Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

SHOCK (1977)

SHOCK (aka Beyond the Door 2/1977). Director: Mario Bava.

Dora Baldini (Daria Nicolodi of Opera), her second husband Bruno (John Steiner of The Devil Within Her) and her little boy Marco (David Colin Jr.) move into the home she previously occupied with her late first husband, a drug addict who presumably committed suicide. Being in the house -- a rather bad idea -- has an effect on Dora, as it seems to have on her son, an adorable seven-year-old child who begins doing upsetting things that he later tearfully denies. Bruno thinks it is all in Dora's head, reminding her of her stay in a mental institution after her husband's suicide. But do Dora and Bruno have other secrets as well ... Shock is Bava's last film, and it's not one of his best, although the story does lead up to some interesting twists and the performances are good. Little Colin is a wonderful scene-stealing child actor who easily walks off with the movie. There are some genuinely creepy moments in this, but the movie is still tedious and silly for much of its length. Steiner was a British actor who did much work in Italy, including Tenebrae, which starred Nicolodi. Shock was released in the U.S. as Beyond the Door 2 after the success of the original, which is related only in that Colin Jr. also had a role at the ripe old age of 3. Shock has been vastly over-rated by Bava fanatics.

Verdict: What this needs is a little more shock. **1/2.

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