Macabre (1980)

I love Mario Bava. I can’t say enough good things about the movies he’s made. His son Lamberto, however? Between Devilfish, BlastfighterDelirium and Demons, his movies are a mixed bag with only the last one being a film I’d recommend (look, I love Blastfighter, but people usually think most of the movies I recommend are bonkers and I’ve scared enough people). So how does he fare this time?

Jane Baker is a middle-aged woman whose affair suddenly ends with the death of her lover Fred thanks to a car accident. Things get worse — her son is drowned by her daughter Lucy as they play unattended. All that remains is for her to spend a year in a mental hospital.

When she’s released, she can’t go back home and determines to live in the apartment where she once made love to Fred. Sound normal? Well, her blind landlord — named Robert Duval — keeps hearing her make love all night and screaming her dead lover’s name.

Did her daughter drown her brother on purpose? Is Jane still having sex with a dead man — or part of him? Is the New Orleans mansion she leaves behind enough to make my wife jealous and ask when we are moving there?

Mario Bava died two months after seeing this, but felt that he could die happy as his son had made a great film. While slow in parts, I’ll admit that this is one of his better efforts with a truly inspired and demented final act. Between the reveal of Fred, Jane’s insane daughter coming to visit and even the Pieces-esque shock ending, all of the build-up really pays off at the end. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a movie where pieces of a dead lover are served in a stew to a blind man and the woman who has kept making love to parts of him. So, I guess, that’s a kind review for Lamberto!

You can check this out on Shudder.

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