Mario Bava has never been a household name in the U.S., but the Italian horror director had a huge influence on some of this country’s best known filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, who has named Bava’s 1963 movie Black Sabbath as one of the films which initially inspired his interest in cinema
“Mario Bava became one of the first directors that I got to know by name, because I saw Black Sabbath on late night television, and would look forward to seeing it pop up again,” Tarantino said in a 2012 interview. “Then I started noticing other movies in the TV Guide that had his name, and they all had this big, cool operatic quality about them. And I have to say it was both Sergio Leone and Mario Bava that got me thinking in terms of shots, as opposed to just, Oh, this guy did a movie I like, well I’ll see another movie that that guy does…’ I actually started recognizing a cinematic style, and a signature, and a quality in the movies that was just beyond a good movie versus another good movie, or a not-so-good one.”
Now, New Yorkers can explore that cinematic style thanks to a retrospective of Bava’s work titled Mondo Bava, which is being hosted by Manhattan’s Quad cinema. The lineup boasts 21 titles, 13 on 35mm, including Black Sabbath, the U.S. premiere of a 4K restoration of 1965’s Planet of the Vampires, and 1968’s Danger: Diabolik, which Baby Driver director Edgar Wright has hailed as “one of the most eye-popping films of its era.”
The series runs July 14-25, and will be preceded by screenings of Kino Lorber’s 50th anniversary restoration of Bava’s Kill, Baby…Kill!, which receives its world premiere, July 7.
Learn more about Mondo Bava at the Quad’s official website and exclusively watch the retrospective’s new trailer, above.