Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body (1963) Christopher Lee, Daliah Lavi English Dubbed

Director Mario Bava is credited here as ‘John M Old’. If you’re at all familiar with Gothic Horror cinema, you’ll know at least some of his films, which include Black Sabbath (with Boris Karloff), Black Sunday (Barbara Steele), Baron Blood (Joseph Cotten), Kill, Baby… Kill! (one of my own faves), Danger: Diabolik! etc. He co-directed Lust of the Vampire with Riccardo Freda (considered by some to be a brilliant apprenticeship) and there’s another film he co-directed with Freda (credited as ‘Robert Hamton’) on YouTube: Caltiki: The Immortal Monster (Bava listed on that one as ‘John Foam’):

I’ve only watched The Whip and the Body once, and to be honest it’s not one of my favourites, though rated highly by many of Bava’s fans. Maybe it’ll grow on me. It’s said Christopher Lee considered the film to be among his own best. Large chunks were inevitably removed from the film when it was shown outside of Europe (the whippings – what else?), and for a long time it was difficult to find in any version. I believe this version is complete.

I did find another version of Whip and the Body on YT recently, but the picture was largely obscured by a gradient mask, rendering the exercise largely pointless – particularly as Bava’s cinematography is really quite beautiful. This one hasn’t been messed with.

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