Monday, March 20, 2006

INFERNO Question

Q: I heard from someone, I don't recall when/where, that Luigi Cozzi has stated that Bava actually lighted and shot Argento's INFERNO without taking credit.Is this true? -- Mattias Jonsson

A: Bava was responsible for the film's special optical effects and trick shots. The full moon seen in the movie is a Bava matte painting. The Riverside Drive house was never photographed head-on, but was recreated on the sets at DePaolis from photos taken on location. It only rose a couple of floors, so everything seen above that (and surrounding that) is a Bava illusion -- extended by a maquette and surrounded by faux skyscrapers fashioned from milk cartons and covered with photographs. These tabletop skyscrapers were also used to optically augment shots filmed on location in Central Park. The burning building seen at the end was Bava's maquette going up in optical flames. Bava also did some second unit directing when Argento was stricken with hepatitis, adding little pick-up shots like the slow zoom into the air vent that's issuing lethal gas -- a very PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES shot, I think. He had nothing to do with the underwater chamber sequence, which was shot live (no illusions) in a water tank by Gianlorenzo Battaglia.


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