Thursday, October 18, 2007

31 Days of Halloween - Day 18 - Movie 1

In the woods along a body of water, people are being murdered; strangled, stabbed, their throats slit, a hooked machete in the face, two people making love impaled by a spear that goes through both of them, the mattress beneath them and into the floor, a beheading, and other murders as well. A number of people are suspects. Could it be the somewhat simple son of the woman who owns the property, and kept her son hidden away from the world until he was 16?

A "Friday the 13th" movie, perhaps? No, but it's obvious that the makers of the "Friday the 13th" franchise had seen Mario Bava's "Bay of Blood" (aka "Twitch of the Death Nerve") 1972, and lifted quite a bit from it, including particular inventive murders, which were filmed almost identically to how they are here in Bava's movie.

"Bay of Blood" centers around desirable real estate and greed, and follows an escalating chain of violence that comes to an absurd conclusion. The characters are more like caricatures, and there's not really a sympathetic person among them, making it difficult to empathize with anyone's plight. Like Bava's other work, this one is stylish, but has a more dated feel to it. If you like the slasher subgenre of horror films then this is worth watching for its historic relevence, but it's nihilistic nature might be a turn off for others.

This is included in "The Mario Bava Collection - Volume 2" which I highly recommend, although it only contains one other movie that belongs in the horror genre, "Baron Blood." this DVD set is available October 23.

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