A forerunner in the giallo genre, Mario Bava's sordid tale of murder in a fashion boutique is not only influential for its dark corners saturated in sensuous color, but the graphic yet titillating death scenes. While the film might come off as somewhat cliche today, it is actually a blueprint for hordes of future horror and suspense films which owe it a great deal. The story centers around secrets and one willing to kill and kill again to keep them quiet. BaBL is notorious for its incomplete cuts, so its a joy to view it in its most complete form. The film begins with a virtual rogues gallery of the involved characters, which sets up this mystery quite beautifully. As a quintessential giallo it contains more than a few red herrings to keep the audience guessing, a clever twist in the climax and plenty of creative cruelty. Just as striking as the lighting, the literal faceless killer is a perfectly cast culprit. With a memorable score from Carlo Rustichelli, this is one of Bava's most masterful works.
4½ diaries out of 5