It’s time for another of Mario Bava’s Italian giallos. This time I’m looking at his 1970 offering, here’s my Five Dolls for an August Moon blu-ray review. Released by Arrow Video back in 2016 in a dual blu-ray/DVD release it’s time to find out whether it’s worth a look.
- Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
- Genre: Horror / Giallo
- Directed by Mario Bava
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 2 (Blu-ray & DVD)
- Released By Arrow Video
- Blu-ray Released: 1 February 2016
Several prominent people including scientist Professor Gerry Farrell are invited to wealthy industrialist George Stark’s Private Island. Soon after the murders begin…
Style / Direction
The film was directed by Mario Bava whilst Antonio Rinaldi took on the director of photography duties. There’s certainly some style to the filmmaking in fact I think Bava spent way too much on the style of the movie rather than making a fully rounded story.
This results in rather poor storytelling and dialogue. Let’s be clear it’s a who dunnit like Agatha Christies ‘And Then There Were None’. However it does most things pretty badly.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Piero Umiliani.
Acting / Characters
There’s pretty poor performances all-round whether it’s the English or Italian version you watch and listen to.
- William Berger as Professor Gerry Farrell
- Princess Ira von Fürstenberg as Trudy Farrell
- Edwige Fenech as Marie Chaney
- Howard Ross as Jack Davidson
- Helena Ronee as Peggy Davidson
- Teodoro Corrà as George Stark
- Justine Gall as Isabel
- Edith Meloni as Jill Stark
- Mauro Bosco as Charles (Jacques)
- Maurice Poli as Nick Chaney
Conclusion: Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) Film Review
To be honest it’s a really bad attempt at a Agatha Christie who dunnit style story. Personally I found it to be pretty awful. The film moves along quickly but there’s no real panic at the murders, the story is badly told and generally poor. Oh and my biggest criticism has to be that I found it all rather boring.
There are a few nicely put together shots from a filmmaking perspective but it really doesn’t matter as the film is woefully constructed.
If you’ve enjoyed my Five Dolls for an August Moon blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:
- The Strange Vice Of Mrs Wardh (1971)
- All The Colours Of The Dark (1972)
- Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)
- The Case Of The Bloody Iris (1972)
- Torso (1973)
- Deep Red (1975)
- The Black Cat (1981)
- Delirium (1987)
- Body Puzzle (1992)
Conclusion: Five Dolls for an August Moon Blu-ray Review
This is an Arrow Video release from 2016 and therefore is not to the standard of their currently releases. It really does require a 2K restoration. It has white marks and vertical lines that appear throughout the film. Overall the image is pretty sharp whilst the colours seem reasonable.
On the extras side Arrow do deliver a lot of content including a documentary hosted by Mark Kermode titled, Mario Bava: Maestro of the Macabre. This is certainly worth a look.
- Audio Commentary
- Mario Bava: Maestro of the Macabre (60 mins)
- Music & Effects Track
- Theatrical Trailer
On to my movie rating for Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
- Movie Rating: POOR
- Blu-ray Picture: AVERAGE
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Amazon UK Links
Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) is available out now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip NOT be representative of the blu-ray version
That concludes my Five Dolls for an August Moon Much blu-ray review, I’m aiming to review more Mario Bava films soon. What’s next? Check back soon…
Note: The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.
Summary: Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
Duration: 71/78 mins
Director(s): Mario Bava
Actor(s): William Berger, Princess Ira von Fürstenberg, Edwige Fenech, Howard Ross, Helena Ronee
Genre: Horror, Giallo
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
A pretty poor Mario Bava giallo that’s still in need of restoration