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Djævelens maske

La maschera del demonio

Instrueret af Mario Bava
Italien, 1960


A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch’s beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl’s brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

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Djævelens maske Instrueret af Mario Bava
Bava’s photographer’s eye for composition (he cut his teeth working with Rossellini, Pabst, Tourneur, and Raoul Walsh) means that not a frame is devoid of detail or interest: like Welles (who used to paint his own props and decorative fittings) Bava was meticulous with production design, cramming tracking shots through corridors of Katya’s castle with ornaments and baubles. Even in black and white, Bava seemed to know how to paint all the colors of darkness.
October 30, 2014
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Mario Bava in his directorial debut is an alchemic picturalist serving up Murnau compositions in clammy sound stages. His camera is a palpable, malefic presence, knocking over furniture as it sweeps across rooms and climactically cross-cutting between a burning and a resuscitation in a double Dreyer citation. The only thing the cinematography can’t engulf is Steele herself, who, with her regal perversity and ghoulish eroticism, commands her own space as a newly minted horror icon.
August 25, 2013
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It shows his wide cinematic knowledge, visually quoting everything from White Zombie to David Lean’s Oliver Twist and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He also layers the film with visual motifs and rhymes, deploying eyes, windows, reflections, and long, tense right-to-left pans, which sometimes come full circle to their point of origin, Bava’s crew presumably crouching on the floor to stay out of shot, or else trotting around the camera ahead of the advancing lens.
February 13, 2013
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