Monday, February 27, 2006

Comic-book movies that time forgot

This is the first of what may become an irregular feature about comic-book movies you've never heard of or might wish to forget.

1973 gave us Baba Yaga, based on Italian cartoonist Guido Crepax's Valentina comics. Also known Kiss Me Kill Me, Baby Yaga was released on DVD by Blue Underground in 2003, a release which includes a Crepax documentary, Freud in Color, and a comics-to-film comparison. Here's Blue Underground's description of the film:

Legendary sex symbol Carroll Baker (BABY DOLL, THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH) stars as a mysterious sorceress with an undying hunger for sensual ecstasy and unspeakable torture. But when she casts a spell over a beautiful young fashion photographer (the gorgeous Isabelle De Funes), Milan'’s most luscious models are sucked into a nightmare world of lesbian seduction and shocking sadism. Are these carnal crimes the result of one woman's forbidden fantasies or is this the depraved curse of the devil witch known as BABA YAGA?

I have Baba Yaga in my DVD collection because I have almost every Italian horror/thriller/supernatural film ever made in my DVD collection. But when I last watched Baba Yaga, it was really late at night, and I don't remember much. I do remember that Crepax, or an actor portraying Crepax, appears early in the film and talks about cartooning, discussing in particular the subversive nature of Snoopy and Peanuts. Unfortunately, Movie-Crepax doesn't elaborate on this.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Baba Yaga's director, Corrado Farina, has made only one other film, which may also help explain why I remember so little of the movie. Oh, wait, I remember there being lots of nudity. But then I always remember that.

(See the Baba Yaga movie trailer here. Not work safe. See also DVD Drive-In's review.)

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