A Bay of Blood (1971) Poster


Reportedly has more alternate titles than any other movie.
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.
Dario Argento loved the film so much, he had a friend (who was a projectionist) steal him a print of the film during its first run in Italy. The theater ended up showing Blood Brides (1970) to replace the stolen print for the remainder of the film's run there (about a week and a half according to Argento. He possesses the print to this day).
Mario Bava personally suggested the title "Twitch of the Death Nerve" for the American release after hearing it was being marketed as a sequel. The film was released under both titles.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) takes two murders from this film, almost shot for shot. The locations of both films look similar.
Mario Bava deeply regretted filming the scene where a bug is pinned alive.
One of the re-release titles for this film was "The Last House on the Left Part II", even though this film has nothing to do with Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left (1972). In fact it was made a year earlier than "Last House".
The shooting locations didn't have woods, so Mario Bava created them by setting up tree branches to pass through the camera shots. According to Laura Betti, the trickery would look so silly during shooting that the cast and crew would often laugh hysterically.
Mario Bava's personal favorite of all the films he made.
Federico Fellini once commented that he worked on writing a horror film for an acquaintance who gave him a script with numerous depictions of murders, but not one thread of story connecting them. Many believe it was Mario Bava he was referring to, in particular this movie. After a month of having all his ideas rejected, he told the filmmaker to shoot the script and figure out the story later. He stated this might have been the best advice he ever gave another filmmaker.
This was actually shot on a piece of private property with few trees, but because of Mario Bava's camerawork it appears to have been shot in a large, wooded area.
When Christopher Lee first saw this movie he was reportedly so disgusted at the level of violence he left the theater in protest.
Due to the film's low budget, most of the locations in the film belonged to director Mario Bava or members of the crew. The interiors of Countess Federica's home was shot at a favorite villa of Bava's and the interiors of Frank Ventura's country house were shot at a summer home owned by the producer.
The film's low budget resulted in Mario Bava being his own cinematographer. He had to utilize a simple child's wagon for the film's many tracking shots.
In America, the film was marketed as "The Second Film Rated 'V' for Violence!" during its first release.
In 2005, the magazine Total Film named this one of the 50 greatest horror films of all time.
Roberto Rossellini (whom Mario Bava had worked for on his own films) shot a day's worth of second-unit footage. While it's uncredited, most of the footage appeared in the final cut.
To ensure the utmost realism in depicting the 13 different murders, Mario Bava insisted that Carlo Rambaldi be hired to provide the special makeup effects.
The 1971 Avoriaz Film Festival jurors awarded the film the Best Makeup and Special Effects Award. Carlo Rambaldi's effects work also earned the film a "Special Mention" Award at the prestigious Sitges Festival in 1971.
This movie had its premiere at the 1971 Avoriaz Film Festival.
One promotional gimmick was that every ticket holder was required to pass through The Final Warning Station, where a theater worker warned you face to face that this may be the last 'shock' film you will ever want to see.
The Countess' suicide note reads, "February 13th. It is over. I am tired. My life no longer has meaning."
The film not only had numerous release titles, but also several working titles throughout the production. Among them "The Stench of Flesh", "Thus Do We Live To Be Evil" and "That Will Teach Them To Be Bad". "Reazione a catena" ("Chain Reaction") was the final choice.
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The origin of the film was Mario Bava's desire to work with Laura Betti again. Betti had previously appeared in Bava's Blood Brides (1970) and the two had gotten along so well they concocted the premise of this film for another project together.
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