Shock (1977 film)

Directed by Mario Bava
Produced by Juri Vasile[1]
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Lamberto Bava
  • Francesco Barbieri
  • Paolo Brigenti
  • Dardano Sacchetti[1]
Starring Daria Nicolodi
John Steiner
David Colin Jr.
Ivan Rassimov
Music by I Libra[1]
Cinematography Alberto Spagnoli[1]
Edited by Roberto Sterbini[1]
Laser Film[1]
Release dates
Running time
95 minutes[1]
Country Italy

Shock (original title: Schock) is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava. It was Bava's last theatrical feature before he died of a heart attack in 1980. The film stars Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner and David Colin, Jr.


Dora Baldini (Daria Nicolodi), her son Marco (David Colin Jr.) and her new husband Bruno Baldini (John Steiner) move into Dora's former home, from her first marriage, after Dora is released from a mental institution following the mysterious death of Dora's abusive first husband. With Bruno away as a commercial airline pilot, Dora is left alone with her son Marco and her shattered memory of the events of her husband's death, caused by extensive electroshock treatment she received while institutionalized. Her insanity grows when she believes that her son has become possessed by the ghost of his deceased father, leading to Dora learning the truth about her first husband's death: she murdered him after he forcibly injected her with heroin and LSD. When she contacted Bruno for help, he arranged for her dead husband's body to be dumped out in the ocean while arranging for Dora to be placed in an insane asylum, as the drugs injected into her caused her to have a nervous breakdown. Now killing her new husband, Dora is compelled by her husband's ghost (and her guilt) to commit suicide. The ending shows Marco, the sole survivor, having tea with his parents' ghosts (who are invisible).



Shock was released in 1977.[1]

Critical reception

From a contemporary review, Scott Meek (Monthly Film Bulletin) described the film as "only a minor work from a past master of Italian commercial cinema, this shocker shows flashes of real style and of effectively sardonic humour."[1] The review concluded that "IThe post-Exorcist possession crazy is now so burdened with inferior product that it is a pity that Bava's contribution should have been delayed in reaching Britain. It proves, despite its faults, a good deal more entertaining than many of its American bedfellows."[1]

From retrospective reviews, AllMovie called it "perhaps one of the more conventional offerings from a man whom many consider the founding father of Italian horror", though it "still bears the trademark style and technical trickery of Mario Bava's previous efforts".[2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Meek, Scott (1980). "Shock Transfert-Suspence-Hypnos (Shock)". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 47 no. 552. British Film Institute.
  2. Buchanan, Jason. "Shock (1977) - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
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