Five Dolls for an August Moon / 5 bambole per la luna d'agosto (1970)

3.0 out of 5

Five Dolls sees Bava’s general misanthropy and disregard for his characters taken to its logical conclusion, with cut-aways to an increasingly corpse crowded chiller room designed to elicit sniggers rather than horror.

The film may have its longueurs, and the plot becomes so contrived and incomprehensible that it ultimately comes across as a joke at the expense of the audience, yet this excursion into ‘modema’ regales the senses with fabulous interiors and exquisitely clad, impossibly beautiful women, all vibrantly captured by Bava’s sinuous camera to the accompaniment of an ironic, memorable score by Piero Umiliani.

Cynical, blackly comic but rarely involving, Five Dolls may be a superficial and hollow endeavour, but is one that certainly provides an over-ripe feast for the eyes and ears.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics