Two retro films release today. One is actually retro, 1973’s Baba Yaga (aka Baby Yaga, Devil Witch, aka Kiss Me, Kill Me), which releases on Blu-ray. The other is the Australian retro-style, campy El monstro del mar! which releases on DVD.
Baba Yaga. Based on the comics of Italian artist Guido Crepax, Baba Yaga follows a young fashion photographer Valentina (Isabelle De Funès), who meets and becomes wrapped up with a mysterious, wealthy older woman called Baba Yaga (Carroll Baker of Baby Doll and The Watcher in the Woods). After a series of nightmares, the film becomes ambiguous as to whether Valentina imagines her kidnapping by Baba Yaga and also if Baba Yaga is the witch of the same name from Slavic folklore. Either way, Valentina and Milanese models become embroiled in sexual and sadistic encounters with the sorceress.
According to Jeff Allen, in his review today on Fox 31 Denver, “The resulting story is one psychedelic little piece of early 1970’s horror erotica … recommended to all those who like their horror saucy and twisted.” The film has been out on DVD since 2003, but today is the Blu-ray release from Blue Underground, which includes the theatrical trailer, deleted scenes, an interview with the film’s director Corrado Farina, a documentary on Crepax entitled Freud in Color, and a comparison of the film to the comic book
El monstro del mar! From Australian director Stuart Simpson (Demonsamongus), the film features three deadly vixens who enlist the help of an old fisherman and his granddaughter to battle the Kraken, a legendary seamonster. Simon Foster, in his September 9, 2010, review on the Australian website sbs states, “Simpson’s low-budget, high-energy burlesque-infused bloodbath is a style-over-substance shocker.” The film releases on DVD today.