HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  5 Dolls for an August Moon Fateful Formula
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: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 6024 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: