Thursday, April 30, 2020

MACABRE (1980) directed by Lamberto Bava

“Prepare yourself for the shock of a lifetime!” 

Our deep dive into the Baby Bava Filmography continues with a first-time screening of 1980’s MACABRE (aka MACABRO, THE FROZEN TERROR), his first full-length feature and a doozy of a debut. Based on “actual events” in the American south, MACABRE follows horny middle-aged Jane Baker (Bernice Stegers) as she ditches her bratty kids once hubby splits and heads to her love nest for a romp with her boyfriend Fred (Roberto Posse). When she gets an alarming phone call from her daughter Lucy (Veronica Zinny) the adulterous couple hop into a car, unaware that Fred will meet a tragic end that sends Jane straight into a mental hospital.

Upon release, Jane takes up permanent residence in her love nest above the home of Robert (Stanko Molnar), a blind trumpet repairman (!) who is harboring a crush on the flirty, flighty Jane. It isn’t long before Jane is unpacking her Weird Fred Shrine (complete with newspaper headlines from the accident and, um, his old credit card) and creepy Lucy starts showing up to play mind games on good old mom.

Bava, directing from a script he co-wrote with Pupi Avati – among others – maintains a leisurely pace throughout as Jane runs around in her nightie, takes baths, teases Robert, freaks out at Lucy, and has – what sounds like – ghost sex with old dead Fred. The “Southern accent” dubbing doesn’t do the flick any favors but Stegers performs with gusto and there’s plenty of bare flesh, sweat and weirdness to maintain interest.

It all comes to a head in a pretty bonkers final reel as Robert decides to get to the bottom of Jane’s mysterious lover while mother and daughter fight for title of Craziest Baker Family Member. Be sure to stick around for the shocker ending but steer clear of most of the posters and lobby cards that spoil the fun. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of Exploitation Retrospect and he advises that if you have not seen MACABRE you should not watch the spoiler-filled trailer below! You've been warned...

MACABRE is streaming on Amazon Prime and is also available in many physical formats.

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