The Whip and the Flesh


also known as: La frusta e il corpo | The Whip and the Body

directed by Mario Bava, 87 minutes

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"[A] master class in lighting and movement..." - Fernando Croce, CinePassion

Mature audiences only.

A controversial sado-masochistic film starring Christopher Lee that was mutilated in almost every country when it was initially released, THE WHIP AND THE FLESH is present here in the uncut European widescreen version! Nevenka's ex-lover (who is her husband's brother) Kurt has come back to claim her and he does so by engaging in a forbidden rendezvous. The next day, Kurt is found dead. But his ghost returns to haunt all those who live in the mansion and to continue his love affair with Nevenka.

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Top reviewer
2 members found this review helpful Created 9 months ago.

Darkly luscious Technicolor photography and a little whip-cracking S&M fun are the highlights of this Italo-Goth horror job from Mario Bava in his salad days. Settle in for a slow pace with this one. It's less than ninety minutes long, but Bava is no rush to get through the story of what happens when the black sheep of aristocratic stock (Christopher Lee) gets his throat slashed in the family castle one night and then seems to rise from the dead just so he can whip his unrequited love as she moans with joy. The plot thickens as other people around start dying, too. Along the way, the films basks under strange purple skies and searing blue moonlight. It's a real sleeper in Bava's body of work. One dry glass of Cabernet with hints of blackcurrant and violets.

1 member found this review helpful Created 5 months ago.

One of the best with the dark rooms and hallways and the constant wind !!! It just does not get any better than this movie !!!

Top reviewer
1 member found this review helpful Created 4 months ago.

Mario Bava was a master of color. While “The Whip and the Flesh” doesn’t have the shock or terror of “Black Sunday” or “Blood and Black Lace,” Bava creates an eerie world of shadows in varying hues of icy blue. Bava’s light and lens highlight his actors. Daliah Lavi is ravishing; Christopher Lee is more cruelly handsome than ever. Though dated in some aspects, Bava presents us with a moody ghost story that rivals Roger Corman’s Poe films from the same era.

Top reviewer
0 of 1 members found this review helpful Created over 1 year ago.

Too dark, too slow. Too much.

Created almost 2 years ago.

Looks great. Runs the gamut from sexy to horror to outright silly. The "visits' from Kurt are very Dracula-like, I wonder if it would seem that way without Lee in the role. The fact that the manservant resembles Peter Lorre doesn't help the comparisons any. It could've been a good gothic horror film, but it was too melodramatic. I could live without the keyhole shot of Christopher Lee opening his mouth and coming in for a kiss.

Created almost 3 years ago.

This was a good movie and was viewed without any interference or buffeting.....both parts were complete

Created about 3 years ago.

Very campy and semi-psychedelic like most Italian Horror films from this time period. There is a lot to enjoy - mostly the out-of-date and stylish campy bits, but still not one of Bava's best.
I would certainly not consider this a sexploitation nor exploitation film. Although it does contain a few scenes of erotic campiness not nearly enough to be given this genre description.

Created over 3 years ago.

One of my favorite early Bava films! Beautifully shot

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