13 of the Best Films by Mario Bava


“Movies are a magician’s forge, they allow you to build a story with your hands–at least, that’s what it means to me. What attracts me in movies is to be presented with a problem and be able to solve it. Nothing else; just to create an illusion, an effect, with almost nothing.” –Mario Bava

Mario Bava was born on July 31, 1914 in the coastal northern Italian town of San Remo. His father was a cinematographer in the early days of Italian cinema. Bava made his film debut in the early 1940’s working on films that featured such names as Gina Lollobrigida, Steve Reeves and Aldo Fabrizi. Bava was thrust into the position of director when then current director Riccardo Freda walked away from the set of the film I vampiri (aka The Devil’s Commandment) in 1956; Bava filled in and the rest is history.

In 1960 Bava directed his first feature film, Black Sunday, featuring cult film star Barbara Steele. Even though the film was in black and white, it was still chilling and gave filmgoers a taste of what was to come for the next twenty years. Bava is the father of director Lamberto Bava (Demons).

Click through the pages to view some of his finest films…

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