The Girl Who Knew Too Much-Movie Review-Mario Bava

The Girl Who Knew Too Much-Evil Eye Film Review-Mario Bava

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The Girl Who Knew Too Much (aka The Evil Eye)

Dir. Mario Bava
Italy, 1962
35mm 85 min.

Mario Bava's first foray into the giallo genre and Saxon's horror debut. Leticia Roman stars as Nora Davis, a sexually repressed American who arrives in Rome to visit her ailing aunt.

She is instantly smitten with her aunt's physician, Dr. Marcello Bassi (Saxon), and when the aunt dies of a violent heart attack, Nora runs to fetch him only to be knocked unconscious by a passing purse-snatcher. She half-wakes to see a woman murdered in front of her, and through a bizarre series of circumstances is mistaken for a drunk and hospitalized where she is left trying to convince the police and Dr. Bassi that she has witnessed the latest murder in a string of "Alphabet Killings".

Since no body has been found, Nora starts to suspect that she may have psychically envisioned the murder and that her own life is in danger. While the film is obviously a nod to Hitchcock, Bava's uniqueness as a director easy leads the film away from the realm of cheap imitation. He uses his characteristic lighting and stunning setpieces to enchant the audience, as well as the recurring theme of a confused female protagonist (which he would return to many times, most notably with The Whip and the Body).

Although shorter than the AIP version that was released in the US in 1964, this is the Director's Cut (minus the cutesy comic relief inserts) and presented here in a spankin' new 35mm print.

Kier-La Janisse