A Bay of Blood

August 10, 2015 at 1:36 am (5 Heads, Bay of Blood) (, , , , )

A Bay of Blood – 1971 – Italy

After a wealthy countess is murdered, her heirs and some real estate investors angle for control of her bayside manor. Their conniving results in a bloody free-for-all as the various parties murder each other for reasons of greed and revenge. Most of A Bay of Blood takes place in a single night as thirteen murders are gorily committed (mostly with a billhook). Plot and character development are sacrificed for nonstop mayhem. The film begins as a man hangs his wheelchair-bound wife with a noose, just before being stabbed himself. The film ends with two children accidentally shooting their parents to death while playing a game.

A Bay of Blood was directed by Mario Bava. At the time of the film’s release, Bava was criticized for forgoing the artfulness and subtlety of his earlier films. Indeed, the film’s explicit gore and roving first-person camera would define the visceral style of the slasher genre a decade later.

Bava’s inventive visual sense manifests in A Bay of Blood’s scenic locations. Skillfully composed shots emphasize the unique character of the bay and its surrounding manors and cottages. The film is well crafted, but lacks creativity. Ultimately, it is no better than the tasteless slasher genre it helped create.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. In a scene later mimicked by many slasher films, two screwing teenagers are simultaneously impaled on a spear.

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