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Five Dolls for an August Moon
     

Five Dolls for an August Moon

Director: Mario Bava

Cast: William Berger, Ira VonFurstenberg, Maurice Poli

 

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Legendary horror director Mario Bava did not want to make this standard thriller, and it certainly bears the lackadaisical mark of a contractual-obligation film. The plot is yet another variant on the Ten Little Indians story, with an inventor taking a group of investors to an island, where they are murdered one by one by an unseen killer. There are picturesque

Overview

Legendary horror director Mario Bava did not want to make this standard thriller, and it certainly bears the lackadaisical mark of a contractual-obligation film. The plot is yet another variant on the Ten Little Indians story, with an inventor taking a group of investors to an island, where they are murdered one by one by an unseen killer. There are picturesque beach scenes and some well-composed images of bodies hanging in a meat locker, but it has all been done before, and better. The visuals are stylish and the production design is sleek, but the familiar storyline drags and the film never reaches the delirious frenzy of such Bava classics as Antefatto despite the best efforts of a cast including Edwige Fenech, Renato Rossini, and William Berger.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Not one of director Mario Bava's better films (he did it as a strictly work-for-hire basis and had next to no input on the screenplay), Five Dolls for an August Moon is a confusing and not terribly exciting whodunit. But, despite his fairly limited involvement in the film, Bava nonetheless does manage to provide some real visual interest to what is otherwise a routine, unexceptional little flick. The opening four or five minutes, for example, allow Bava to have a great deal of fun focusing on the characters. This sequence is supposed to introduce and differentiate the players in this tale, but Bava, perhaps realizing that they are so poorly written that they are practically interchangeable, concentrates instead on having visual fun with the way in which they are introduced. In addition, Bava's moves his camera throughout with the grace and fluidity that one expects of him, allowing for long and languid takes that suddenly erupt in a frenzy of camera movements. Bava's decision to keep most of the murders off-screen is not as successful; presumably, this is both to make the film "different" and to allow him to focus on how the deaths affect the other characters, but the former is self-serving and the latter ineffective (due to the lack of character depth in the film). The incredible 1960s set designs and fashions are also noteworthy. But despite all this, the mundane, run-of-the-mill story and the only-adequate cast keep Dolls from being anything but a mediocre movie.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/03/2013
UPC:
0738329119027
Original Release:
1969
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:21:00
Sales rank:
29,107

Special Features

Audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All The Colors Of The Dark; Trailers of other Bava films

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