A Bay of Blood

1971

Horror / Mystery / Thriller

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 64%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 7484

Synopsis


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691.35 MB
1280*672
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
P/S 2 / 15
1.32 GB
1920*1008
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 24 min
P/S 5 / 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Maciste_Brother 9 / 10

Brilliant!

BAY OF BLOOD (or TWITCH OF THE DEATH NEVER) is a brilliant film. The idea behind it is original and it's still a one-of-a-kind flick, even if the movie itself inspired a gazillion slashers. Regarded as the granddaddy of slashers, BAY OF BLOOD has a unique concept behind it that none of its duplicators have successfully copied: the concept of people being murdered one by one, not by just one killer but by several killers, in very gruesome ways, all in the name of super dry, jet black comedy.

There's something surprisingly stealthy about Mario Bava's approach to the deliberately confusing story. Throughout the labirynth like story-line, we bounce from one character to the next, never having enough time to get to know the people in the movie to care enough for them and when they are killed, their deaths suddenly take a surprisingly modern twist. Unlike most slashers out there, like FRIDAY THE 13TH or even HALLOWEEN and their endless sequels, many critics have said that in order for the horror element in those movies to work, you have to care about the people getting killed. Many critics have dismissed the whole slasher genre just on that basis: the films are not horrifying because the people getting killed either deserve it because they're annoying or the acting was really bad, or just because the writing was terrible and the characters were just token characters and it's not scary to see token, cardboard characters getting killed. Well, in BAY OF BLOOD, the ingeniously scripted story transcends this. The characters in BOB are not really deep or even memorable but their introduction to us, the viewer, is so quick and their deaths are so gruesome and so sudden and unexpected that the fact we know little about them hardly matters. It hardly matters because the killings aren't being made by a single killer with a singular reason but by several killers, whom all have a confusing number of reasons (which can all be traced to greed), with few of the killers knowing that others are also killing other people at the same time and as the film progresses, the killers, in turn, also become victims themselves. This is the brilliant aspect of BOB. People just kill each other left and right in a neverending succession of blood and violence, each people completely indifferent to each other. Watching this made me giggle and wince. The story cannibalises itself repeatedly, every ten minutes or so, snowballing into an all-out blood bath. The effect this creates is like being trapped inside a time-loop, in which the same thing happens over and over AND over again. Combine this with the fact that the story's actions happens mostly within a brief time-line (except for the beginning, everything happens on the same day) BUT that it also goes back and forth in time, with flashbacks and such, and BOB, oddly enough never feels grounded to one specific time. The killings in BOB feel different than anything I've ever seen in a horror film. Each killing is seemingly detached from the story itself and the film takes an all new unique approach, as the deaths come to the fore while the rest fades in the background. It almost feels like we're watching the killings happen "live". There isn't a single lone female survivor, or a surprise ending like most horror films (there is a surprise ending in BAY OF BLOOD but it's not a killer coming back to life).

The acting is good but the cast is mostly anonymous (deliberate?). Except for Claudine Auger, the rest of the cast seemingly all meld together. The location and sets were also good. Only the music was inappropriate at times and the cinematography was sometimes annoying, with Bava's constant use of out-of-focus shots, which I don't like at all. My favorite scene in BOB is the one when Claudine Auger goes to the bathroom. Arf!!!

Though I consider BAY OF BLOOD to be brilliant, the film is dated and there's a certain aloofness to it that even if it serves the story to a certain extent, this aloofness is carried to an unfortunate extreme which makes the film feel not as "passionate" as it could have been or should have been. I guess aloofness is a Bava trademark, which is one of the reasons why I'm not a big Bava fan. Except for HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON, I've haven't been impressed by most of his films. Well, BAY OF BLOOD has impressed me a lot and I have to say that it's probably my favorite Mario Bava film, along with HATCHET. All in all, I think BAY OF BLOOD is a unique, one-of-a-kind gruesome movie. Anyone who didn't like it just didn't get it.

Reviewed by The_Void 8 / 10

Greed twitches several death nerves in Mario Bava's brutal pioneering slasher flick!

Many films on the Video Nasty list are horror cinema's answer to well-respected classics; The Last House on the Left offers a new spin on Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, Island of Death is a more brutal telling of the story of Bonnie and Clyde and, indeed, this Mario Bava film owes its plot to the French classic, La Ronde. Bay of Blood is often noted as being an obvious inspiration on the Friday the 13th series, and when taking things such as the setting and a certain murder sequence into account, that is certainly true; but let's not forget that this is also a fantastic movie in its own right. The film starts off with a glorious sequence that opens inside a beautiful manor house. We watch as a wheelchair-bound baroness is brutally strangled, only for the rug to be torn from under us moments later when her assailant is the next one to bite the bullet! It has to be said that the film never tops its opening sequence, but Mario Bava's gore-fest manages to remain fascinating all the way through, as it turns out that the first murder scene sets off a violent chain of events that results in a very high body count.

This film would be properly categorised as a slasher, but its Italian roots ensure that it's often labelled a Giallo, and indeed Mario Bava does include Giallo elements; from black gloved killers and an array of odd characters, all the way to an amazingly convoluted plot. Indeed, the storyline here gets so complicated at times that it's liable to give the viewer an extreme headache, but Bava is always on hand with another glorious murder scene, and as the film features thirteen deaths in it's eighty one minute running time - there's certainly no lack of the red stuff. Bava ensures that the murders are suitably varied, and we get treated from an array of methods of dispatch, including axes, a spear through a lovemaking couple and an excellent scene that sees someone skewered to a wall. Mario Bava's eye for detail doesn't wane with this film, as despite being a grisly slasher; there's still more than enough time for beautiful scene setting. The bay itself looks great and excellently lends itself as a location for savagery, while the decors of the character's homes are elaborately Gothic. With the pitch-black ending, the director shows us that the film isn't meant to be taken seriously, and overall, Bay of Blood is both influential and a great time - and therefore shouldn't be missed by horror fans.

Reviewed by Claudio Carvalho 7 / 10

When Nobody is Innocent

A handicapped and wealthy countess, who owns the lands of a disputed bay, is hanged by her husband and he is immediately killed. The crime scene is forged to simulate a suicide of the old woman. Later, two young couples are murdered in the bay. The inheritors of the fortune of the countess want the possession of the place and kill each other, in a bloodshed bath in the area.

"Reazione a Catena" is a gory slash movie with a different characteristic: there is no serial killer, but almost a chain reaction of murders. The deaths are motivated by the greed of different persons, and their motives are based on the interest of the civil construction in the ecological area, and the reluctance of the elder countess in selling her property. None of the character is innocent, except the two young couples that arrive in wrong the place for fun. The camera, with many closes and movements, is quite different. The black humor is very sharp; most of the deaths are very original and the conclusion is silly. The copy of the Brazilian VHS is a little dark, but it is watchable. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Banho de Sangue" ("Blood Bath")

Note: On 06 July 2009, I saw this movie again on DVD.

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