Original Release Date: September 8, 1971 (Italy), May 3, 1972 (United States)
Directed by: Mario Bava
Produced by: Giuseppe Zaccariello
Screenplay by: Mario Bava, Filippo Ottoni and Giuseppe Zaccariello
Starring: Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Claudio Camaso, Anna M. Rosati, Chris Avram and Leopoldo Trieste
Before Halloween, before Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Mario Bava changed the game with his genre bending ‘Giallo’ film which paved the way for the slasher genre.
Giallo Film: Italian produced murder mystery known for its excessive violence.
A killing spree emerges in the bay in a series of events following the death of a wealthy countess. Everybody wants to get their hands on her estate and will go to great lengths to inherit it. Although this film was criticized and scorned for it’s graphic violence when it was released, it would become a trend setting slasher for generations to come. So much so that Friday the 13th Part 2 recreated two of the deaths from this film a decade later in 1981.
I chose to review this film because like the my last review, I had only discovered this film a few years ago after learning that Friday the 13th had taken inspiration from it. After being a huge fan of the Friday the 13th franchise since I started watching horror movies, I was blown away to find this out. This film also introduced me to Giallo films which I am a huge fan of today.
A Bay of Blood aka Ecologia del Delitto (Twitch of the Death Nerve) is known as one of the most influential slasher films of all time – this early 70’s gory Giallo is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. This film doesn’t take long to get going when a wealthy countess is murdered in her estate and it’s passed off as a suicide. After her death, everyone around her wastes no time trying to get their hands on her estate, from relatives and neighbours, to shady real estate agents, which turns bloody when a killing spree ensues and they all get wrapped up in it (including a group of campers at the wrong place at the wrong time). This film is gory, graphic, and fast paced – a little too fast paced when it comes to the storyline. Though I am a big fan of this film, I find there is way too much going on through a lot of this movie with very little character development to completely understand what’s going on. Basically, you may have to watch it 2 or 3 times to fully understand it. I don’t want to discourage you from watching the film because it’s very entertaining, it’s violent, and there is a lot of killing… it’s a BLOODY Masterpiece!
Interesting Fact: Special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi later won Oscars for his work in Alien (1979) and E.T. (1982).
Kill count: 13
Movie rating: 8 out of 10
Gore rating: 7.5 out of 10