“Even Snoopy in his own way is anti-establishment”
The story of Baba Yaga is really an ancient one, from the slavic regions of Europe, it’s one of those tales whose origins are obscured in the mists of time. Baba Yaga is essentially a witch who lives in a house that stands on chickens legs and presumably eats small children. It’s clear this was a story invented to scare the hell out of kids. Over the decades Baba Yaga has taken on many forms, here she is a lesbian S&M witch, intent on controlling pretty young photographer Valentina, a character created by fumetti artist Guido Crepax.
I had been aware of Crepax for some time, years ago I had copies of his versions of Pauline Réage’s Story of O and The Marquis de Sade’s Justine. Something about his style spoke to me and many years later, discovering this film, I can see what it was. His drawing style is very reminiscent of cinema editing, lending itself well to a film adaptation. I had never read the Valentina stories but it’s clear, from my knowledge of his other books, that Corrado Farina was strongly attempting to make this style really come to life. This can be a pretty hard thing to accomplish, but since Crepax’s books already imitate cinema, it becomes like art imitating art imitating art.
Of course it’s going to be a nice film to look at, it’s a French/Italian co-production from the 70′s, filled with gorgeous actresses and fashion and interior style and the story is quite intriguing. Filled with odd, hallucinatory dream sequence’s it could have easily become convoluted and hard to follow, but it stays nicely on track throughout. It was good to see a good 16:9 copy and Blue Underground has included a nice selection of extras which include the scene’s that the censors removed and other deleted scenes from the controversial editing which you can find out about in the interview with Farina
Photos courtesy of http://mutantfamilyvalues.blogspot.com