Still from Mario Bava’s BLACK SABBATH (yes, that’s where the band got their name from).
Reading from right to left (I’m still in Japanese mode):
Boris Karloff IS Kurt Vonnegut Jnr, somehow.
A Scary Child seemingly strayed in from VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (“You’re not thinking of atomic energy. You’re thinking of…a brick wall!”)
I love how they all have totally different lighting, and seem out of scale with each other and totally disconnected, like paper cut-outs. Which is actually possible: Bava would use pictures cut from magazines to stand in for anything he couldn’t afford for real, and he was such a great special effects man, and his regular images were so uncanny anyway, that the trick was never obvious. I think, though, that here he has managed the even greater trick of making a real, simple image, look impossible and wrong.
Another trick of scale: Tim Lucas’ magisterial new book, MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK –
– is so vast that you can never open it at the same page twice.
– contains secret passages, unread by human eye for centuries.
– reproduces Bava’s trademark hues, Disney Blue and Emerald City Green, with the intensity of madness.
Barbara Steele (she of the fifty-foot eyeballs) was purportedly tricked into believed Bava had invented a device that enabled him to film THROUGH an actor’s clothing, to capture magical images of Stealth Nudity. If we were to train this Nude Lens on Mr. Lucas’ book, we would instantly pierce the Veil of Reality and plunge headlong into the kaleidoscopic ghost-vortex known only as The Olderness.
Dr. James Xavier: I’m blind to all but a tenth of the universe.
Dr. Sam Brant: My dear friend, only the gods see everything.
Dr. James Xavier: My dear doctor, I’m closing in on the gods.
(From X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES, Roger Corman)
Order Tim Lucas’s mega-magnus opus from www.bavabook.com