Review: Shock (1977)

I have only been a fan of Mario Bava for a decade or so, but seeing his film,  A Bay of Blood influenced me to see other films he had done.  To be honest, it was thanks to a Friday the 13th documentary that even lead me to A Bay of Blood.  The shish-ka-bob scene in Friday the 13th was said to be ripped from a film called “Twitch of the Death Nerve”.  Firstly the title really peaked my interest.  I later found it titled “A Bay of Blood” and watched it and loved every second.

Recently I had the chance to check out a movie called “Beyond the Door” and honestly, I loved it and found out Shock or Schock is kind of a sequel.  But like most Italian horror movies, there are really almost no direct sequels, except maybe Demons 2.  As I always do, I jumped on Amazon and saw the Blue Underground DVD of Shock for $9.99, so yeah I got it.  There has been a lot of talk about Shock in this Facebook group for Italian Horror and Giallo films and I honestly got really excited.  So, popped it in and I road the slide into madness.

Shock is about a woman who recently moved in to her old house she shared with her husband and child.  We are lead to believe he husband committed suicide in the house and she was reluctant to move in.  But her new husband kind of forces her to move in.  Shortly after her son begins acting very bizarre towards her, one scene could only be called…dry humping and to be honest, it made me feel uncomfortable.  But, repressed memories come to the surface as Dora falls deeper and deeper into madness.  This is 100% for sure.

Things that stick out in this first, Daria Nicolodi is phenomenal.  I’ve seen her play in many movies and this was by far her best performance.  The score was tense and playful at moments and it really helped with the atmosphere of the story.  If this is a sequel to Beyond the Door, it is one that is much better than the first.  But, other than a possession, it really isn’t that similar and I am glad it has an alterntate title.

There is one jump scare that will catch you off guard and if I wasn’t waiting for it, thanks to a jump scare list…It would gotten me.  I have to tell you, I think it is a top 5 jump scare scene and honestly, filmed brilliantly.  You can really feel Bava’s touch one this movie.

Mario Bava Horror GIF by Shudder - Find & Share on GIPHYShock is a little bit of everything you’d want from an Italian horror movie.  It has the feel of a Giallo, but it really isn’t a Giallo.  It has more of the ghost story, haunted house feel, with a little possession for good measure.

I’ve seen many Mario Bava films and knowing this was his final film is a bit heart breaking.  Sad to think Bava, such a talented filmmaker died only 3 years after Shock.  But, we were left some great films and in my opinion, Shock is one of his finest efforts.  It ranks right up there with A Bay of Blood, or Black Sunday.

You can find Shock on Tubi to stream or Prime Video.  I highly suggest this movie, even for you non-Italian horror fans.  It is so damn good.  Then watch he Babadook after and tell me the Babadook is not inspired very much by Mario Bava’s Shock.

IMDB.com has a rating of  6.3

I give Shock a 9!  I loved it!

About Ray Marek III 555 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)