Directed by Mario Bava
Written by Mario Bava, Enzo Corbucci, Ennio De Concini, Eliana De Sabata, Mino Guerrini & Franco Prosperi
Cinematography by Mario Bava
Music by Roberto Nicolosi
Cast: Laeticia Roman, John Saxon, Valentina Cortese, Titti Tomaino, Luigi Bonos & Dante Di Paolo

1963/86 mins/B&W/Mono
1.66:1 anamorphic/Italian/Italy/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Image Entertainment DVD

Nora (Roman) is a beautiful, young American woman who loves mystery novels. She is about to pay a visit to her aunt Edith in Rome. Upon arriving, she learns from Dr. Marcello Bassi (legendary John Saxon) that her aunt is very sick. The same night, aunt Edith dies of a heart attack.

While trying to go to the hospital to get Dr. Bassi, she is attacked and has her purse stolen. As she's recovering, she witness a woman screaming, falling down and having a huge knife in her back. In the dark, a manly figure is standing behind the now dead woman. Nora faints.

The next morning, she is interrogated by the police but since her story makes little to no sense no one believes her. No one beside Dr. Bassi who decides to help her to find what happened. They soon learn that a murder did actually happened at the Piazza di Spagna but ten years ago. Did Nora really saw a murder happened or was it all just part of her too imaginative mind?

Considered by many to be among his best films, its rather interesting to note that at first Bava didn't want to direct THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. The movie was supposed to be a romantic thriller and without knowing it, Bava created a theatrical version of these yellow Italian thriller books known as giallo. While most of the elements that constitute a giallo are there, I personally think that BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is really the beginning of my most beloved genre, the giallo. The title was obviously choosed as an homage to Alfred Hitchchock's 1956 film, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.

The cinematography by Bava himself is simply stunning. The lightning and shadows are greatly use to create a claustrophobic and haunting atmosphere. This is also the last black and white movie from the director. The lovely Laeticia Roman is perfectly casted as the young heroine. She gives a very credible performance. Roman was the daughter of actress Guiliana Gianni and costume designer Nino Vittorio Novarese, the later worked in the past with Bava.

In 1964, James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff's American International Pictures, who had great success with their theatrical run for BLACK SUNDAY, released the movie in the US as THE EVIL EYE. This was a totally different version with a new English dubbing where the name of the heroine was actually changed to Nora Drowson. Roberto Nicolosi's magnificent musical score was changed by one from Les Baxter. To make things worse, the comedic elements that Bava decided not to use were inserted back in the film, all drugs references were cut, the Bava portrait that seem to follow Nora across the room was used and the movie featured an alternate ending.

Image Entertainment released this Mario Bava classic on DVD in 2000. The film is presented in it's original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and it is anamorphic. Given the age of the film, the transfer is simply stunning. There is some print damage at the beginning of the film but it quicky gets better. There is no sign of compression or artifacts. The original Italian Mono track is nothing spectacular but does the job. Easy to read and removable yellow English subtitles are available. The only extras we get are the theatrical trailer, biography on Mario Bava, filmographies on Mario Bava and John Saxon, photo and poster gallery and liner notes from Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog.

The movies is separated in 10 chapters, features animation for the main menu and comes in a snap case. It would have been cool if Image would have included the alternate English dubbed version. The movie was also released on DVD in France by Films Sans Frontieres as a PAL Region 2 disc. It features the original Italian track along with a dubbed French track, 1.85:1 non anamorphic transfer, production notes and biography on Bava. Anchor Bay recently released this as part of their Mario Bava Collection Volume 1. This new edition features some new extras.

aka. THE EVIL EYE, L'INCUBO (working title)





This Film Features:

Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2007. ©