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Gavin Schmitt

  1. Blu-ray Review: "Erik the Conqueror" (1961)

    In the 9th Century, two Viking children, separated since their early childhood with one raised by the British and the other by Vikings, meet after nearly 20 years as rivals as war breaks out between Britain and the Vikings for control of England.

    The film is a loose remake of the American film "The Vikings" (1958), starring Kirk Douglas. Credit was not given at the time, which really is not out of the ordinary for Italian productions. Just look at the endless string of "Jaws" ...
  2. Blu-ray Review: "Caltiki, the Immortal Monster" (1959)

    Archaeologists investigating some Mayan ruins come across a blob-like monster. They manage to destroy it with fire, but keep a sample. Meanwhile, a comet is due to pass close to the Earth - the same comet passed near the Earth at the time the Mayan civilization mysteriously collapsed. Coincidence?

    As the story goes, director Riccardo Freda intentionally dropped out of the production early on in order to allow his cinematographer (Mario Bava) to take over and get the first film under ...
  3. Giallo Cinema’s Folktale Roots: A Book Review

    In “Giallo Cinema and Its Folktale Roots”, Michael Sevastakis takes ten films from 1962 through 1987 and compares their plots with Vladimir Propp’s study of the narrative structure of folk tales. In each one, he picks ten sample plot points to illustrate the connection. Interestingly, to provide balance to the book, Sevastakis begins with a Mario Bava film and ends with one from Lamberto Bava, Mario’s son. This was no doubt intentional.

    There are some odd things about the finished ...