I’m taking a look at a few of Mario Bava films that are available on blu-ray. This one’s a horror from 1971 and is an important film and the beginning of the slasher genre. If you like Friday the 13th then this is where much of that style of movie was heavily influenced by. So it must be a classic right? Let’s find out, so without further ado here’s my A Bay of Blood blu-ray review.
- A Bay of Blood (1971)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed by Mario Bava
- UK Rating 18
- Discs: 1
- Released By Arrow Video
- Blu-ray Released: 13 December 2010
When wheelchair bound Countess Federica Donati is strangled to death by her husband Filippo Donati at their bay mansion it appears a clear case of murder for money. However moments later he too killed, but by whom and why?
Style / Direction
The film was directed by Mario Bava plus he also took on the duties of director of photography. In many ways you could call A Bay of Blood a slasher horror movie. It’s pretty well shot and sometimes uses the first person horror tracking camera perspective which adds an unnerving feel to proceedings.
Unfortunately the film’s story doesn’t flow too well probably due to most of the attention being focused on the set piece killings.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Stelvio Cipriani.
Acting / Characters
The acting is passable but I didn’t find any of their performance that impressive. In fact I didn’t find any of the characters to be interesting nor did I care if any of them lived or died. That’s kind of important to keep you invested in the characters plight.
- Claudine Auger as Renata Donati
- Luigi Pistilli as Alberto
- Claudio Volonté as Simone
- Laura Betti as Anna Fossati
- Leopoldo Trieste as Paolo Fossati
- Isa Miranda as Countessa Federica Donati
- Chris Avram as Franco Ventura
- Anna Maria Rosati as Laura
- Brigitte Skay as Louise
- Guido Boccaccini as Luca
- Roberto Bonanni as Roberto
- Giovanni Nuvoletti as Count Filippo Donati
- Renato Cestiè as Son
- Nicoletta Elmi as Daughter
Conclusion: A Bay of Blood (1971) Film Review
A Bay of Blood is one of the early slasher horrors that became so popular in the seventies and eighties. No doubt this film had some influences on movies such as Friday the 13th, The Burning and Halloween. In fact the spear killing also appears in Friday the 13th. Coincidence, I think not!
It’s not a bad movie but I never really felt that interested in the story or characters. Yes there are plenty of murders all hacked to death but something just didn’t click. Things start off promising with two intriguing deaths at a spooky house on a rainy night. Despite the creepy setting I still struggled to find the rest of the story that compelling.
I’d say A Bay of Blood (1971) is worth a look especially if you want to see the origins of the slasher genre, just don’t expect to be blown away.
If you’ve enjoyed my A Bay of Blood blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:
- Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)
- Night Train Murders (1975)
- The Burning (1981)
- Pieces (1982)
- Tenebrae (1982)
- Halloween (2018)
Conclusion: A Bay of Blood Blu-ray Review
This film released onto blu-ray several years ago by Arrow Films under their Arrow Video label. It’s still widely available but does have a couple of issues most of Arrow’s current releases don’t. First off this doesn’t appear to be a proper restoration. There’s a touch of film shudder, the colour looks a little washed out and there are occasional marks. In fact Arrow claims it is in fact a high definition transfer meaning that whilst the resolution is vastly improved the rest of the imperfections remain.
That said it’s not a terrible print and I think it’s still worth a buy.
If you love having a ton of extras to watch fear not Arrow has included plenty for you to get your teeth into. Just take a look at the list below. I should add that the Argento! Bava Fulci! feature is subtitled so requires a bit more attention.
- Audio Commentary
- Argento! Bava Fulci! – The Giallo Gems of Dardano Sacchetti (33 mins)
- Joe Dante on Mario Bava (12 mins)
- Shooting a Spaghetti Splatter Classic: Cameraman Gianlorenzo Battaglia on A Bay of Blood (21 mins)
- Carnage Trailer with Edgar Wright (4 mins)
- Twitch of the Death Nerve Trailer with Edgar Wright (1 mins)
- Radio Spots
- Reversible Sleeve
On to my movie rating for A Bay of Blood (1971)
- Movie Rating: WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: DECENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Amazon UK Links
A Bay of Blood (1971) is available out now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip NOT be representative of the blu-ray version
That concludes my A Bay of Blood blu-ray review. I’m aiming to review more horror movies after all it is October! What’s next? Check back soon…
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Summary: A Bay of Blood (1971) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: A Bay of Blood (1971)
Duration: 84 mins
Director(s): Mario Bava
Actor(s): Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Claudio Volonté, Laura Betti, Leopoldo Trieste
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
One of the early slasher horrors, that misses the mark
- Early Entry In The Slasher Genre
- Directed By Mario Bava
- Picture Quality In Need of Some Restoration Work
- Story / Filmaking Fails To Fully Realise Potential