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Creator / Mario Bava

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"Movies are a magician's forge, they allow you to build a story with your hands – at least, that's what it means to me. What attracts me in movies is to be presented with a problem and be able to solve it. Nothing else; just to create an illusion, an effect, with almost nothing."

Mario Bava (31 July 1914 – 27 April 1980) was an Italian cinematographer, screenwriter and director known primarily for his horror films, though he also directed movies in other genres (including crime thrillers, sci-fi and even westerns). Bava basically invented the giallo subgenre, with his movies The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) and Blood and Black Lace (1964) as the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier respectively. Bava also directed the pre-Halloween Slasher Movie Bay of Blood (1971) and even influenced the look of Alien with his spooky sci-fi/horror effort Planet Of The Vampires (1965).

Although best known as a director, Bava got his start as a cinematographer and special effects man (a role he would also fulfill on his own movies when money was tight — which was often). He had no ego and would work on friends' projects as a (usually uncredited) cinematographer, effects man, or lighting technician. He was hugely influential in the realm of lighting and mood, and later Italian genre directors owe him a great debt indeed.

Selected filmography:

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    As director 

    As cinematographer, special effects director or co-director 
  • Ulysses (1954): Starring Kirk Douglas. Directed and did the lighting for the Circe scenes uncredited.
  • I Vampiri (1957): Cinematographer and uncredited co-director.
  • Hercules (1957) and Hercules Unchained (1959): The Steve Reeves Hercules movies. Did cinematography and special effects.
  • Caltiki — The Immortal Monster (1959): Effects director & cinematographer, uncredited co-director.
  • Esther and the King (1960): Cinematographer, credited as co-director on the Italian version.
  • The Wonders of Aladdin (1961): Co-director.
  • Inferno (1980): Special effects.