Friday, March 16, 2007

Knives of the Avenger

I rented Knives of the Avenger, Mario Bava's 1966 Viking revenger.

I'd been looking forward to the new edition from Anchor Bay, but then I noticed that Netflix still has the out of print Image disk in stock, and they have an incredibly annoying habit of not updating with newer editions of available movies.

So, I'll have to wait, I assume, until I can afford to buy the whole The Mario Bava Collection set in order to see that version.

It's not one of Bava's best movies, although it's certainly enjoyable. If one can enjoy nothing else, it's how well Bava and cinematographer Antonio Rinaldi show off pieces of the action while hiding various parts of the room. Cameron Mitchell, sporting an atrocious dye-job, is engaging in the lead.

The movie also does a fine job of not moralizing on the characters and merely showing them going about their actions in a way that seems true to them. It's also interesting that the movie seems generally to work better when it focuses in on the characters and their relationships then when it gets into action or pageantry.

Honestly, it's a film I'd be incredibly interested to read more about the making, but can't say I'm in a huge rush to watch again. I enjoyed it, though. Then I'm a sucker for Vikings and revenge.

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