Director: Mario Bava
Cast: Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Claudio Camaso
Production Company: Nuova Linea Cinematografica
Runtime: 84 minutes
Every horror fan should make a point of seeing A Bay of Blood (1971). It was highly influential in the creation of the slasher genre. Mario Bava is a legend in his own right, having also directed Black Sunday (1960), Planet of the Vampires (1965), and Hatchet for a Honeymoon (1970).
In the movie, a rich heiress is killed by her husband, who is then immediately murdered by someone else. Everyone wants to inherit the bay and the surrounding property once owned by the woman, but who among them is willing to kill for it?
The film is a giallo classic, but it also likes to play with the conventions of the genre. We start off with a killer wearing gloves, as would be expected in this style of film, but then the gloves come off and we immediately see the killer’s face. It won’t be the last time this film toys with our expectations…
The movie is overflowing with fantastic gore and imaginative kills. Those moments would later go on to inspire an entire generation of filmmakers. For example, a double murder in this film is lovingly recreated in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981).
There are a lot of odd characters that will raise your suspicions as the bodies begin to pile up. We are introduced to a sadistic entomologist (Leopoldo Trieste), his eccentric wife (Laura Betti), and a creepy fisherman (Claudio Volonté), among other suspects.
The music by Stelvio Cipriani is dramatic, and often overwhelming. Cipriani has composed music for hundreds of films including Rabid Dogs (1974), Tentacles (1977), and Pieces (1982). The musical arrangement leading into the end credits will leave your mouth gaping open!
The movie is known by a lot of different titles including Carnage, Twitch of the Death Nerve, and even Last House on the Left – Part II. This was originally due to a disappointing initial release. William Shakespeare might suggest that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet!
There are a lot of twists and turns that make it difficult to predict what will happen next. You’ll never guess what takes place during the shocking climax! A Bay of Blood lives up to the hype surrounding it, even decades after its first release.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…