Movie Name: A Bay of Blood
Studio: Nuova Linea
Release Date(s): September 8, 1971 (Italy)/May 3, 1972 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
Countessa Frederica Donati (Isa Miranda) is a wealthy woman who possesses a bay worth a fortune to developers. When she is murdered by her husband and then her husband is promptly murdered, a series of murders begin to pile up. No one is safe…and a group of teens out for a weekend of fun are about to get caught in a web of murder and deceit.
Written and directed by Mario Bava, A Bay of Blood (Ecologia del delitto) also goes by the names of Blood Bath, Twitch of the Death Nerve, and Chain Reaction among other names (it is said that the movie has one of largest collections of titles and was sometimes even marked as a sequel to Last House on the Left). The movie’s ultra-violence divided critics. The movie (like many of Bava’s films) has a cult following and is often credited for being a precursor to the slasher movies of the late ’70s and ’80s.
A Bay of Blood is kind of shocking. While it starts out a rather common who killed whom type of set-up, it quickly degrades into a bloody rampage with people dying left and right. With a sometimes overly complex story, A Bay of Blood is simply a fun watch for fans of horror to see some of the origins of the slasher genre. Due to the type of movie a *****Spoiler Alert***** is in effect for the review.
The plot for A Bay of Blood tries way too hard. It is a mystery in the veins of Agatha Christie with multiple murderers and a complex plot involving relatives, business men, and bastard children. This almost all can be ignored and the fun of the movie comes from some of the inventive kills. The plot randomly adds a group of teens who get slaughtered in a most brutal sense, and the movie also ends on a weird humorous note with the children of the “winners” shooting down their parents and not even realizing it.
The movie was shot on a shoestring budget on private property. Some of the tracking shots simply used a wagon for the look, and Bava set up fake trees for the shots. The movie however had lasting influence with the hardcore slasher shots. Movies like Friday the 13th and Halloween can be seen as direct descendants of the movie. Friday the 13th Part 2 actually uses a couple of the deaths in the movie almost shot for shot.
A Bay of Blood is much more horror and less giallo than many of Bava’s other films. The violence could be off-putting to some of Bava’s fans who expect more “style over substance”, but Bava considered this one of his favorite films. If you are a fan of horror, you need to see A Bay of Blood…it is worth seeking out.
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