As I sat here on the eve of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, I had originally intended to watch one of he classics based on his works. However, after some thought, I decided to venture into something that could have been inspired by Poe, with the 1963 Mario Bava classic The Whip and the Body.
Plot/ In the 19th century, a sadistic nobleman terrorizes the members of his family. He is found dead, but his ghost soon returns to haunt the residents of his castle.
I am sure that when this one came out, it was controversial with the mixture of gothic horror with some sadism mixed in for good measure. In 1963, movies such as that were considered taboo, and likely would have not been well received. Starring Christopher Lee, this Mario Bava entry is an entertaining movie, and one that has many of the elements that made his movies memorable. Between the beautiful cinematography and the stylistic use of colors, solid performances, and an interesting storyline, this movie has everything a Bava fan could ask for. Yes, the ending does feel lacking and there a many illogical moments, but those almost seem to be part of Bava lore. In the end, this movie is an entertaining watch and one that should be viewed. If you have not seen it, but love gothic horror cinema, give it a shot.