Macabro (1980) from Tuna

Macabre, AKA Macabro, AKA Frozen Terror is Lamberto Bava's first film. He got the idea from a magazine article, and wrote the screenplay mostly as a joke.  The story is strange enough, Bava's direction is fine, the photography is excellent, but the film has pace problems, and lacks a central conflict.  
When Bava read a story about a woman who kept the frozen head of her decapitated lover and had sex with it, he decided to write a screenplay just for the fun of it. He submitted it, and the producer immediately decided to make it. Mario Bava saw the film and said he could die happy now, as his son had proven himself as a director. Mario, ironically, died two months later. 


The film features well lit full-frontal from Bernice Stegers both in a bath scene and a bedroom scene. 

Steger plays a New Orleans wife and mother of two, unhappily married to an older man. No sooner is hubby off to work than she is off to her love nest, leaving her daughter and her younger brother home. The daughter, in a fit of jealousy, drowns the younger brother in the bathtub, then calls her mother with the news.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen 

  • dubbed (poorly)

  • no features

The mother and her lover rush to her house, but the lover is killed in a traffic accident. 

Cut a year into the future. Stegers gets out of a mental hospital, and moves into her love nest. The former landlady has died, leaving her blind young son as the owner. We discover slowly, along with the blind landlord, exactly what secret she is keeping in the freezer.

This would have been enough story for a half hour Hitchcock Presents, and would be similar to his work. There was not enough meat for a feature film. Nonetheless, it proved Lamberto's ability to direct a film. 

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.5 
  • With their dollars ... The box office was so bad on this film that Bava was out of work for over two years.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, I will award C-. It is mostly of interest to genre fans who want to see everything Lamberto Bava did.

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