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Blood & Black Lace (Bilingual) [Import]

Cameron Mitchell , Eva Bartok , Mario Bava    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.65 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Though the original Italian title translates to "Six Women for an Assassin," the American title, Blood and Black Lace, is far more evocative of the psychosexual nature of this elegant slasher picture. The thin plot concerns a respected Italian fashion house, a murdered model, cocaine, and a tell-all diary that seems to implicate just about everyone connected with the house of style. The disappearance of the diary initiates a wholesale slaughter of the remaining models. Mario Bava's stylish exercise in mayhem lovingly delivers every elaborate killing with dreamy assurance. As the stalker, a faceless figure wrapped up in a trench coat, makes a move for his next gorgeous victim, Bava's prowling camera snakes through sets, rushes down hallways, and generally takes off like a low-budget Hitchcock flick on speed. By contrast, Bava runs through the police investigations with a perfunctory air--the lifeless scenes, which aren't helped by the flat English dubbing, feel like he's marking time between the murders--and when the identity of the black-clad killer is revealed it almost seems beside the point. As the narrative melts into a near abstract display of choreography and color (with an often troubling misogynist edge), exposition and psychological explanations seem oddly out of place in this elaborate dance of death. As a traditional thriller it lacks any genuine thrill, but as a piece of cinematic spectacle it has moments of dreamy, disconnected beauty. --Sean Axmaker

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4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST USES OF COLOR EVER May 12 2004
If you are looking for a breathtakingly beautiful use of color and lighting, YOU MUST SEE "BLOOD AND BLACL LACE". This has to be one of the great overlooked movies of all time. Great Jazz score.
What happened to the mentality that could both make and go see this kind of movie? After watching this one, and looking over the current cinema listings in the local paper, I nearly cried at the lack of anything like this to see.
The rich jewel tones that flood every frame in this film are amazing. Eastmancolor must be one of the most underrated processes in film history. Notice how shocking the white undergarments of the models seem after the killer rips their bodices away.
A great movie in which nearly the whole cast lies dead at the end. Eva Bartok is amazingly beautiful, why didn't she become more of an international star?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wildly stylish, fun, engaging, but not perfect Nov. 28 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
A great looking murder mystery that clearly laid the groundwork for later directors
(DePalma in particular), and has a fun macabre sense of humor to go with some
very effective tension.

Considered a masterpiece by many, I can't quite go there, with the bad dubbing,
some over the top acting, and a few silly twists. But that's not to say I didn't really enjoy it.

Someone is killing models at a high fashion house, and there are plenty
of suspects to go around.

Bava's use of color is wonderful, if not quite up to what he did in his own
`Whip and the Body', and there's also very effective use of shadows and
moving lights. Yes, many of those devices are now visual clichés, but
someone had to invent them, and Bava gets a lot of the credit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloody lace Feb. 22 2007
Some women want to strangle models, but most people don't actually go that far. That's not the case in "Blood and Black Lace," where models run, scream, and die in all sorts of gruesome ways. Mario Bava's classic giallo has some monotonous moments, but mostly it sticks to stylish slayings.

Just before a fashion show, the model Isabella is found dead in a wardrobe. The police investigate the fashion house's various models and managers, but can't find any solid evidence. And during the show, one of the other models finds Isabella's diary, which is loaded with scandalous information about drugs, lovers, abortions, and debts.

But then the diary is stolen, and trenchcoated killer waits until the models are alone -- and then he burns, strangles, drowns, and claws them. The police suspect the men -- designers and managers -- at the fashion house, but even detaining the suspects won't stop the gruesome murders...

At first glance, "Blood and Black Lace" seems like just another bloody slasher movie. Well, giallo is to slasher movies as fine cheese is to Velveeta, and "Blood and Black Lace" is a perfect example of a giallo, with the arty lighting, graphic violence, colourful sets, and of course those black gloved hands.

The plot is a pretty straightforward whodunnit -- it's not blatantly obvious who the killer is, but seasoned movie fans can probably guess. And while there are gruesome slayings, the killer doesn't just jump out and kill. Bava builds up the tension and fear (which the characters also demonstrate) until it's almost a relief when someone dies.

But one of the biggest necessities for a giallo is visual style.
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By A Customer
Undoubtedly one of Mario Bava's finest films, that in itself saying a great deal, BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is a skillfully directed, stunningly photographed murder mystery well served by this VCI DVD release.
First the good stuff: This DVD restores footage from the original European release, including the original credit sequence, never before seen in North America, and features a wealth of extras, including interviews with stars Cameron Mitchell and Mary (Dawne) Arden, a selection of international trailers and an information packed commentary track by film scholar and Bava expert Tim Lucas. The video quality is excellent, though not faultless, and presented in a widescreen 1.66:1 aspect ratio, allowing the viewer the opportunity to appreciate Bava's visual canvas in a way not possible with previous video releases.
The not so good stuff: As much of a revelation as this VCI release is, in terms of visual quality, the limited edition PAL German DVD of BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (BLUTIGE SEIDE) is undoubtedly the hands down winner. The colours are even more vibrant and the film is presented in the full, correct, aspect ratio of 1.85:1. If you have PAL DVD capabilities, you might want to look at that release, but otherwise, the VCI edition is still an excellent purchase.
The biggest problem with this DVD is that there are at least three, different releases of this disc, some of which have very serious problems.
I can not personally verify the problems with the original release, which reportedly would not play in some DVD players including some makes of Philips/Magnavox and Pioneer players. I believe that this version has the front cover BLOOD AND BLACK LACE logo in yellow with red stripes, whereas the subsequent releases have the logo in red.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Horror Movie
Mario Bava, the founding father of Italian horror (see my BLACK SUNDAY/THE MASK OF SATAN review), was a real trendsetter with his innovative camera tricks (he was a cameraman as... Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by Daniel Kepley
3.0 out of 5 stars Blood and Black Lace.
Blood and Black Lace is often described as the original 'body count' movie. I'm not really sure how this credential was bestowed, but you can certainly sense an early Friday the... Read more
Published on June 26 2003 by Tom Servo
5.0 out of 5 stars PRIME BAVA....
Many have said this movie is misogynistic. I won't get into that. To be fair, I would have to say that it is disturbing to a degree, but also a stylish shocker done by a master... Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2002 by Mark Norvell
4.0 out of 5 stars The First Giallo!
In my opinion, this film is the first giallo. This movie gave birth to what filmakers like Dario Argento & others have popularized in the late 60s & throughout the 70s & 80s as a... Read more
Published on April 11 2002 by Raniel Almaria
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather uneven and rough Bava viewing
As much as "Blood and Black Lace" has influenced Italian Giallos and slasher films, it is nevertheless one of Bava's more uneven and sometimes even sloppy films. Read more
Published on March 20 2000 by existential angster
4.0 out of 5 stars Early pre-cursor to the modern slasher / mad killer genre
Crazed killer invades a fashion house in this Italian chiller. Even though some of the dubbing and motivation of the characters is weak, the overall style of the film is... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 1999 by rjanowic@us.dhl.com
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