I freely acknowledge that Mario Bava’s 1971 Euro-trash classic Twitch of the Death Nerve probably does not show up on most people’s lists of favorite Halloween movies, but with so much gruesome in the news these days, I thought it might be good to lighten things up with a dose of mayhem you can actually see and perhaps run away from.
Plus it involves many useful ingredients for rollicking good/dreadful ride;
- 1) I actually do like director Mario Bava’s work, especially his Black Sunday (1960), featuring the ultimate scream queen, Barbara Steele. It’s an excellent “first film” if you’re looking to dip your toe in the cheapo-Euro horror film pool of the 60’s. Of course you may not get that toe back.
- 2) There’s a “Bond Girl” in the flick. That alone will probably prick the attention of half the audience. Claudine Auger is featured here a few years after her turn as the tragic heroine “Domino” in 1965’s Thunderball.
- 3) The body count in Twitch is jaw-dropping. Not since A Fistful of Dollars or the final scene of “Hamlet”…
- 4) The gamut of death-inducing weaponry exceeds that of a game of Clue. It includes a spear, a shotgun, a rope, and a hatchet…not to mention weird insects and a freshwater (?) squid.
You’d think with all that going for it, how could it miss?
I started watching this jewel with Chloe, our resident canine critic.
Her opinion? “If you want me, I’ll be in the bar”.
She’s a big Joni Mitchell fan.