22 August 2014

Whip & the Body (1963)
88 min.
Directed by Mario Bava.
With Christopher Lee, Daliah Lavi, Tony Kendall, Isli Oberon, Harriette White Medin, Jacques Herlin, Luciano Pigozzi, Dean Ardow.
This gothic chiller from Mario Bava has Christopher Lee as a sadistic aristocrat named Kurt Menliff who returns home to his family manor in order to rekindle his past relationship with his own brother's wife Nevenka (Lavi).

And by the way, the ignoble nobleman likes things kinky too, if you get our drift. For no explainable plot reason, turns out Nevenka likes a little S&M too.

No prob. A match made in leather.

But things really start to spiral out of control when Kurt is mysteriously murdered. Soon, his pale-faced ghost returns to carry on his agenda...in gruesome fashion.

It's no Lisa & the Devil - it lacks a certain sense of creative spirit. But it's still got tons of wonderful touches from Bava, there's some nice, dark lighting, and another fun performance by Lee to recommend it.

For years hacked and reedited to the result of incomprehension, it's worth seeing this minor Bava vehicle restored and properly sequenced.

Also known by the (inexplicable) title What!.

Italian: La frusta e il corpo.

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