Sunday, February 15, 2015


Sorry, but - as of early this morning - our supply of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is now completely SOLD OUT.

On this sentimental occasion, we would like to thank, once again, our original Patrons for their early support which enabled us to undertake the heavy cost of publishing such a mammoth work ourselves in the pre-Kickstarter year of 2007 - and everyone who has bought, enjoyed and endorsed the book over the years, or sent us photos or postcards commemorating their acquisition. In the 25+ year history of VIDEO WATCHDOG, the Bava book was our greatest success.

In answer to a common question, we have no plan to reprint the book - something that would be cost-prohibitive to us now. It is possible that a revised text edition will appear someday, either from us or perhaps another publisher, but it will not be the same artifact. Some text would have to be added, some text would be removed, but the wonder of the book's original layout would likely not be undertaken again. That original, panoramic experience is now obtainable only via our fully-augmented Digital Edition, available for $29.99 from our website, and viewable on all devices.

This blog will continue as a place for us to share important news relevant to Mario Bava, his films and his memory.

Speaking of which...

Available now from Odeon Entertainment in the UK, a new Blu-ray remaster of THE WHIP AND THE BODY features a newly revised, re-recorded audio commentary by Tim Lucas.

Another newly revised, re-recorded Lucas commentary will be included with Arrow Films & Video's forthcoming Blu-ray of the recent 2K restoration of BLOOD AND BLACK LACE, which will be released in both the UK and the United States this coming April. The restoration is eye-boggling; you won't want to miss it.

Furthermore, the audio commentary for Kino Lorber's forthcoming issue of both THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and its American variant EVIL EYE will feature a newly-recorded plug-in updating the information on the track.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Only 7 copies left!
And the way sales are going today, our supply might be exhausted by tomorrow!

Sunday, February 01, 2015


Just to let you know, we are presently down to only 30 remaining hard copies of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK. Once these are gone, you may soon find yourself looking nostalgically back at the time when you could have had it for list price. There are already sellers online pricing it at upwards of $400. Of course, our digital edition will remain available and will be periodically updated and upgraded. But we're nearing Last Call for the Book itself, the artifact, the adventure that won the Rondo Award for Best Book, the Saturn Award for Special Achievement, the International Horror Guild Award for Non-fiction, and the Independent Publisher's Award Bronze Medal. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Giorgio Ardisson (1931 - 2014)

It saddens us to report, so soon after the passing of Mary Dawne Arden, the death of another prominent player in the films of Mario Bava. The Facebook fan page Peplum Eternity is reporting that Italian actor Giorgio Ardisson - the handsome young actor best remembered for his roles in Bava's HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (Ercole al centro della terra, 1961) and ERIK THE CONQUEROR (Gli invasori, 1961) - died on December 11, at the age of 82. Before either of these films, he had been featured in two other films in which Mario Bava played a behind-the-scenes part: Andre de Toth's MORGAN THE PIRATE (Morgan il pirato, 1960) and Giacomo Gentilomo's LAST OF THE VIKINGS (L'ultimo dei vichinghi, 1961).

Among his many other screen credits were roles in KATARSIS with Christopher Lee, Antonio Margheriti's THE LONG HAIR OF DEATH with Barbara Steele (recently released on Blu-ray by Raro Video), Albert Band's HERCULES AND THE PRINCESS OF TROY and Federico Fellini's JULIET OF THE SPIRITS. He also played Sartana in Pasquale Squitieri's DJANGO DEFIES SARTANA, opposite THE WHIP AND THE BODY'S Tony Kendall.

Owing to some unfortunate misinformation passed on to us, MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK mistakenly reported an earlier death date for Ardissson, which we have always regretted.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mary Dawne Arden (1933 - 2014)

Best remembered as Peggy, one of the loveliest of the "sei donne" in Mario Bava's BLOOD AND BLACK LACE [Sei donne per l'assassino, 1964], actress, model and entrepreneur Mary Dawne Arden passed away Saturday, December 13, in a Brooklyn, New York hospital at the age of 79. She was one of the many people I interviewed for MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, and one of those with whom I became and remained friends.  

Mary Dawne (she insisted on never being addressed as simply Mary) was the daughter of a single mother, born in St. Louis during the the years of the Great Depression, and had to face adult responsibility early on in life. This forged her character as a hard worker, entrepreneur and self promoter. Though I liked - and, more to the point, respected - her immensely, she was one of those people who didn't seem able to ever fully relax or have a good laugh, though she was always friendly and good natured. She told me that she had never acted for money ( a good thing too, she philosophized, because she sometimes got stiffed on those Italian films come pay day), but to promote herself - quite an unusual and avant garde attitude for an actress, but Mary Dawne was, above all, a businesswoman. 

She likewise saw her successful career as a fashion model as a means of "branding herself," to use today's parlance - and she did seem proud of her accomplishments in that realm, which were indeed stunning, as she was of the fact that Federico Fellini had cast her in a role as a television hostess meant to be recurring in his JULIET OF THE SPIRITS, but which was cut from the final assembly. She asked me to keep on the lookout for other films in which she appeared and, over the years, I was able to get copies of the B&W giallo A... come Assassino (1966) and the fumetti adaptation KRIMINAL (1966) into her hands. When I asked what she thought of the films, she would dodge that uncomfortable issue by saying "Kind of a cute kid, wasn't I?" Indeed she was, a classic Grace Kelly type, and her modelling portfolio was truly stunning. But looking at those photos, at those VOGUE covers, I can always see the practical side of Mary Dawne, the good soldier and the good egg. I imagine that, as a young woman in the full bloom of her beauty, she must have been very like Peggy, who, finding herself the object of a co-worker's infatuation with her, sits him down, assures him of her friendship, and patiently copes with the problem till she can make the nutter see plain sense. 

It was during the period when we were most closely in touch that VCI announced their plan to release BLOOD AND BLACK LACE on DVD. I was hired to record an audio commentary and arranged for Mary Dawne to film a video introduction for the movie, which she was very happy to do. When I later told her that I had enjoyed the zany energy of her introduction, it seemed to confuse her, to make her worry and feel self-conscious, which was not at all my intention. She exuded such confidence that I was surprised to find a sensitivity there, not often tapped but still very present; it was one of the things about her that I found touching, which got to me. In short, I liked her tremendously - she was strong and loyal and, above all, dependable - which I remember telling her were characteristics I prized especially, since I see and value them in my wife.

When the Bava book finally came out, Mary Dawne was quite effusive about it and the lovely pictures I found of her, some of which she had never seen. As a thank-you, Donna and I presented her with a print of the color shot that opens the BLOOD AND BLACK LACE chapter, which she told me she planned to frame and hang near the entryway of her apartment. As this news reached me via a Facebook friend sharing her NEW YORK TIMES obituary this morning, Mary Dawne and I fallen out of touch for some time. I'm both sorry to know that she's gone and grateful to know that this dear and driven woman is finally at rest.

Here is a link to her NEW YORK TIMES obituary.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Almost Gone!

"It is the greatest book on film ever published. I am constantly rereading it!" says Batman/Sandman artist Kelley Jones.

And, as of today, there are only 50 copies remaining.

Available, while supplies last, from Signed and inscribed copies available upon request.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mario at 100

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Farewell, Mater Tenebrarum

Word reaches us today of the passing of the striking Romanian actress Veronica Lazar, at the age of 75. Lazar, who settled in Rome and was married to actor Adolfo Celi (Valmont in DANGER: DIABOLIK), is perhaps the only actress to have been directed by three generations of the Bava family. She was a featured player in Dario Argento's INFERNO (pictured), playing the Nurse/Mater Tenebrarum; in this role, she was directed by Mario Bava for the final special effects reveal of her character and also by the film's credited assistant director Lamberto Bava on the days when Argento was hospitalized for hepatitis, and she more recently appeared in the "Gemelle" episode of the 2012 Italian miniseries 6 PASSI NEL GIALLO directed by Lamberto's son Fabrizio Bava. She worked again with Argento in THE STENDHAL SYNDROME, and also played Martha in Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND. She was also a recurring cast member for Michelangelo Antonioni and Bernardo Bertolucci, appearing in IDENTIFICATION OF A WOMAN and BEYOND THE CLOUDS, as well as LAST TANGO IN PARIS, LUNA and THE SHELTERING SKY.

Friday, February 21, 2014

RIP Brigitte Skay (1940-2012)

Brigitte Skay in Mario Bava's BAY OF BLOOD (1971).

Just coming to light now: German actress Brigitte Skay passed away almost two years ago, on November 19, 2012, at the age of 62. She was a welcome, sexy presence in several Eurocult films of the 1960s and '70s, including ISABELLA - DUCHESS OF THE DEVILS, SS HELL CAMP, the Edgar Wallace krimi DIE TOTE AUS DER THEMSE, and also Mario Bava's FOUR TIMES THAT NIGHT and BAY OF BLOOD. She is especially well-remembered for her brilliantly choreographed, startlingly executed death scene in the latter, which featured early gore effects by Carlo Rambaldi. Brigitte (whom Kris J. Nygaard-Gavin interviewed for MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK) was very proud of having worked with the man who created E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL and remembered that Mario advised her that she should only wear the color green.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's The Cat's Meow

Proud Bava book owner Allison Grace reports that her copy of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK provides a sturdy foundation for the electronic throne of her famous Facebook cat Mai Tai, who sits atop it for daily worship.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

By Popular Demand

MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is now available as an eBook! With bonus interactive content! To order, visit the VIDEO WATCHDOG website here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book and Black Lace

Here's another wonderful new tribute from two satisfied readers of the Bava book: VIDEO WATCHDOG contributor Budd Wilkins and his wife Tina Taylor Wilkins! As I told Tina, they should be careful with that straight razor; it looks a little rusty and they don't want to give anyone tetanus...

Tribute from Terry and Lauran

Terry Douglas just sent in this beautifully faux-antiquated picture of Lauran Lybbert reading their copy of the Bava book.

"Back before the internet," he writes, "people read and actually collected quaint objects called 'books.' Unplug yourself from the web and embrace the tactile pleasures of this unholy tome, Mario Bava All the Colors of the Dark..."

Friday, September 20, 2013

Steve Ditko on The Bava Book

Steve Ditko, the artist best known as the co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange for Marvel Comics, has always been my favorite artist in that medium. He was the first artist whose work I came to recognize by sight. I've been a fan since before I discovered Spider-Man, when he was drawing the adventures of those transposed-from-the-screen movie monsters Konga and Gorgo for Charlton. So when my friend Mort Todd mentioned to me on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that Ditko was a Mario Bava fan, I decided then and there to make a gift to him of the Bava book, as a Thank You for all that he has given me throughout my lifetime.
I don't know why I was surprised; the evidence was always there in front of me - in the mannequin-like postures of his characters, and in the fog he drew encircling the likes of Mysterio, The Dread Dormammu and The Question.  
Today I am thrilled because my gift has been answered. 
I just received a hand-written reply (in pencil!) from Mr. Ditko, acknowledging receipt of his gift copy of MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK. It reads:

Dear Tim,
Thanks for the MARIO BAVA book.
It certainly is a massive work that can only be gone through in small time periods.
As your project demonstrates, one will, at some point become aware of a new thought, experience, etc. that attracts and shapes one's thinking, direction, vision for a future goal, and one is willing to do what is needed to be done to achieve that desired end.
Steve Ditko (signed)
Steve Ditko (printed)
I take this as a very great compliment.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Bava In Oz

Here's reader Steven Smith of Adelaide, South Australia with his copy of MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK! Steven's been posting pictures of his impressive library of books related to horror, fantasy and peplum cinema on Facebook and we're proud to be part of that collection.