A Bay of Blood (Twitch of the Death Nerve/La Baie Sanglante, 1971)

US Kino Lorber Classics Blu-ray Region A edition

Text below written 2017-10-17


Enormously influental prototype for the slasher genre with it's many gory killings, all 11 of them, and when one in particular was
used for Friday the 13th (the spear through the bed). This bloodbath starts off with a brutal strangling of the Countess Federica
Donato (Isa Miranda), the wheelchair bound owner of some very attractive and valuable properties at a bay by the sea.
The murder is her gloved husband Filippo (Giovanni Nuvoletti) but when he admires his work someone kills him the slasher knife
way, and this time we won't get to see the killers face. The murder spree is on and everyone kills everyone. Who's the killer or who
are the killers, and is this a giallo or a slasher? But one thing is clear, it surely must be Mario Bava's most violent film.

The sleazy French VHS sleeve

In the 1980's when I and other horror film lovers spared no money or trouble to collect uncut VHS tapes of Euro horror, we sought
out mostly old Swedish pre-ban tapes (Video Invest) or uncut Dutch, Greek, US or even French one's.
Why? Sweden had one of the world's most harsh censoring laws regarding film, and everything violent was cut, but also politics
in film was banned .... if the politics were the wrong one.

The problem though was that the US VHS tapes was only playable in NTSC color system and the French one's mostly only in the
odd Secam or Mesecam color system. Soon, VHS players in Europe would manage to play US tapes ... but not then, yet.
So, when i bought a copy of Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! directly from Russ Meyer himself i had to see it, and i did buy 1. a multi color
system TV, and 2. a multi system VHS player. It did cost me a small fortune, but .... finally i was able to see Mario Bava's Blood and
Black Lace and A Bay of Blood uncut in all their glory on french Secam VHS copies, and others.

So, before the DVD and later the Blu-ray players with it's region limits we had color system limits. With my multi system TV and player
i could have worked as a diplomat as my things managed every different color system in the world.
The French and Belgian VHS covers may've had the most alluring poster art, and regarding the sleazy french poster (and VHS sleeve)
above, i really can't remember any scene in the movie with a woman tied to a chair in a sleazy way like that.

The Old US Anchor Bay 6 disc edition box DVD

There are 11 murders in the film: a strangling, a knifing, 2 with a big sickle type of knife (see US sleeve), 2 with a fishing spear, a stabbing
through a door (with a scissor or a knife, forgot), another 2 stranglings, a head chopping, another spear killing, and finally 2 accidental
killings by shotgun, that's 11 murders and 13 killings.
Claudine Auger from i.a. Thunderball can be seen as Renata, the daughter of Count Donato and Luigi Pistilli plays her husband.
Almost everyone in this film are scum so the murders don't upset the viewers too much i guess, but the german girl Hilde played by
Brigitte Skye , the girl out for a winter swim, seemed nice and wouldn't have had to die, but a slasher is a slasher i guess and if you
unwisely decide to have sex .... or stripping out of your clothes for a nude swim - then you're doomed.

Widescreen 1.78.1 with english audio LPCM stereo. Extras: Alternate Italian language print with english subs (from an inferior master
but with appr. one minute of variant footage), an audio commentary by Mario Bava expert Tim Lucas, Trailers. Region A

 

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