Bay of Blood: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
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When a rich countess is murdered, it’s a race to see who’ll inherit her estate and you can bet that the body count is going to rise rapidly in the process as the plot twists spin wildly out of control. The pile of bloodied corpses is going to get higher and higher as one by one the mangled victims are hung, speared, stabbed and macheted. One by one, the horrific murders turn the screen crimson with blood… A Bay of Blood!
This late entry in Italian horror auteur Mario Bava's catalog is in keeping with much of his other work: a rather murky plot, inventive camera work and editing, gauzy lighting using red and blue gels, and an atmospheric, dreamlike feel throughout. Where it parts ways with many of his films is in the high body count--so high that many feel Bay of Blood was a likely influence on American slasher films such as Friday the l3th. The killing centers on a list of potential heirs to a piece of lakefront property ripe for development (a subplot involves camping teenagers who are also being slaughtered--sound familiar?). The slayings come fast and furious, with gunshots, chokings, stabbings, decapitations, and a two-for-the-price-of-one impalement, to name a few. Bava creates an off-kilter mood of melancholia for the film that makes it somewhat less fun than the mindless slasher flicks of the 1980s, but also renders it a more thought-provoking, cynical sort of movie. --Jerry Renshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Arrow Video Special Features:
- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned art work
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- Collector's Booklet by Jay Slater, critic and author of Eaten Alive!
- Brand new high definition transfer of the English version of the film (1080p)
- 2 versions of the film including the Italian cut
- Original Mono Audio
- Twitch of the Death Nerve Radio Spots
- Argento! Bava! Fulci! The Giallo Gems of Dardano Sacchetti (1080p)
- Joe Dante on Mario Bava (1080p)
- Shooting a Spaghetti Splatter Classic: Cameraman Gianlorenzo Battaglia on A Bay of Blood (1080p)
- Audio discussion with Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
- A Bay of Blood Trailers: `Carnage' and `Twitch of the Death Nerve' with commentary by Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead.
Kino Classic Special Features: Audio Commentary, Alternate European Cut (85-Minute), Trailers
Buy the Arrow Video imported release of Bay of Blood on Blu-ray. It has managed to hold its value.
A summary of the film... people trespass at the wrong place at the wrong time, and the title holds true to the film, as there is a vicious and multi-seeded land dispute going on as the backstory. Bava elevated the disturbance of the audience through dedicated violence and dread-based suspense, rather than the atmospheric suspense he relied upon in his films from the 60s. This film was a turning point for Bava, in ways, this work really let him stretch out.
The quality of the DVD was good, a lot better than the VHS recording I grew up with. However, when the Blu-ray came out, I knew it was one of the few films from the 70s that I was interested in purchasing. I feel that it is only natural for a lot of people to be particular about which Blu-rays they wish to purchase, because, for many, they're upgrading from a film they might already own. Also, some films don't transfer as well as audiences would hope, or the proper prints are not used. This is not the case here. The Blu-ray quality is superb. The video is 1080P, and the bitrate is more than double the previous DVD release. The colors are crisp, the sound is truly great- especially in the English release, even the dubs aren't poor. The price is a little steep, but I found it on here from an independent seller and spent less than $20. Well worth my money, also, anyone who is a Mario Bava fan probably skipped this review and already added to cart. The Blu-ray comes with a great booklet with a superb 7 page overview of Bava, giallo, Bay of Blood etc... Also, it has an awesome, double-sided poster of both theatrical release posters (as pictured) and alternative red/black poster.
NOTE: The English language version of the film is the version that they used for the high definition. The original Italian version is included in the same print (I believe) as the previous DVD release, which is fine. Great film. Great artist- Bava has screenwriting and cinematography credits for Bay of Blood. Let the blood bath begin.
The simple gist for the those that are new to it is: An elderly wheelchair bound woman named Countess Federica is seized and throttle with a noose by her husband, Filippo Donati. Donati places a supposed suicide note on a table and in a short time some unseen other killer stabs Donati and drags his corpse off to the bay. The police just runs with the countess's death just being a suicide and somehow are never aware about Donati's death. It isn't long before multiple murders soon ensue by one or more people that have a high desire to claim ownership of the Countess's bay property. Our possible suspects are: Countess Federica's beautiful daughter Renata, her husband Albert, sleazy real estate agent Frank Ventura, Frank's sexy secretary and lover Laura, local fisherman Simon, entomologist Paolo Fassati, and Paolo's psychic wife Anna.
The camera work is incredibly detailed showing the full environment outside and inside the houses. The camera pans are intense and give way to making the movie extra scary. The killer's first person camera perspective was one of the awesome elements of this movie that was used by several 80's slashers including Friday the 13th. The cinematography complements of Bava, is beautiful and serene, but also gives way to a creepy element as well as a false sense of security. The rain, blowing winds, and certain doors flying open uncontrollably are a testament to the creepy and feeling of a lack of safety element.
The sheer mystery as to who or whom the killer or killers are actually manages under the best of circumstances to keep you guessing not only the mystery behind the slayings but also why the bay property is so highly desired. The mystery proves quite intriguing and uniquely handled.
The music is just so-so. It's nothing special and doesn't prove scary or to offer any scary or tense elements to it. It's not horrible however.
The characters are all very interesting and carry their own mystery and secrets about them. The character development is fairly decent.
The movie's pace is a little slow at times, but, thankfully it's never slow for too long and keeps the plot and motives as one of its priorities.
The gore is brilliantly done for the early 70's, in that it looks remarkably real to the point of making Carlo Rambaldi a worthy predecessor to Tom Savini. The kill scenes are brilliant including: a billhook to the throat, the same billhook to the face, a decapitation with an axe, a stabbing with a small knife, an impaling with a tribal spear, and a double homicide with the same spear going through two young people simultaneously while their having sex. Does that last kill by chance sound familiar to anyone?
There's not very much nudity, but what you do get is definitely worth seeing. Even better it's a skinny-dipping scene.
Overall, while this movie may be old to where it pre-dates Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, Halloween, and Friday the 13th, it shows a strong all around influence/inspiration, to the point of being quite the pioneer, for so many of your classic American and Canadian slashers that it's a must see just for that reason alone. It boasts a big body count, nudity, first person perspective and creeping camera, great gore effects, great kill scenes for the most part, and a whodunit that keeps you guessing as well as a mystery over the total motives. If you're into great slashers from America, Italy, Canada etc. than this one is not to be missed.
There's rumored to be another release of this coming from the same folks who recently released "Black Sunday", with which they did an excellent job. Wait for that, and pick up "Black Sunday" or "Baron Blood" in the meantime.