Vintage Pulp Nov 22 2012
BLOOD MOON
They’ll try flattery, persuasion, bribery, and threats. After that, if you get murdered it’s your own damned fault.


You know what we really like about a lot of older cinema? Color. Have you noticed the blue/gray palette that has taken over modern thriller and action movies? Mario Bava’s body count giallo 5 filles dans une nuit chaude d’été (originally released as 5 bambole per la luna d’agosto, aka Island of Terror, aka 5 Dolls for an August Moon) is merely realistic in the color department, but it looks like a riot of Technicolor compared to modern cinema. That was one of the aspects of it we enjoyed most. The movie was set in and around an amazing mid-century modern beachfront pad right out of an early James Bond movie. So that was cool too. And we also enjoyed Edwige Fenech (that’s her running topless through the woods, below, after discovering a corpse), and Ely Galleani. So that covers the good—great color cinematography, great sets, Fenech and Galleani.

Now for the bad. Let’s just boil that all down to a limp script. Basically, a wealthy industrialist invites some guests to his private island and introduces them to a chemist who has a formula that could be worth millions. The chemist won’t reveal any details of this process, and prettysoon someone is murdered (the houseboy, who Fenech is sleeping with “to do something for the working classes”). Naturally, she’s a suspect, but then there’s another murder. And another. And soon, Fenech is murdered too, rather cruelly. Cut off from police, the guests store all these bodies in a meat locker and try to solve the crimes themselves. But they just keep getting bumped off. Are the killings due to infidelity? Greed? All around perversity?

Consensus is that 5 bambole per la luna d’agosto is not one of Bava’s best films. But all those shots of bodies hanging in the meatlocker confirm that he at least tried to have fun with it. The climax brings more twists, more deaths, and one main takeaway—no matter how filthy rich a man gets he’ll stab you in the back (or front) for a few more dollars. But wealready knew that, didn’t we? Also, women are shady as fuck too—at least, they are in giallo. We’re not going to recommend this film to Bava newcomers, simply because he made others that were so much better. But if you know his work and haven’t seen this one, by all means add it to your queue. Made in Italy and released in 1970, 5 filles dans une nuit chaude d’été/5 bambole per la luna d’agosto premiered in France today in 1972.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 25
1946—W.C. Fields Dies
American vaudevillian and film star W. C. Fields, whose renowned hard-drinking, misanthropic persona was only partly an act, dies from a stomach hemorrhage in a Pasadena, California hospital.
1977—Charlie Chaplin Dies
British comedian, actor, and director Charlie Chaplin, who at the height of his fame had been targeted by reactionary commie-hunter Joseph McCarthy and FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, with the result of forcing him out of Hollywood, dies in his sleep in Vevey, Switzerland.
December 24
1968—Apollo 8 Orbits Moon
The crew of Apollo 8 enters into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They perform 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that become known as the Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.
December 23
1913—Federal Reserve Created
The Federal Reserve Act is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve Bank. The Fed was created mainly in response to a series of bank panics, in 1873, 1893, and 1907, but over time its role has evolved and expanded, and the bank has been the subject of criticism from those who see it as a tool used to control the lives of workers.
1982—Jack Webb Dies
American actor Jack Webb, who was most famous his ongoing role in the television cop show Dragnet, dies of a heart attack at age 62. Webb had been sickly since the age of 6 after developing asthma, and had been ill many times during his life.

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