Mario Bava (31 July 1914 — 27 April 1980) was an Italian cinematographer, screenwriter and director known primarily for his horror films, although he also directed movies in other genres (including crime thrillers, sci-fi and even westerns). Bava basically invented the giallo subgenre with his 1963 movie The Girl Who Knew Too Much as the Trope Maker and his 1964 movie Blood And Black Lace as the Trope Codifier. He directed the pre-Halloween, proto-Slasher Movie Bay of Blood and even influenced the look of 1979's Alien with his spooky sci-fi/horror Planet of the Vampires.
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 cinematographer or a effects man or a lighting technician, often for no credit. He was hugely influential in the realm of lighting and mood, and later Italian genre directors owe him a great debt indeed.
Films Bava Worked On As Director:
- Black Sunday (1960)
- Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
- Erik the Conqueror (1961)
- The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), re-cut as The Evil Eye in the United States
- Black Sabbath (1963)
- The Whip and the Body (1963)
- Blood and Black Lace (1964)
- Planet of the Vampires (1965)
- Kill, Baby, Kill (1966)
- Dr. Goldfoot And The Girl Bombs (1966)
- Danger: Diabolik (1968)
- Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
- Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970)
- Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (1970)
- A Bay of Blood (1971)
- Baron Blood (1972)
- Four Times That Night (1972)
- Lisa and the Devil (1973)
- Rabid Dogs (1974)
- Shock (1977)
Films Bava Worked On 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.
...and many more.