Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 5 out of 5
Whip and the Body DVD (1963)

It's hard to do anything but praise VCI's Region 1 DVD release of Mario Bava's romantic chiller, "Whip and the Body".

A very rare 35mm print has been sourced for this superb transfer of the old three-strip Technicolor stock. Using dyes rather than a photochemical process, it lends supernatural vibrancy to Bava's wonderful use of colour. There are, of course, odd flecks of print damage, but these are only to be expected.

The 2.0 mono sound mix is very clear and offers both the English and Italian versions. As with many Italian horror movies, the dialogue was spoken in English and then over-dubbed, so choosing the US dub is actually preferable.

A whole education in Bava and the movie is available to you courtesy of a highly detailed and well-prepared audio commentary by Tim Lucas. An expert on Bava, he's also responsible for the quality of this release along with restoration expert Jay Fenton and film director Joe Dante. As the movie plays, Lucas points out the scenes that were cut (by 10 minutes in the UK) and thoroughly dissects related quotes and reviews attributed to the film.

The different titles and artwork used to sell this film can be viewed in an excellent photo gallery and you can get a feel for some of Bava's other films in the trailer gallery. With additional cast and crew biographies, an isolated sound score, and an insert with an essay by Lucas, this disc offers a unique opportunity to discover one of Bava's finest.

NB: the release date above refers to the Region 1 disc.

Chapters: 18
Region: 1
Ratio: 1.85:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Extra Features: Scene selection, audio commentary with Tim Lucas, original American main titles, isolated soudtrack, photo gallery, cast and crew biographies and filmographies, animated main menu, multiple languages, subtitles.

End Credits

Director: Mario Bava

Writer: Ernesto Gastaldi, Ugo Guerra, Luciano Martino

Stars: Christopher Lee, Daliah Lavi, Tony Kendall, Isli Oberon, Harriet Medin, Jacques Herlin, Luciano Pigozzi, Dean Ardow

Genre: Horror

Length: 88 minutes

Original: 1963

DVD: 31 October 2000

Country: Italy