Shaun vs. Macabre (1980)

macabre1Directed by Lamberto Bava

Starring Bernice Stegers, Stanko Molnar and Veronica Zinny

One fine day, a woman sneaks off to be with her lover, leaving her children home alone, but after her son drowns and her lover is killed in a subsequent auto accident, she loses her marbles and gets sent to a mental institution.  She is released a year later and tries to carry on like normal but still has a burning desire for her lost lover.



Prepare yourself for the shock of a lifetime!

Housewife Jane Baker sees her husband off for the day and realizes she has some free time to fool around with Fred, her secret lover away from home.  She leaves her children, Lucy and Michael, alone so Lucy, maybe the most evil child since Damien, drowns her young brother in the bath tub as her mother is out having loud, passionate relations.  A phone call later and Fred is rushing Jane back home when a metal beam crashes through the windshield, killing Fred instantly.  Jane’s having a really bad day.


“What will I use to have sex with now???”

Fast forward a year and Jane is released from a mental institution and moves into the apartment her and Fred used to fool around in.  The landlord, a young blind fellow named Robert, has a crush on her though she always kindly rebukes his shy flirting as she goes upstairs, leaving him to listen away to the gentle moaning of her former lover through what I assume to be paper-thin walls.  She attempts to reconcile with her family, yet her husband wants nothing to do with her after losing their son in an “accident” and finding out about her infidelity.  Lucy continues to visit her though Lucy’s motives are clearly to drive her mother insane again.

The film basically follows Jane’s descent into madness as she attempts to lead a normal life after being released but she always slips away to her apartment when things get too real.  Robert’s attempts to woo her constantly fail as she still cannot get over Fred and shies away when someone gets too close.  Robert eventually gets curious as to why she always leaves him high and dry and with Lucy’s help, they discover the secret that Jane has been hiding away for far too long in her freezer.


“Sorry, only interested in dead guys.”

Apparently based on true story that happened in New Orleans, Macabre features Bernice Stegers as a woman gone mad while trying to be normal yet her love life is anything but that due to her inability to move on after losing her lover.  She’s constantly seen nude or in some racy lingerie talking to a makeshift memorial of her lover before going to bed to…you know.  While that’s not super weird, the film uses Robert’s character to dig deeper into her personal life and it gets uglier as the movie goes on and ends in a pretty shocking conclusion.


“Stop talking, your voice actor is the worst!”

The film wouldn’t be considered terribly gory these days, but it’s more the subject matter that people may have a hard time with.  I’m sure I’ve given enough away about it but this film certainly is not for everyone and will definitely make some squeamish by the time the credits roll.  The film had me glued to the screen, despite the hilariously awful Nawlins accent sported by all the characters (thank you Italian cinema) and though it may be a while before I ever watch it again, it was certainly an interesting hour and a half that ended with me looking on with only slight disgust.  Well done, Bava.


Story: 6 – A woman loses her lover in an accident, goes nuts for a bit and comes back better than ever.  No wait, quite the opposite.

Blood: 7 – I can’t just give away what you wind up seeing but it’s not pretty.

Nudity: 8 – There are several scenes with Stegers in revealing lingerie or none at all.

Overall: 6 – Worth a watch for the “shock of a lifetime.”


-This is the first film from future Demons director Lamberto Bava, son of Italian horror legend Mario Bava.

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