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A Bay of Blood (1971)
"Reazione a catena" (original title)

 -  Horror | Mystery | Thriller  -  3 May 1972 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 4,479 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 113 critic

An elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes. What ensues is an all-out murder spree as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing ... See full summary »

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Title: A Bay of Blood (1971)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Renata
...
Albert
Claudio Camaso ...
Simon (as Claudio Volonté)
Anna Maria Rosati ...
Laura (as Anna M. Rosati)
Chris Avram ...
Frank
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Paolo
Laura Betti ...
Anna
Brigitte Skay ...
Brunhilda
...
Federica
Paola Montenero ...
Denise (as Paola Rubens)
Guido Boccaccini ...
Duke
Roberto Bonanni ...
Robert
Giovanni Nuvoletti ...
Filippo
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Storyline

An elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes. What ensues is an all-out murder spree as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing field, complicated by some teenagers who decide to camp out in a dilapidated building on the estate. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

diabolical! fiendish! Savage... YOU MAY NOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS ONE! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bay of Blood  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Often considered Mario Bava's most influential film and the film that started the "slasher" craze, which is still popular. Many fans of the genre consider this the grandfather of the modern slasher film. See more »

Goofs

The Count is stabbed repeatedly in his back and then he falls on his back and dies. When the killer is dragging him away, there should be a blood trail leading from The Countess to the door. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Halloween (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of Bava's Best
17 February 2000 | by (Charlotte, NC) – See all my reviews

This is one of horror master Mario Bava's best works. More than any of his other films, this one comes closest to a non-narrative "Ballet of Violence" with little regard for logic or plot line. What plot there is hovers around the struggle for control of a prime piece of seaside real estate, by the eccentric residents and a couple of outsider business people. A short but effective sub plot involves a group of kids who come to party down in a deserted house on the property. Little do they realize. . .! This is definitely the film that inspired "Friday the 13th" and no doubt many others of its kind.

This may be the most violent film ever made, if not the highest body count; no less than a dozen murders by various and often unusual means: Hanging, stabbing, decapitation, impalement (some two at a time!), choking, gunshot; quite a display of random, wholesale slaughter. While this may sound like a garden-variety slasher film; this is a prime example of the horror almost at its best, primarily due to Bava's excellent visual style. His camera is often prowling through the scene, in first-person and third, sometimes shifting from one to the other in the same shot; a technique pioneered by Orson Welles. In this particular film there is a slight overuse of the zoom, where he probably wanted to use a more effective dolly shot. This is probably because he had to work fast, however many of his zooms are absolutely beautiful, particularly the shots that move from the water on the lake to the house and trees in the distance. He also uses rack-focus to create a emotion within the same shot, as when the old woman looks out the window. We see her face in focus, then the camera racks to the rain drops on the window. This combined with the music creates a very deep mood of melancholia.

There are many great scenes in the film that display Bava's rich visual style and his ability to create suspense and shock. An lonely old woman sitting in her house and the brutal murder that follows, The girl swimming in the lake, the body in the boat, the prowler outside the house where the kids are screwing around, and of course, the out-of-left-field finale, one of the greatest endings in all of film.

I also admire Bava's control of pacing, emotion and mood; shifting from tenderness to horror, kindness to hate, trust to deception, often in the blink of an eye. He also makes it interesting with a bizarre assortment of characters; the milquetoast entemologist and his koo koo wife, a mysterious fisherman, with whom there's more than meets the eye, and those delightful children that any mother would love!

This genre has often been one of extremes; very bad films and some very good ones, and those are the ones from the hands of stylists like Mornau, Polanski, Freda, Romero, Argento, Franco (in some instances), and of course, Mario Bava and his son, Lamberto, and a handful of others much less prolific. "Bay of Blood" is a good example of the genre in the hands of a master. This is one of my favorite Bava films, although I must concede that I don't think it's his best. As always, he makes the most of his limited resources, but this film doesn't quite match the ideology or scope of say, "Black Sunday," "Kill, Baby, Kill," or "Beyond the Door Pt.2." "Bay of Blood" almost, but not quite reaches the same crescendo of delirium. However, if it did, then it would be one of the greatest horror films of all time.


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