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Blood and Black Lace (1964)

6 donne per l'assassino (original title)
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1:02 | Trailer

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A masked, shadowy killer brutally murders the models of a scandalous fashion house in Rome.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writers:

Marcello Fondato (story and screenplay), Giuseppe Barilla (collaboration) | 2 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cameron Mitchell ... Massimo Morlacchi / Max Morlan
Eva Bartok ... Contessa Cristiana Cuomo / Countess Christina Como
Thomas Reiner Thomas Reiner ... Ispettore Silvestri / Inspector Sylvester
Arianna Gorini ... Nicole
Dante DiPaolo Dante DiPaolo ... Franco Scalo / Frank Scalo (as Dante Di Paolo)
Mary Arden ... Peggy Peyton
Franco Ressel ... Marchese Riccardo Morelli / Marquis Richard Morell
Claude Dantes ... Tao-Li / Tilde
Luciano Pigozzi ... Cesare Lazzarini / Caesar Lazar
Lea Lander ... Greta (as Lea Krugher)
Massimo Righi ... Marco
Francesca Ungaro Francesca Ungaro ... Isabella
Giuliano Raffaelli ... Zanchin
Harriet Medin ... Clarissa / Clarice (as Hariette White Medin)
Mary Carmen Mary Carmen ... Model (as Mara Carmosino)
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Storyline

Isabella, a young model is murdered by a mysterious masked figure at a boarding house run by Max Morlan and his lover Countess Christina Como. When Isabella's boyfriend is suspected of the killing, her diary, which apparently has some incriminating evidence linking her to the killer, disappears, the masked killer begins killing off all the models in and around the house to find the diary. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The year's greatest shocker! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Monaco | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

7 April 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood and Black Lace See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (Technicolor: US prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in six weeks. See more »

Goofs

When the killer slaps Peggy while interrogating her in the English dub, she speaks and screams at the same time. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Sylvester: Perhaps the sight of beauty makes him lose control of himself, so he kills.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original European version opened with a title sequence in which the camera focuses on each cast member as their name appears on the screen. The US distributors, and , hired Filmation Studios to create a new title sequence featuring a montage of mannequins and skulls. The original title sequence has been restored on VCI Home Video's DVD release. The original US release removed a shot of the bathwater turning blood red in ' death scene. This shot was seen in the montage of scenes used in , and has been restored on VCI Home Video's DVD release. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hell Broth (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mario Bava's Masterpiece
26 November 2001 | by eibon09See all my reviews

Sei Donne Per L'Assassino/Blood and Black Lace(1964) introduced the body count concept to horror films. Influential concept which shaped style of Giallo films from 1970s-1980s and American Slasher subgenre of 1980s. Mario Bava filmed each murder sequence in their own distinct flavor. Blood and Black Lace(1964) is an example of making every death scene in a body count pic memorable. Years later, Mario Bava did another body count driven giallo in Reazione a Catena/Bay of Blood(1971) which surpasses this giallo in number of death moments. Mario Bava was an innovator in horror and general cinema whose visual style continues to influence.

Blood & Black Lace(1964) offered audiences in early 1960s a candy coding spectacle of death and violence. A positive is the lack of a moral preaching which is a major weakness of the American Slasher film. Adult orienated horror film which thankfully lacks the basic elements of a Teenage Slasher film. Follows in steps of Grand Guignol, and theater of cruelty theater forms. Death moments are filmed in Grand Guignol style with physical intensity. Theater of Cruelty influence is based on film's preference of metaphysical and mise-en-scene forms over motives of character and psychology.

The first murder which takes place during opening moments is an intense preview of things to come. Murder of Nicole includes colorful setting and stylish weapon. Peggy's death scene begins with build up sympathy for character. Forth murder sequence concludes with macabre modeling image. Tao Li's death beings in abrupt fashion and features erotic elements. The sixth and final murder sequence is the most tragic of them all.

Greed is main reason behind murders in the story. The rich are unsympatheticly depicted by Bava as being decadent and selfish. Greed is a driving force for most of Bava's characters who barely care for anything else. I think of film as part of an informal trilogy which I call Greed trilogy. Greed trilogy consists of Sei Donne Per L'Assassino/Blood and Black Lace(1964), 5 Bambole per la Luna D'Agosto/5 Dolls for an August Moon(1970), and Reazione a Catena/Bay of Blood(1971). River of greed in Bava's films results only in death and tragedy.

Mario Bava paints many scenes in gorgeous technicolor process. He exercises different colors in Blood and Black Lace(1964) with flamboyant vision. Colors of blue, black, green, purple, red, and yellow are used to represent different types of predictaments. Bava's expertise as cinematographer and painter is a plus in the film's look. Scene in antique shop is a lesson on how to film something in extravagant colors. There are few filmmakers out there with exception of Dario Argento and Martin Scorsese who are able to incorporate color into film with artistic flair like Mario Bava was able to do.

Suspense in murder sequences is manufactured via extreme colors and physical intensity. Bava depicts an aura of paranoia and suspicion as a result of photographing scenes with extreme use of colors. He detaches himself from identifying with murderer by showing face in a white blank. In photographing sequences with visual flair, Mario Bava treats the viewer to a large helping of voluptuous desert. I consider film to be director's most sightly color photographed giallo. Blood & Black Lace(1964) stands out in giallo genre because of artistic touch and visceral flamboyance.

On the surface, the Haute Couture Fashion House is a place of idealized beauty and social priviledge. Under the facade however, reveals a backdrop of aristocratic decay, blackmail, drugs, murder, and sex. Deception is a motif which frequents the art and cinema of Mario Bava. Bava presents aristocratic society in film as heartless and selfish. They live in their own isolated environment with concerns only for sensual pleasures, power, and wealth. Aristocrats in Blood and Black Lace(1964) and other Bava films appears to be patterned after Mussolini regime.

Effect on Italian horror was slow but reached cinematic importance with emergence of Dario Argento's Bird with the Crystal Plumage in 1969. Sei Donne Per L'Assassino(1964) is considered to be the first full blown giallo in Italian cinema. Landmark film filled with elements which became staples of giallo and slasher cinema. Part of the film's brilliance is its flamboyant visual style and flair for the macabre. Director's other landmark horror picture in his career was influential Bay of Blood(1971). Blood & Black Lace(1964) blends in elements of giallo and noir with perfect fusion.

There are interesting allusions to Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity(1944) during second half. Relationship between Massimo and Countess Christina shares comparisons with relationship between Walter and Mrs. Dietrichson in Double Indemnity(1944). Last scene is an updated take off of final moments in Whip and the Body(1963). Very good performances are given by Cameron Mitchell and Eva Bartok who play their parts well characterized by detachment and passion. Bava did a variation of fashion world in another giallo called Il Rosso Segno Della Follia/Hatchet for the Honeymoon(1969). Red Diary is a wonderful plot device used again in Bay of Blood(1971).

Luciano Pigozzi earns the title of Italian Peter Lorre with Lorrish and sinister presence. Death of Peggy via hot stove was slightly cut especially in moment when face is pulled off to reveal it to be destroyed and steaming. Moment was cut due to being too graphic in its time and has never appeared in any print of Blood and Black Lace(1964). Heroes are almost non existent in Mario Bava's universe and Sei Donne Per L'Assassino(1964) is no exception. Tightly directed and nicely edited with wonderful trashy jazz film score by Carlos Rustichelli. What it lacks in gore is made up with physical and visual intensive drive.


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