George Stark is a wealthy industrialist who invites five business friends of his to his remote Mediterranean island for a weekend of relaxation and business when he introduces them to Professor Farrell, a brilliant chemist who gives investment ideas to the group. But against Farrell’s wishes, the group goes behind each other’s back to obtain information on Farrell’s chemistry ideas and soon the guests and residents start turning up dead one by one as Stark and Farrell must rally the group together to determine the identity of the killer (or killers) despite nobody trusting anyone. —IMDb
Mario Bava was born in Sanremo, Liguria, Italy. The son of Eugenio Bava, a sculptor who became a pioneer of special effects photography and subsequently one of the great cameramen of Italian silent pictures, Mario Bava’s first ambition was to become a painter. Unable to turn out paintings at a profitable rate, he went into his father’s business, working as an assistant to other Italian cinematographers like Massimo Terzano, while also offering assistance to his father who headed the special effects department at Benito Mussolini’s film factory, the Instituto LUCE.
Bava became a cinematographer in his own right in 1939, shooting two short films with Roberto Rossellini. He made his feature debut in the early 1940s. Bava’s camerawork was an instrumental factor in developing the screen personas of such stars of the period as Gina Lollobrigida, Steve Reeves and Aldo Fabrizi.
Bava co-directed his first genre film in 1958: Le morte viene dallo spazio (The Day the Sky Exploded… read more
I'm a giallo (and Mario Bava) fan, but even rewatching this on the near-sumptuous Blu-ray presentation (sumptuous at least in comparison to all the crap DVD versions I've seen), it comes off as too kitsch and too jokey for my taste. Agathe Christie kitsch. Fenech has an iconic early role (her scenes on the boat, her ridiculous dance and faux-murder that opens the movie, her murder scene) and I'm happy to see
The film feels especially rushed and "kitchen-sinked" the further you go, with half-dozen key plot points revealed in the jailhouse conversation in the space of like a minute. And the repeated scenes of the three industrialists trying to persuade the virtuous scientist to sell his formula--they quickly become the same kind of deadweight to the narrative that the detection portions of *Blood & Black Lace* are. Ultimately, it reminds me too much of the tone of *Hatchet for the Honeymoon* and not enough of *Bay of Blood*.
Kitsch to the max! Bava goes a bit silly here with... well, everything. And the colors pop as per usual. Far less weird after you've experienced it once but it's a gallery of its own soul. That will never change. Edwige Fenech also stars, the bountiful beauty she is. The spheres and marbles tossed down the spiral stairs, mesmerizing us and leading to the discovery of another dead body is a highlight.
Very entertaining tongue-in-cheek murder mystery from director Mario Bava. The visuals aren't as lavish as in Bava's best work, but it delivers enough witty imagery, clever twists, and kitschy 70s excess to be great fun for fans of Bava and Italian exploitation.