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

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  3 May 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,510 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 125 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 »



(story), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Claudio Camaso ...
Simon (as Claudio Volonté)
Anna Maria Rosati ...
Laura (as Anna M. Rosati)
Chris Avram ...
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Laura Betti ...
Brigitte Skay ...
Paola Montenero ...
Denise (as Paola Rubens)
Guido Boccaccini ...
Roberto Bonanni ...
Giovanni Nuvoletti ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


the first motion picture to require a face to face warning* may be the last shock film you will ever want to see! -- * Every ticket holder must pass through The Final Warning Station. We must warn you face-to-face! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bay of Blood  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mario Bava deeply regretted filming the scene where a bug is pinned alive. See more »


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 »


Simon: Man should live and let live, and without any interfering.
Paolo: Even that poor squid was free once, Simon, eh? I study Coleopters because I love them.
Simon: Sure, but the squirming little creatures still end up under your microscope. Yeah, he's dead alright but at least I eat my squid. But I don't kill as a hobby like you do.
Paolo: Good Lord, Simon; you make me feel like a murderer.
Simon: I'm not saying that, Mr. Fossati; but if you kill for killing's sake - you become a monster.
Paolo: But, man isn't an insect, my dear ...
See more »


Referenced in Halloween (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

Greed twitches several death nerves in Mario Bava's brutal pioneering slasher flick!
7 May 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Many films on the Video Nasty list are horror cinema's answer to well-respected classics; The Last House on the Left offers a new spin on Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, Island of Death is a more brutal telling of the story of Bonnie and Clyde and, indeed, this Mario Bava film owes its plot to the French classic, La Ronde. Bay of Blood is often noted as being an obvious inspiration on the Friday the 13th series, and when taking things such as the setting and a certain murder sequence into account, that is certainly true; but let's not forget that this is also a fantastic movie in its own right. The film starts off with a glorious sequence that opens inside a beautiful manor house. We watch as a wheelchair-bound baroness is brutally strangled, only for the rug to be torn from under us moments later when her assailant is the next one to bite the bullet! It has to be said that the film never tops its opening sequence, but Mario Bava's gore-fest manages to remain fascinating all the way through, as it turns out that the first murder scene sets off a violent chain of events that results in a very high body count.

This film would be properly categorised as a slasher, but its Italian roots ensure that it's often labelled a Giallo, and indeed Mario Bava does include Giallo elements; from black gloved killers and an array of odd characters, all the way to an amazingly convoluted plot. Indeed, the storyline here gets so complicated at times that it's liable to give the viewer an extreme headache, but Bava is always on hand with another glorious murder scene, and as the film features thirteen deaths in it's eighty one minute running time - there's certainly no lack of the red stuff. Bava ensures that the murders are suitably varied, and we get treated from an array of methods of dispatch, including axes, a spear through a lovemaking couple and an excellent scene that sees someone skewered to a wall. Mario Bava's eye for detail doesn't wane with this film, as despite being a grisly slasher; there's still more than enough time for beautiful scene setting. The bay itself looks great and excellently lends itself as a location for savagery, while the decors of the character's homes are elaborately Gothic. With the pitch-black ending, the director shows us that the film isn't meant to be taken seriously, and overall, Bay of Blood is both influential and a great time - and therefore shouldn't be missed by horror fans.

24 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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