THE MIDNIGHT MAFIA: Mario Bava's "Shock"

A claustrophobic gut punch that drags the viewer straight down into the mind of a woman going completely mad, Mario Bava’s 1977 suckerpunch Shock, featuring a score by ex-members of Goblin, is a psychologically devastating little chamber piece, not to mention a strangely appropriate final film for the maestro. After Dora (Argento’s muse Daria Nicolodi) and her new husband move into a new house along with her son from a previous marriage, strange events immediately plague the household, with the cute little boy prone to such homilies as “I’m going to have to kill you, mommy.” Is the kid possessed by his dead drug addict father, or is Dora besieged by her own insanity? Either way, soon the boy’s doing nasty tricks with razor blades, while Dora experiences horrific visions from beyond the grave. Nicolodi delivers the best performance of her career, beginning as a sweet and maternal figure but gradually shattering into a completely hysterical wreck. A rare but prime example of Bava’s style, Shock pulls off so many magnificent little flourishes that even the most demanding Eurofanatics will be gleefully pleased.
Dir. Mario Bava, 1977, 35mm, 90 min.

Watch the trailer for “Shock”!
YouTube Preview Image