rd, 2004

“My fantasies are always horrible. For example, I love my young daughter more than anything else in the world, but when I dream of her its always frightening. Do you want to know what character is haunting my subconscious? A violinist who serenades the woman he loves by playing on the tendons of his arms. Everyday life works on my imagination. Just this morning I found a letter, still sealed, from a friend who has since died, written to me ten years ago. It was like receiving a letter from a dead person. What would you do in my place? I burned it…” – Mario Bava

Mario Bava was born on July 31, 1914, in San Remo, Italy. His father Eugenio Bava was a cinematographer/special effects designer and Mario was so influenced by his father that he gave up his love for painting to pursue a career as a cinematographer. By the 1950’s Bava’s innovative lighting techniques and along with his ability to create realistic special effects on a shoestring made him one of Italy’s most in demand cinematographer’s. Bava’s first feature as a director happened when Riccardo Freda had a disagreement with the producers and they hired him to finish I Vampiri. Bava would step in and help complete two other troubled productions Caltiki, The Immortal Monster and The Giant of Marathon.

As a result of helping complete these films Bava was given the green light to direct any film of his choice as long as it could be made cheaply. Throughout his Career Bava would work in just about every genre and with The Girl Who Knew Too Much he would help lay the ground work for a new genre in Italy known as Giallo. Bava would work steadily through out the early 1960’s directing such classics like Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, The Girl Who knew Too Much, The Whip and The Body and Blood and Blacklace. After Years of making relatively low budget affairs in 1967 producer Dino De Laurentiis would convince Bava to direct the big budget film Danger Diabolik and when Bava made the film for just a fraction of the films original budget De Laurentiis was so impressed has asked Bava to direct a sequel. Bava would turn down De Laurentiis and instead he would work on films with smaller budget to maintain a level of control a big budget film could never afford.

Bava after Danger Daibolik would suffer many setbacks and would more then at any point in his career take on a job just for the money. A few key films from Bava at this time Twitch of The Death Nerve which included 13 bodies and 13 deaths. Bava’s 1973 films Lisa and The Devil would be reedited after bad audience previews and be reedited into the mess know as The House of Exorcism. Bava’s 1974 film Rabid Dogs would never see the light of day while he was alive as the films producer would pass away and legal battles would keep the film out of circulation for nearly 25 years. Even with all these set backs Bava persevered directing Shock his final feature film as a director and he would also work on Dario Argento’s Inferno providing some key effects. On April 25, 1980, Mario Bava died of a heart failure at the age of 65.


Venus of Ille (1978)
Schock (1977)
Rabid Dogs (1974)
Lisa and the Devil (1972)
Baron Blood (1972)
Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971)
Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (1970)
Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
Four Times That Night (1969)

Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1968)
Danger: Diabolik (1968)
Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966)
Kill, Baby… Kill! (1966)
Knives of the Avenger (1966)
Savage Gringo (1966)
Planet of the Vampires (1965)
The Road to Fort Alamo (1964)
Blood and Black Lace (1964)
The Body and the Whip (1963)
Black Sabbath (1963)
The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1962)
Erik the Conqueror (1961)
Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
Black Sunday (1960)

Short films
Variazioni sinfoniche (1949)
Anfiteatro Flavio (1947)
Legenda Sinfonica (1947)
Santa notte (1947)
Orecchio, L’ (1946)

The Adventures of Ulysses (1968)
The Last of the Vikings (1962)
The Wonders of Aladdin (1961)
Esther and the King (1960)
Giant of Marathon (1960)
Caltiki the Undying Monster (1960)
Hercules Unchained (1959)
Hercules (1957)
I Vampiri (1957)
Ulisse (1955)
The World’s Most Beautiful Woman (1954)

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