A Bay of Blood ★★★½

2018 Cult Movie Challenge - Week 6 - Video Nasties for real this time.

Uncut version.

There's an episode of American Dad in which Roger the Alien gets bloodlust and kills a load off frat boys for ripping him off for his twenty dollar limousine fair. A Bay of Blood is kind of like that in its approach to the killings, they all just need to get the bloodlust out of their system. Go for a run maybe, get a hobby, something, as the ease at which people take to murder in this Giallo/slasher classic is frighteningly easy. And hire an inheritance lawyer while they are at it.

There's a 10-minute segment that exemplifies this best. Bava moves action away from the bay to 4 youngsters, two European girls and two American guys. Stopping their cool drone buggy, dancing around, being easy slasher fodder, it's completely unrelated to the rest of the film. Its stalk kill cinematography is very good, and the kills are grizzly (the one where a hooked blade hits Bobby in the face was very unexpected and bloody) and it provides the film with its poster shot too. As good as this section is, it doesn't really add anything beyond upping the kill count and making the film that little bit longer. And don't even get me started on the final shot with the kids, that threatened to tip the whole thing into a self-parodic farce.

But I did enjoy it principally because of it is Mario Bava at the helm. His direction and staging of a scene are unparalleled in Italian cinema and his cinematography has a gliding and zooming ethereal beauty to it which is a joy to behold. His sets too, while they may not as good as anything in Kill Baby Kill or Blood and Black Lace, the mini world's he constructs are unforgettable in their idiosyncrasies. The score by Stelvio Cipriani is my latest masterpiece discovery from Italian cinema, I have commented on Italian cinematographers being the best in the world, but scores too, that country had so many amazing composers. Hell, when the Italian industry was at the peak of its powers it was in possession of an embarrassment of riches. An embarrassment of riches that was without pretentions, arthouse or grindhouse Italian cinema treat everything the same and that is wonderfully refreshing in this era of unchecked compartmentalization.

For the cult film challenge, I didn't want to have three Italian Giallo/Slashers on the bounce so I picked don't go in the house, and we know how that turned out. Guess I should've just stuck to my guns because as flawed as Bay of Blood is its part of a cinematic tradition that I am growing to love more and more, a tradition that I am going to take every opportunity to fill out my knowledge and experience with going forward.

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