Mario Bava  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Mario Bava (July 31 1914  — April 27 1980) was an Italian director and cinematographer of horror films best remembered for his film Black Sunday.


Mario Bava was born in Sanremo, Liguria.

In 1960 he directed one of the first Italian gothic horror films of the 1960s: La maschera del demonio (Black Sunday) which made a star out of Barbara Steele. His use of light and dark in black and white films is widely acclaimed along with his use of colors in films like I tre volti della paura (Black Sabbath) (1963) and La Frusta e il corpo (The Whip and the Body) (1963).

His work has proved very influential: Bava directed what is called the first Italian giallo film, La ragazza che sapeva troppo (The Girl Who Knew Too Much) (1963), and his 1965 sci-fi horror Terrore nello spazio (Planet of the Vampires) was a key influence on Alien (1979). Diabolik (1968) was one of the world's first comic book adaptations, while 1971's Reazione a catena (also known as Twitch of the Death Nerve & Bay of Blood) is considered to be one of the earliest slasher films.

Mario Bava has a son, Lamberto Bava, who also achieved a movie-directing career.

Selected filmography as director

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