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The Whip and the Body (1963)

Cast: Christopher Lee, Daliah Lavi, Luciano Pigozzi, more...
Director: John M. Old
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Vci Video
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Italy, Ghosts, Italian Horror, UK
Running Time: 88 min.
Languages: English, Italian
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Marred by controversy at the time of its release, this horror fantasy from Italy's legendary horror director Mario Bava centers on the twisted desires of a nobleman's son (Christopher Lee). Lee is ostracized by his father for his dalliances with a servant girl (who later commits suicide), but is allowed to return to the fold by his brother, whose lovely wife (Dahlia Lavi) immediately becomes the object of Lee's mad lust. Lee is later found murdered, along with several other victims from the surrounding village, leading superstitious locals to believe that Lee's evil spirit has returned to destroy them; the twist ending reveals the real evil at work. The kinky, sadomasochistic relationship between Lee and Lavi raised more than a few censors' eyebrows, leading to some harsh cuts. ~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

disappointing by saveyourservant August 25, 2003 - 8:40 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I am a fan of Bava's Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, and even Shock, but it took me three seperate viewings to finish this one. Aside from Bava's ever-gorgeous primary hued lighting, there was little to keep my interest. Meandering and short on chills.

S&M Was Never So Dull by glamarama July 31, 2003 - 7:02 PM PDT
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
There were a lot of good things about this film - lovely actresses in tight bodices, beautifully set up shots, loads of dark gloomy atmosphere, subtle hints of sadomasochistic obsession and a young (and handsome!) Christopher Lee. But it moved sooo s l o w l y . . . more so than a standard 60's Eurohorror flick. Obviously if you really dig Bava and the genre, give it a go. But it gets a bit tedious with all the long and lingering shots of the beach-castle-crypt and the way our heroine repeatedly plodded along to discover some new "horror". It was like she was stuck in some kind of loop of predictable April Fool gags from the beyond.

cheesy yet alluring by lostboy March 24, 2003 - 12:29 PM PST
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful
If you enjoyed William Castle's films this is for you. Lots of orgasmic ghosts sound effects and shot in technicolor. It's set in the turn of the century but obviously you can't take the 60's out of this film.
The plot is mediocre but the underlying elements are interesting. (repressed sexuality, sadism and masochism)

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.38)
73 Votes
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