AKA: Kiss Me Kill Me
DIRECTED BY: Corrado Farina
FEATURING: Carroll Baker, George Eastman, Isabelle De Funès,
PLOT: A fashion photographer is beguiled by a lesbian witch who seeks to dominate, seduce and consume her.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Bab Yaga is straight Euro-thriller. While such films have an unconventional feel by US standards, the style is characteristic of this distinctive 1960’s-’70’s genre, and therefore very conventional on its own terms.
COMMENTS: Baba Yaga is a very stylish Italian occult film in the Euro horror tradition of Suspiria. It is based on artist Guido Crepax’s highly stylized graphic novel about a sorceress who tries to bewitch a fashion photographer. Crepax adapted the novel from his risqué S&M comic .
Valentina (De Funès) is an up and coming fashion photographer with a knack for controversial shoots. After she has a chance encounter with the fashionable and alluring society matron Baba Yaga, her life takes strange and eerie turns. Yaga discovers Valentina on a darkened street, becomes attracted to her and begins to inject herself into the young shutterbug’s life in odd ways. Yaga develops a strange fixation on Valentina, one that is more than platonic.
Yaga lives in a striking Gothic Revival mansion, it’s interiors bedecked with layers of satin, red velvet –and heavy leather in the boudoir. While the house is very luxurious, it is in need of a few repairs. There is a nasty hole under the oriental rug in the drawing room—the opening of a bottomless pit to Hell. It is only fitting to have an eccentric home, because the owner isn’t exactly mainstream. Babs is taken with keeping vipers and Australian fruit bats for pets, has some creepy taxidermy a la Norman Bates, and owns a collection of cursed curios.
In a gesture of benevolence, Baba Yaga gives Valentina a large Victorian doll “to protect” her. Valentina counters that she doesn’t need any protection. Well, she does now! The Continue reading CAPSULE REVIEW: BABA YAGA (1973)