Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
So this is how the anti-hero comic book character “Rorschach” got his drip. Very nice, indeed!
If you don’t know, Mario Bava is an Italian, low-budget, horror film director who’s films are much more bigger in originality and in fun. He doesn’t need a big budget and I’m sure he would’ve never wanted one. Although I found his films before this a little too “generic” for my taste, I can’t say it for this one as I’m one of the biggest fans of the slasher genre.
It’s not entirely a slasher film as it plays out more to be a Giallo film (which is another fancy Italian term for mystery and thrillers) but the set up for the death scenes falls in the line for the slasher genre as there are multiple, long sequences of someone being murdered by our masked murderer and the mystery of whodunnit works like wonders. Bava takes it to another level with how graphic the death scenes are. I was quite surprised by it, you just don’t see these kind of death scenes before the 70’s, in fact, I haven’t seen a more obvious slasher film made before this, unless you count Hitchcock’s “Psycho”.
I suppose my biggest complaint is Bava’s characters who are just set up for a nice elaborate kill. They’re basically walking meat ready to be butchered. Yea, come to think about it, not one single character holds value besides the detective. The performances are not that rememberable either but hey, I watched this for the kills and I definitely had my fair share of that.
If you call yourself a horror fan, or if you’re a die-hard fan for the slasher genre like myself, then this is a must watch. The kills are uniquely handled with a director and crew who lives for this genre and the ending twist reveal will have you fooled, at least for me it did. Definitely worth a look.