HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
   
 
  5 Dolls for an August Moon Fateful FormulaBuy this film here.
Year: 1970
Director: Mario Bava
Stars: William Berger, Ira von Fürstenberg, Edwige Fenech, Howard Ross, Helena Ronee, Teodoro Corrà, Ely Galleani, Edith Meloni, Mauro Bosco, Maurice Poli
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: A group of friends have been brought together by industrialist George Stark (Teodoro Corrà) at his house on his exclusive island home for a holiday mixed with business. One of the friends is Professor Gerry Farrell (William Berger) who has created a new synthetic resin the formula of which could make its owner very rich indeed. Gerry tries to forget about his professional life for a while, although remains noncommittal about joining in the frolics at the house which include grooving the night away and playing a prank that makes it look as if Marie (Edwige Fenech) has been murdered - but what if someone is not joking?

5 Dolls for an August Moon, or 5 bambole per la luna d'agosto as it was known in its native Italy, is not one of the better thought of works from director Mario Bava, in spite of his high reputation amongst cineastes. It was effectively a job for hire dry run for his Bay of Blood, which some would have that it invented the slasher movie genre even if it did not popularise it to the extent that John Carpenter's Halloween did. This, however, owed far more to Agatha Christie than horror movies, being a thriller where the suspects are killed off one by one in the And Then There Were None mould, although you have to be paying special attention to work out why this is happening.

In fact, many find this a film too confusing to be truly enjoyable, but if it doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless you are taking notes, there were compensations. It may be a short film, not even eighty minutes, but it does pack in quite a bit of incident even though much of that incident involves the same thing happening over and over again, that being that a body is found, put in a body bag (where did George get access to all that plastic covering in the first place?) then placed in the freezer, leaving the survivors to contemplate who the killer might be and who may be next. Suffice to say most of the cast have to endure their own death scenes, and when you get the solution it is possible to be unsure of who did what to whom.

Still, the locations are attractive as the actors pose artfully around them, until the lifeless body of one of the friends Charles (Mauro Bosco), turns up on the beach. Immediately they are all suspicious of one another, but in typical style they are stuck where they are with the killer because George has sent the yacht back to the mainland, he says due to the stormy weather impending and the fact that he has no harbour to protect the vessel from the elements. Mind you, the weather we see is perfectly clement, so either George is telling porkies, or Bava and his crew could not rely on there being a storm blowing up for the sake of their production. Probably the latter, to be honest.

It takes a while for the next murder to occur, but as with Bay of Blood these deaths are all centered around the love of money, specifically the money that Gerry's formula could bring. There are at least two million pound cheques being handed around pass the parcel style between the characters, and being rich already, these people can only think about acquiring more money than they already have. It's a dim view of the wealthy to take, that they will literally kill to secure their fortune, but not one exclusive to this film, and adds an edge of decadent cruelty to a plot which is largely going through the motions. It does look stylish, but the characters are pretty much interchangeable, and the ones alive nearer the end have a curious lapse of memory which means they completely forget about another person on the island who naturally it turns out is vital to what is going on. Not terrible, then, but fairly average, although the music by Piero Umiliani is fine.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4082 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mario Bava  (1914 - 1980)

Italian director/writer/cinematographer and one of the few Italian genre film-makers who influenced, rather than imitated. Worked as a cinematographer until the late 1950s, during which time he gained a reputation as a hugely talented director of photography, particularly in the use of optical effects.

Bava made his feature debut in 1960 with Black Sunday/The Mask of Satan, a richly-shot black and white Gothic gem. From then on Bava worked in various genres – spaghetti western, sci-fi, action, peplum, sex – but it was in the horror genre that Bava made his legacy. His sumptuously filmed, tightly plotted giallo thrillers (Blood and Black Lace, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Bay of Blood) and supernatural horrors (Lisa and the Devil, Baron Blood, Kill, Baby...Kill!) influenced an entire generation of Italian film-makers (and beyond) – never had horror looked so good. Bava’s penultimate picture was the harrowing thriller Rabid Dogs, while his last film, Shock, was one his very scariest. Died of a heart attack in 1980.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: