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Special Effects of Mario Bava


#1

I once saw this documentary about M. Bava (I think QT was also in it) and among other things they discussed Bava’s special effects artistry. There were two specific examples: one was about aging a young woman in a few seconds with the help of makeup and lighting, and the other was a slow motion shot of a young woman with hair flying about her, which they achieved with her strapped onto a table or something like that.

Does anyone know which Bava’s movies these scenes are from and, also, is there a website or a film or anything like that, discussing how Bava did his special effects?

Thanks in advance.


#2

When Bava made Black Sunday, he used the same red and green makeup/lighting dissolve technique Rouben Mamoulian used in 1931 for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to make Barbara Steele age from a middle aged beauty to an ugly old crone.



Tim Lucas wrote an outstanding book on the life, career, and technique of Mario Bava that you can find at www.videowatchdog.com.  It’s pricey at $260, but believe me you get what you pay for. I’m reading it right now – I’m up to the coverage of Hercules in the Haunted World with Reg Park and Christopher Lee. The book also covers a lot of ground on the films Bava made but never took credit for, in a special effects, directing, and cinematography capacity.





Is this the documentary you were talking about? It begins with this part on youtube:



http://youtube.com/watch?v=-lGDvRox2eM


#3

Thanks for the suggestions, mike. Aaah, so it’s a red-and-blue filter technique. You wouldn’t happen to also know anything about that other effect: where hair is floating over a woman’s head?

The link you posted is not the correct film. In fact, this looks like the one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ2j3peBB7U , but it’s as if a section was cut out, namely the one with the aforementioned sfx scenes.

Thanks for the help so far.


#4

I’ll look into it, Bob, and get back to you.


#5

I love Bava’s films. There so chic, especially Black Sunday. Barbara Steele can be my bitch, any day.


#6

[quote=“Bob Rock”]
I once saw this documentary about M. Bava (I think QT was also in it) and among other things they discussed Bava’s special effects artistry. There were two specific examples: one was about aging a young woman in a few seconds with the help of makeup and lighting, and the other was a slow motion shot of a young woman with hair flying about her, which they achieved with her strapped onto a table or something like that.

Does anyone know which Bava’s movies these scenes are from and, also, is there a website or a film or anything like that, discussing how Bava did his special effects?

Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

Bob, I found it!



There’s actually a copy of Bava’s notes on how to achieve the effect in this book! It’s from the movie Schock. Daria Nicolodi was secured horizontally to a mattress affixed to a revolving platform with a 35mm camera mounted directly above her face. As the camera rolled, the platform was turned like a rotisserie.


#7

Wow, thanks, Mike, you’re a gem!

Aahaa… Schock, you say. Will check it out.

Thanks again.


#8

The hammer scene in the beginning of Black Sunday is awesome.