The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

SHOCK (1979) ** ½

A wife (Daria Nicolodi) and her new hubby (John Steiner) move into the house where she murdered her first husband with an Exact-o knife.  At first things seem normal, but when her ex’s ghost possesses their young son and he starts doing weird shit like stealing momma’s underwear and trying to dry hump her, Daria starts to suspect that something’s up.  Finally the ghost stops pussyfooting around and makes the Exact-o fly around by itself and chase her around the house.  This gets Daria so upset that she has to land a pick axe into poor John’s chest.  In the end the ghost causes the house to topple on top of his no good skank wife so he can play Tea Time with his snot nosed brat of a kid.  


Shock was the final film by Italian horror maestro Mario Bava.  Supposedly he was so frail that he had to get his son Lamberto (who also co-wrote the script) to help him direct a lot of scenes.  It certainly shows as the end result is kinda patchy.  The film lacks a lot of Mario’s usual visual flair and the opening scenes move at a snail’s pace.  What’s worse is that the supernatural shenanigans are mostly weighted towards the last fifteen minutes or so. 


While the flick may have several weaknesses, it does have an undeniable hypnotic charm that holds your attention even when things are getting particularly slow going.  The gore, when it comes, is solid and the scene where Nicolodi is ravaged by her invisible husband is reminiscent of The Entity.  Shock may not be the swan song you would hope for from the master but it still has its fair share of memorable moments to qualify it as a must-see for rabid fans of the late, great Bava.


Lamberto also directed the Exact-o themed A Blade in the Dark.


AKA:  Beyond the Door 2.  AKA:  Suspense. 

Tags: bava, horror, s


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