Directed by: Mario Bava
Actors: William Berger, Ira von Fürstenberg, Maurice Poli, Edwige Fenech
Language: Italian (English Subs)
Also known as: Five Dolls for an August Moon, 5 bambole per la luna d’agosto, Fem lig i fryseren, Cinco muñecas para la luna de agosto, L’île de l’épouvante, 5 koukles gia ena dolofono, Kolasmena kormia, 5 dockor i augustimånen, Island of Terror
Description: A group of wealthy bourgeois have assembled at an isolated island, uninhabited save for a strangely mute young woman, for a get together in a modernist mansion. We soon learn that one of their number, Professor Farrell, has developed a valuable new resin. Unwilling to sell his secrets, he is then murdered. One by one the others fall victim to the killer in their midst – the bodies being unceremoniously stored in the meat locker – until, finally, only three are left…
The word that best describes this zoom happy, call-the-taste-police 1970 giallo is cheesy.
It’s well known that director Mario Bava only came into Five Dolls for an August Moon at the very last minute – phone call on the Saturday, start shooting on the Monday or somesuch – and disliked the Agatha Christie source material he was burdened with.
Even so, the maestro still manages one sublime moment almost worthy of the admission price in its own right: Upstairs two of the partygoers get into a fight, causing a load of marbles to be spilled. As they roll down the spiral stairs and across the floor, the camera follows their movement, ending up in the bathroom where the next ‘Doll’ is lying dead in her bubble bath…
Add in a brilliant easy tempo score from Piero Umiliani and hottie Edwige Fenech in some skimpy outfits and you’ve got something which, while by no means the best Bava, is still an entertaining divertissement.
Another brilliant giallo from the Maestro Mario Bava (Black Sabbath and Whip And The Body). Do not talk platitudes about permanent plagiarism (and/or tribute by Tarkovsky, Fellini and others) have Bava about his self-esteem that all of his movies shit, as a deliberate deceit. Just enjoy the next wonderful film with a stylish visuals, great sound and an unexpected ending.
Carefully selected actress, eroticism without open hard erotica, hard assessment of the atmosphere – Hosanna and sea epithets.
One well-known cinema reviewer wrote that the films of Bava allowed him to not hate the movie. His film library, you can go back and come back. For the lover – ineffable aesthetic pleasure. Makeweight to the above is a fair share of social satire.