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An amazing work composed of parts of three films and several years in the making.
bella-625 January 1999
One of the most underrated gonzo films of all times! On the surface, this is an atmospheric, low-budget and sometimes confusing horror film. But this amazing work is composed of three separate films and was several years in the making.

Roger Corman, noted producer/director, hired Jack Hill in 1964 to write and direct a horror film with the condition that he make liberal use of footage from "Operation Titian", a thriller Corman produced with Francis Ford Coppola (!) in Yugoslavia, but deemed unworthy of USA release. Hill was given actor William Campbell, Titian's star, and hired Lori Saunders (still using her original name of Linda Saunders, and soon Petticoat Junction-bound).

However, Corman didn't like the resulting film about a murderous sculptor possessed by the spirit of his ancestor, who was killed by a beautiful witch. So he shelved it for a year, bringing it out for director Stephanie Rothman to revise. Rothman turned the possessed sculptor into a vampire, shot extensive new footage (using a few members of the supporting cast) and---bingo!---"Blood Bath" was out in the theaters at last, as the co-feature for "Queen of Blood" in 1966.

Despite its plentiful source materials, the finished film ran only 69 minutes. When it was prepared for TV release, Corman changed the title to "Track of the Vampire" (Rothman's title of choice) and added approximately 11 minutes of additional footage (some of it outtakes from Hill's and Rothman's shoots). Further complicating matters, Corman released the English-dubbed version of "Operation Titian" directly to TV at about the same time as "Portrait In Terror".

Amazingly, this complex mishmash works. Atmospheric, intense and with some violent and original touches, "Blood Bath" is the most successful example of Roger Corman's eclectic approach to creativity. Its current placement in critical limbo is only because the film remains frustratingly difficult to find. But it's worth the search.

A fascinating three-part article by Tim Lucas on the making of this film and its numerous versions provided details for these comments. It appeared in 1991 in "Video Watchdog" magazine, numbers 4, 5 & 7.
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A mad killer is stalking Bobbie Jo Bradley!
reptilicus22 January 2002
This is complicated so pay attention. Roger Corman bought an unfinished film shot in Europe called OPERATION TITIAN concerning the hunt by both cops and crooks for a stolen Titian painting. Patrick Magee was the star. At the same time Jack Hill was shooting a movie in Venice, CA about an artist (biker film alumnus William Campbell) who kills his models and dips them in boiling wax (where have we heard THAT before?). By combining the footage, a trick he was to do many times in the 60's Corman created a film that essentially made no sense at all. Now that has never stopped our Roger so he brought in new director Stephanie Rothman who added an effect new to American movies, an oil dissolve, and shot even more footage to create a film about an artist who sometimes transforms into his remote ancestor who was falsely accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake only to return as a vengeance seeking vampire. Got all that? The stolen Titian painting was lost in the shuffle and Patrick Magee shows up only briefly as a jealous husband who gets dumped alive into the boiling wax.

Meanwhile watch for Corman regulars Jonathan Haze, Sid Haig and Carl Schanzer turn up as Beatniks (leftover characters from BUCKET OF BLOOD perhaps?) who hang out in a coffee house, argue about art and use the word "quantum" a little too frequently. Also in the cast is Lori Saunders (billed here as "Linda") who went on the play the airhead, would-be journalist Bobbie Jo Bradley on "Petticoat Junction". This time she plays a dancer who is in love with Campbell never suspecting what he does with his models. She has a lengthy (8 minutes by my stopwatch!) scene where she does an interpretive dance on the beach and models 3 bikinis, each one smaller than the one before it, during the film.

I do believe Joe Spinell saw this movie since the ending of his film MANIAC borrows liberally from the climax of BLOOD BATH.

PS: This was not Lori Saunders only encounter with a mad killer. She would be chased by an axe wielding psychopath in a Tor Johnson mask (!) in SO SAD ABOUT GLORIA (1972).
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I Shall Astound the World
spoono0124 April 2003
Hilarious trash of a movie from Jack Hill blends elements of witchcraft, vampirism, wax murders, and beatniks(?!). Sid Haig, a Jack Hill regular and guest star in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, plays a beatnik. Weird story is about an artist who lures young girls into his studio, turns into a vampire, and dunks them into hot wax, creating his new figures.

My favorite parts involve interpretive dance and the origin of quantum painting. This film offers the rare opportunity for a vampire to stalk his victim in broad daylight ( probably a film flaw, and abeit a cute one ). Recommended for trash fiends.
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Exploitation disconnect between Serbia and So. Cal.
ofumalow8 January 2010
No wonder this lacks the cult following of Hill and Rothmann's other films--its myriad clashing elements suggest this movie's conception and shooting might have occurred at widely spaced times, whenever money or locations were available. Apparent female leads come and go. Sometimes the focus seems on satirizing pretentious "beatnik" art a la "Bucket of Blood." Then the film will stop dead for lengthy minutes of laughable "modern dance" by alleged dancers of highly varied ability. (Even the best seem in desperate need of an actual choreographer.)

Beautiful young women are being killed by an alleged "vampire" painter allegedly descended from a line of vampires/artists stretching back to the 11th century. It's anyone's guess why most of the characters seem to be early 60s hipster-parody Los Angeleans, complete with wanderings on beach and in balmy surf. Meanwhile, we're told a particular castle and bell tower date back to (again) an ancestral 11th century? It's all supposed to be one city. Apparently "Vampire" aka "Blood Bath" was shot in both Venice, CA and Belgrade, Serbia-- ah, the mysteries of international funding! Trust me, the locations do not become seamless in the editing.

This movie is bizarre and erratically well-crafted enough to hold interest, but it's still a disconnected mess that falls far short of the drive-in classics by Hill (Spider Baby, Switchblade Sisters) or Rothman (The Student Nurses, Terminal Island). It's a curiosity.
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TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE 78 minutes, BLOOD BATH 62 minutes
kevinolzak24 November 2011
1966's "Track of the Vampire" was first released theatrically at 62 minutes, under the title "Blood Bath," but this review will be of the full 78 minute version issued to television. William Campbell stars as Antonio Sordi, an artist lauded for his paintings of dead nudes, who believes himself to be the reincarnation of an artist ancestor burned at the stake for sorcery after being exposed by his latest model, Miliza, who believed her soul had been captured on canvas. Sordi keeps a portrait of Miliza in his studio, and cannot make love to his newest muse Dorean (Lori Saunders) because of her close resemblance to it. All the new scenes with Campbell were filmed by director Jack Hill, maintaining the name he used in "Portrait in Terror," but whenever the character becomes a blonde haired vampire sporting tiny fangs (!), a different actor was cast by new director Stephanie Rothman, resulting in sporadic chase sequences and a ballet lasting more than 3 minutes. Just over 9 (out of 81) minutes of footage from "Portrait in Terror" were used, recasting an unbilled Patrick Magee as a jealous husband (the exotic dancer now becoming his wife) who winds up covered in wax, like all of Sordi's female victims (the shared sequence between Campbell and Magee has completely new dialogue badly overdubbed). Apparently, he kills them first, paints their nude likenesses, then covers each corpse in wax. Campbell himself doesn't make his first appearance until 22 minutes in, the vampire having already worn out its welcome with a 6 1/2 minute pursuit of a young lass who ends up in the ocean minus most of her clothes, while a middleweight Tor Johnson lookalike acts as temporary lifeguard. The ending didn't make any sense, but probably made the film. Stephanie Rothman did all the vampire stuff, including the subplot featuring Sandra Knight, all of which is self contained (only a single dissolve fuses the artist and the vampire, pretty lame). Jack Hill did all the beatnik scenes, plus the bizarre climax, filming in Venice California. I'd say each director was split fairly even, sharing writing and directing credits, but never working in tandem (the uncredited Roger Corman replaced Hill with Rothman).
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weird art-house horror
johnc214124 April 2011
I have seen this movie many times,its king of weird like bucket of blood,cannot figure out the vampire subplot but its enjoyable to say the least.i know its two movies spliced into one.William Campbell is one of my favorite actors,he plays an artist/vampire who likes to chase young women,dips his victims in hot wax,like house of is kind of an art-house flick.directed by Jack Hill,who i believe was fired by Roger Corman during filming.Jack Hill made many good b movies after this like the women in cages flicks with the sexy Pam Grier,and heavy Sid Haig.i believe i recently seen the extended version of this,under the title blood bath,not track of the vampire.7 out of 10.
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surreal horror
Elliot-1012 November 1998
This film (which I saw years ago) seems to be two (or maybe more) different movies edited together-- a contemporary psychological horror film with "flashbacks" to a character's ancestor who was a witch. The "flashbacks" are, I suspect, part of another film entirely-- perhaps a Mexican horror film. Whatever budget reasons led to this unconventional method of film-making, the result can best be described as unintentional surrealism. A unique experience, to say the least.
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In Need of a Reassessment From Critics
gavin69426 October 2011
A crazed artist (William Campbell) who believes himself to be the reincarnation of a murderous vampire kills young women, then boils their bodies in a vat.

Michael Weldon called Blood Bath "a confusing but interesting horror film with an even more confusing history." This is quite right, as the film actually started out as a spy thriller filmed in Yugoslavia with William Campbell, and Francis Ford Coppola somehow involved. But Roger Corman did not like the finished product -- which no one has ever seen -- and scrapped it.

And then, wanting to revive it as a horror film, he brought in Jack Hill to cut out the spy parts and film new horror parts. Let me say, I love Jack Hill. Now, that is because I think "Spider Baby" might be the greatest horror film of the 1960s. But Hill is no slouch in this earlier outing, either (financially backed by B-movie god Roger Corman and with supporting actors Sid Haig and Patrick Magee).

But then, after Hill completed his version of the film, Corman again did not like it... and a third director was hired to finish the job. That is the film we have today.

With the three visions mixed, there is a something of a mystery to this film, almost like a bit of a dream to it. While it could be compared to "Color Me Blood Red" or "A Bucket of Blood" (many have pointed out the beatnik artist connection), there is more ambiguity here. Is the artist a vampire? A reincarnation of a vampire? Even connected at all? George Romero explored this theme again (albeit in a very different way) with "Martin", but I think Jack Hill did just as well in many respects.

I would love to see what Hill's version looked like before the new additions and changes. Would it be better? Worse? Just different? I have no idea. But now, looking back on Hill's career, we see he is a far more important part of cinema history than he could have been known to be at the time. Preserving his work would be a good way to add to his legacy, and I would firmly support it.
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Or Is It Called...
kirbylee70-599-52617915 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
If you read what I write on a regular basis then you already know that I have a love for all things Arrow Video. It's one of those companies determined to resurrect movies from the past that are overlooked, forgotten or tossed aside by their home studios and then offer them in pristine condition with enough extras to entertain but not overshadow the movie in question. That being said their offering of BLOOD BATH is the most comprehensive and exhausting endeavor I've seen from them and I mean that in a good way.

Before delving deeper into the set be aware you're getting 4 movies here made up of one movie. I'm not talking about sequels, extended editions or director's cuts. I'm talking 4 different movies…all from the same original movie. To understand you have to realize that when it was made there was a drive-in circuit that movies played in with films that catered to those clients, more often than not teens looking for cheap and easy action, horror and racy flicks. Director Roger Corman made his career on these types of films and began producing as well. He produced a film in Europe that was called OPERATION TITIAN, a film about stolen art with cops and robbers involved. He decided the movie wasn't quite what he wanted so had it recut and changed into the film PORTRAIT OF TERROR. Still not quite what he wanted he handed it over to director Jack Hill and it became BLOOD BATH. Stephanie Rothman had helped with that version but before selling it to TV it was recut again with new scenes added and became TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE (the version I was aware of from horror hosts screenings years ago). What Arrow has done is bring all four version together in one package which makes for fascinating viewing for film fans.

OPERATION TITIAN is actually a well-made robbery film with some amazing shots reminiscent of the Carol Reed film THE THIRD MAN. The presentation here in black and white is amazing to see with a crisp, clear image that shows work was put into this presentation. PORTRAIT OF TERROR and BLOOD BATH offer the same footage in some places combined with a new story to offer a different tale, switching things from a robbery film to the story of an artist who thinks he's a vampire and boils his models in wax. Definitely different right? And yet both use some of the same footage. By the time you get to TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE a part of you wonders what in the world was going on. But the fact is that the movie made money in all four versions, a definite return on investment that many film makers would love to see.

As I said the quality of the movies as presented here is better than you would expect when you consider the fact that it was chopped up so many times, played the drive-in circuit and was never a movie a studio would consider preserving if they even kept it on hand to begin with. But Arrow has come through offering the most complete presentation of the film in all of its incarnations here.

In addition to that the extras should satisfy fans as well. They include high definition transfers of the films in 1080p, "The Trouble With Titian" a documentary featuring Tim Lucas that describes the long and twisted path the films took, an interview with Sid Haig who starred the later versions, an archive interview with director Jack Hill, a stills gallery, a fold out double sided poster featuring old and newly commissioned artwork, a reversible cover sleeve and a booklet about the films. The price is higher than most Arrow releases but again you're getting four complete films here folks.

Fans of Corman will find this a must have in their collection as will die-hard Jack Hill fans whose numbers seem to be growing with each Arrow release that he is responsible for. Horror fans will want to add it to their collection as a reminder of those days when horror host ruled the airwaves. Movie lovers will want to have it because of the historical value on display. In short it is an interesting development to watch from one film to the next and a nice addition to any collection.
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GroovyDoom12 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Unbelievable and nearly incomprehensible mashup of a movie scores anyway due to its wild ride all over the map, constantly changing genres and tone. If you take a step back from it, it's a very unique experience.

An artist named Antonio Sordi makes his living painting images of nude young women in the throes of death. He periodically transforms into the vampiric image of his ancestor, a similar artist who was burned at the stake--the dialogue suggests that his art was just too good, he had to have been in league with the devil. His main accuser in his trial was a beautiful woman who was also his muse, and she too has been reincarnated as a blissfully unaware dancer who thinks she's having a romance with Sordi. Sordi himself seems to only be peripherally aware that he transforms into a vampire and goes out to stalk beautiful women, bringing them back to his spooky studio in a belltower to paint their dead bodies and then boil them in wax.

The movie has an elliptical feel to it, this story has been pieced together from three different films. But somehow there's something here that actually works. The atmospheric scenes of Sordi's vampire doppelgänger stalking his victims are often very scary. The vampire seems to be able to corner his victims no matter where they are, even in broad daylight. There's a doomy, relentless aspect to these scenes, as nearly 100 percent of the stalking victims end up dead. The schizophrenic remainder of the film veers from boring to rapturous-- the scenes of Sordi's ancestral counterpart being tormented by his muse in a wide open space are absolutely stunning. One thing that makes this movie notable is that the actresses involved are all very beautiful and, even more odd, their styles and mannerisms seem strangely contemporary.

The more serious elements of the movie are intercut with bizarre scenes of crazy beatnik art fans (one of them being Sid Haig), a brief and totally unrelated husband-wife soap opera moment, and more than a few of the costumes are silly. Depending on which cut of the film you view, you also might get stuck with a scene where one of the main starlets performs a ballet dance on the beach--for five minutes straight. I recommend the fast forward button for that. Plot threads this drastically different can never be tied together without some serious lapses in logic and a near total absence of motivation for any of the characters. But fans of the offbeat should take note of this film, as it manages to be utterly bizarre without becoming unwatchably bad.
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Masterpiece or disasterpiece?
drownnnsoda29 October 2016
"Blood Bath" follows (or at least seems to follow) a deranged artist who believes he is (or may in fact actually be) the reincarnation of a legendary vampire. For inspiration, he kidnaps women and boils them in wax before painting the subjects. Dorian, an experimental ballerina, crosses paths with him, and gets dangerously close while trying to uncover the truth.

Maybe one of the biggest oddball horror films in the annals of history, "Blood Bath" is not adequately described by the synopsis I provided, and anyone trying to tie the loose threads up will find it extremely difficult (if not impossible). This is because, as many have noted, the film is actually a composite of several different films. Producer Roger Corman purchased the footage from "Operation: Titian," a European espionage film that he had co-produced but deemed too terrible to release, and brought the film to the United States, where Jack Hill (and later, Stephanie Rothman) constructed an entirely different narrative based on the footage they had to work with. To fill in the blanks, they shot additional scenes in an attempt to piece together a "whole" movie.

The result is not quite so "whole," but it certainly is fascinating, and one of the few instances—and perhaps only instance in the horror genre—where a film came to fruition in such a way. At times, "Blood Bath" feels like a campy beatnik take on vampires, and at others it edges into complete surrealism rivaling "Carnival of Souls" or Roman Polanski's early short films. Gorgeous footage of European castles and cityscapes populate the film (Hill shot his portions in Venice, Los Angeles in order to carry on the European aesthetic of the "Operation: Titian" footage), as well as several stunning, surreal scenes shot on an empty California beach. A haunting musical score and a strange, lush atmosphere elevate the film profoundly—it almost (inadvertently?) becomes an art film. The narrative itself is so convoluted (and understandably so) that it's difficult to see where it's going or why, but taking the film for what it is is the best bet for any audience. Running at just over an hour flat, I think the film can be easily digested if taken on its own terms.

Several other versions of the film aside from the "Blood Bath" or "Operation: Titian" incarnation exist (all of which have been lovingly restored and released by Arrow Video this year), which further adds to the complex history; and while that history is the undoubtedly the main allure of the film, this is a weirdly beautiful, well-shot, and haunting piece of celluloid to be devoured.

Overall, I found "Blood Bath" absolutely transfixing. Ultimately, the jagged narrative is secondary here to the lush and haunting cinematography, and it somehow manages to play out as a sort of patchwork art-house movie. Its production history is certainly a central draw for the simple reason that so many hands were on it at different times. The disaster that was this film's production is impossible to keep out of the back of one's mind while watching it, but I also think it's worth paying attention to the unique and weirdly eerie (and yes, incoherent) film that that tattered production ended up producing. If nothing else, the film is a beautiful anomaly. Side note: watch out for a supporting role from a very young Sid Haig. 8/10.
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Schizophrenic Corman
Coventry12 October 2016
Don't get carried away too much by the cool sounding title, the awesome looking film poster or the names of the some of the people involved in this production, as "Blood Bath" is not one of those vastly entertaining Roger Corman B-movie cheapies, but a weird and experimental hybrid of 2-3 movies at once. As far as I can tell, Corman initially hired Jack Hill ("Spider Baby", "Pit Stop") as director but he then got replaced by Stephanie Rothman ("The Velvet Vampire") who was ordered to insert bits and pieces of a Yugoslavian movie where the producer wasted his money on … or something like that! The result is an oddity that very occasionally is tense & atmospheric, but most of the time just dull, incoherent and meaningless. Daisy Allen is a young model desperately looking for an artist to make her famous, but all she ever encounters are idiots in rancid bars that shoot with paintball guns at paintings. She then runs into the promising artist Antonio Sordi, who also happens to be romantically involved with her sister Donna, but he quickly proves to be a lunatic who talks to the illustration of a woman on canvas and believes he's the reincarnation of a cruel vampire. So instead of making artful portraits of his models, he slaughters them and boils their bodies in a hot wax bath! Yes, I do realize it sounds like terrific horror entertainment, but I assure you it's not. During perhaps 2 or 3 scenes, the atmosphere of "Blood Bath" reminiscent to genre classics that were released earlier in the decade, notably "Dementia 13" and "Bucket of Blood" both of which also came from Roger Corman's stable. Unfortunately these are only a few isolated moments of greatness, while the vast majority of the film is utter baloney. The undeniable highlight is a bizarre and nightmarish chase sequence ending on a merry-go-round! What a giant contrast with the absolute low point, which is a stupid split-screen ballerina dancing scene on the beach that that lasts for … Well, I don't know exactly how long it lasted because I pressed the fast- forward button. Far too long, that's for sure!
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Where are the police?
bugsmoran2928 April 2016
I must admit I enjoyed this movie when I recently saw it on Comet. The cobblestone roads, the medieval pillars and the clock tower all gave the film a creepy atmosphere.The Beatnik painters gave a touch of comic relief to the grim topic of a vampire artist. William Campbell did a great job as the prowling murderer. The attack on the female victims were very believable and exciting. Seeing the beautiful Sanders romp on the beach in a revealing bikini was also a bonus. I was surprised there were no police on the scene to question the painters or the artist. Not one cop in sight! I was also rather baffled that the vampire only went for the neck of one victim while the others were drowned, strangled or attacked with sharp instrument.
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Confusing and badly-edited film that somehow works
tomgillespie200215 March 2016
Like many Roger Corman productions, the creation of Track of the Vampire, or Blood Bath, has a hell of a story behind it. Starting out life as an Americanised Yugoslavian espionage thriller called Operation: Titian starring William Campbell and Patrick Magee and with a script overlooked by Francis Ford Coppola, the film was quickly re-edited into Portrait in Terror. Corman was unhappy with both versions and hired Jack Hill to salvage the film. Hill shot extra footage and renamed it Blood Bath, turning it into a horror movie. Corman still deemed it unworthy of release and hired Stephanie Rothman to again film extra footage.

The final products were a vampire movie based around a deranged artist retaining the title Blood Bath, which ran at just over an hour in length, and a longer feature-length version under the title Track of the Vampire. The resulting experience is confusing and clunkily- edited, yet bolstered by a goofy sense of humour during the scenes Jack Hill shot of a group of idiotic beatniks (including Sid Haig). Campbell plays Antonio Sordi, a painter of gory grotesques that sell at a high price who also happens to be a vampire capable of stalking people during the day. He is in love with Dorean (Lori Saunders), a ballerina who is a dead ringer for Sordi's former mistress, a witch named Melizza who denounced him centuries ago.

Occasionally Track of the Vampire possesses that Ed Wood-esque charm of being so badly done you cannot help but laugh. Rothman added an eight-minute dance sequence on the beach in order to add bulk to the running time, and since Campbell refused to return for re-shoots, Sordi's vampire form is played by a different actor. Yet it's also occasionally terrific, namely whenever Hill is in charge. A haunted shot of the lovelorn Sordi standing on a deserted beach is just about as impressive as anything I've seen in low-budget cinema, and the aforementioned scenes involving the beatniks antics as they try to come up with a new style of art are witty and well-performed. This clash of qualities make for a strange 90 minutes, but it somehow works.
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One man's art is another man's chamber of horror
Mikel325 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It was another cold mostly dreary winter day so I decided to watch two Prime video movies. I'm really getting my money's worth out of my membership. Today I went with off-beat Vampire stories. Yes, I look for the unusual stories. The first was 'Blood Bath' from 1966. Watching it I thought for sure it was Italian made. Later I read up on it, turns out it was filmed in Serbia, of all places, and L.A. It starred William Campbell. I knew him best as Trelane in the original series Star Trek episode 'The Squire of Gothos' and as a Klingon in another episode. The story is about a Jekyll and Hyde like vampire. At times he seems like a gentle but rather morbid artist. Other times he is possessed by a vampire artist ancestor of his. The back story for his vampire ancestor was a bit confusing. Nowadays he finds female victims and boils their bodies for some reason. He boils them till they look like soap sculptures. He also makes morbid death paintings of female nudes. As in many films of this type there seems to be an endless supply of naive women victims for him to choose from. Sometimes they're standing under Gothic arches on dark streets late at night. Evidently they're waiting to become victims. No they aren't there because they're hookers or anything close to logical like that. Other times they're swimming alone in bikinis on isolated beaches or hanging out alone by swimming pools at night. One female, after meeting him on the street admiring his art work in a window, is lured to his studio. She then offers to do some modeling for him and strips without even being asked to. Yes, even though his studio looks like it's in the Tower of London only not as cheery, the women don't seem overly concerned about the decor. There are some attempts at surreal scenes in the movie where the director is trying to be artistic, the carousel scene for instance. A woman is being chased on this carousel by the vampire, she begs for help yet either nobody takes her pleas seriously or they just don't care. The best part about the film for me was the comments it contained on the nature of art and its value. To me much of what is now considered priceless art is simply garbage in disguise; some of Andy Warhol's works come to mind as examples of expensive junk. Is a painting of a Campbell's soup can really worth a fortune? This movie seems to agree with me that it's not. There are some beatnik-like characters in it that think all kinds of junk are art. One character even has what appears to be a prototype of our current paint guns and uses it to enhance his "art". There are some very unlikely heroes that turn up. The film does succeed to some extent by being different and ends with pretty good scares even if the makeup is poor.For those reasons and its offbeat quality I give it a 4 out of 10 rating. It was diverting.
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"Quiet, You Fool! I'm About To Astound The World!"...
azathothpwiggins27 January 2020
Director, Jack Hill's BLOOD BATH stars William Campbell (DEMENTIA 13) as crazed artist, Antonio Sordi, who murders his artistic subjects due to his allegedly being possessed by a vampire. Sort of like a darker, more brooding version of Roger Corman's BUCKET OF BLOOD, it has some of the same skewering of artistic pretension and buffoonery, involving Sid Haig (SPIDER BABY) and Jonathan Haze (LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS). In spite of its history of fits and starts during production, it's an effective piece of horror w/ a dynamite finale!...
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A confusing horror curio.
BA_Harrison11 December 2017
This film has quite the convoluted history, which accounts for it being such a disjointed mess. Starting life as a Yugoslavian/USA co-production titled Operation Titian, partly funded by the legendary producer Roger Corman, the movie was edited down, re-titled Portrait in Terror and sold for US TV. Not finished with the film, Corman then hired legendary exploitation director Jack Hill to shoot new scenes and released the result as Blood Bath. Finally, director Stephanie Rothman was brought in to film even more scenes, the final incarnation of the movie being called Track of the Vampire. This is the cut that I saw, and its a completely baffling experience.

William Campbell plays artist Toni Sordi, whose paintings depict women in the throes of death. In reality, Sordi is an ancient vampire who kills his models, dropping them into a vat of bubbling molten wax. After claiming the lives of several pretty young women (and a jealous husband, played by Patrick Magee), Sordi is pursued by a gang of beatniks (including Jack Hill regular Sid Haig), but ultimately falls prey to his wax encased victims, who come back to life and give him a taste of his own medicine (in a scene reminiscent of gory 1980 shocker Maniac, starring Joe Spinell).

Featuring an amusing satire of the '60s art scene (dig that crazy quantum painting!), a lengthy interpretive dance routine on a deserted beach courtesy of ballerina Dorean (the lovely Lori Saunders, who also sports a range of skimpy bikinis throughout the film), a murder on a merry-go-round, another in a swimming pool, and lots of running around an old medieval town (which we are supposed to believe is in California, NOT Serbia), the film is definitely something of a curio but not much of a horror film.

3.5 out of 10, rounded up to 4 for the groovy prismatic effect during the beach dance.
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"You came back to me as I knew you would"
hwg1957-102-2657047 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Put together from different sources of footage this actually hangs together quite well. An artist haunted by a woman one of his ancestors killed continues to murder young women and paint pictures of their corpses. It's only sixty two minutes long so it tells its story without any fuss and some of it looks excellent. Dark shadows, dark empty streets and gloomy beach scenes. There is a bleak atmosphere most of the time that is quite effective and some of it is quite creepy. The last scenes are very well done.

What does let it down is the acting. William Campbell as Antonio Sordi tries to do a tortured artist but is stiff and unconvincing. The rest of the cast are not much better though I did find the group of beatniks in the cafe talking about 'quantum' art amusing. Lori Saunders runs around in several bikinis distractingly.

It is worth seeing for the cinematography and some good macabre touches.
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Four films for the price of one?
Leofwine_draca20 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those movies that's been made up of about four totally different productions. Blame Roger Corman. The initial movie, directed by exploitation king Jack Hill, involves a possessed painter whose "red dead nudes" have become critical masterpieces; of course, it transpires that he's under the influence of an evil spirit, and that he murders the women who pose as his subjects. This part of the movie is a bit like the gore flick COLOR ME BLOOD RED and would have benefited from being shot in colour so we could see all the red stuff. It's rather stodgy and dull, lacking in inspiration, aside from the genuinely chilling climax that sees the mutilated, wax-entombed victims of the tagline returning to stage their grubby revenge on the painter.

Apparently, ANOTHER film – the unfinished Operation Titian – was being shot in Yugoslavia at the same time and Francis Ford Coppola participated in its production. Anyway, Corman didn't like the result so he hired a director, Stephanie Rothman, to shoot new scenes in which the painter becomes a vampire and chases nubile women around cities and beaches. To add to the confusion, some of the original cast members return, making it harder to spot where the different scenes have been spliced together. Finally, as if this wasn't enough, Corman needed a longer film to show on television, so he added another eleven minutes of random stuff – outtakes, a woman dancing on a beach for what seems like twenty minutes or so, etc. The resulting concoction is a confused mess that will try the patience of even the most hardened B-movie fanatic.

This is nothing like DEMENTIA 13, the decent Corman/Coppola movie from a few years before. It's a mess, with many boring and pointless sequences, and even the action bits, the various chases, go on too long and are devoid of interest. This is a vampire who doesn't think twice about jumping in a swimming pool to catch a victim or chasing another into the ocean! A few cast members are familiar. William Campbell, the villain, returns from DEMENTIA 13. I thought I saw Patrick Magee pop up playing the vampire, although he's not credited. One of my favourite actors, Sid Haig, does appear in some of the film's best scenes – comedy filler moments involving a gang of Beatniks trying out a new method of 'quantum' art. These scenes seem to have been left over from A BUCKET OF BLOOD and it's a delight to see Haig on screen, even if only for a few moments. Popular US actress Lori Saunders is the nominal heroine and spends most of the film prancing around in a little bikini. Even half-naked women in the cast and Sid Haig (with HAIR!) can't save this mess of a production.
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The Third Version
Michael_Elliott13 June 2016
Blood Bath (1966)

** (out of 4)

Artist Antonio Sordi (William Campbell) is a painter who specializes in nude but bloody prints. What people don't realize is that he's actually a vampire who is constantly luring young woman to their death.

Producer Roger Corman hired Jack Hill and Stephanie Rothman to take the unmarketable 1963 film OPERATION TICIJAN and turn it into something that could be shown at drive-ins. What they did was take footage from that movie and added some new footage of Campbell as a vampire and the end result was BLOOD BATH. However, things didn't stop here as this film only ran 62 minutes so when it came time to put it on television as TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE they had to film even more new scenes to pad out the time.

If you go through the special edition Blu-ray you'll have Tim Lucas explaining the complicated history of this film, which included the original movie having its own television version under the title PORTRAIT OF TERROR. Having now seen all the versions, it's easy to say that none of them are good movies. If I had to view another one again I'd probably go with BLOOD BATH since it's the shortest of the lot and contains some nice supporting players including Sid Haig and Jonathan Haze.

The entire vampire stuff isn't shot overly well and the film is quite choppy once you can tell and notice it's history but for the most part it's a quick 62 minutes and I'd argue that it's cheap entertainment. There's certainly nothing ground-breaking or "important" to be had with this film but it is certainly different to say the least.
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It has some eerie moments but the script is hopelessly muddled.
MartinHafer6 December 2011
This film seems like it has the scripts of several movies all shoved together--and although there are some eerie moments, the overall effort is rather poor. William Campbell (the actor who starred in the classic "Star Trek" episode "The Squire of Gothos") plays a bizarre artist. He specializes in paintings of women being murdered and people love them. However, you learn to make these paintings he actually kills people. Sounds familiar? It is if you've seen an earlier American-International film called "Bucket of Blood"--it's pretty much the same script. However, on top of this decent story, there are several other story elements--ones that make the film confusing and silly. You see, Campbell is actually VERY old and retains his youth through these killings--and vampire fangs appear when he kills. But, you never see him drinking blood nor is it even implied--and he walks around a lot during the daytime. What gives?! None of this makes a lot of sense. Even with a creepy ending, the film just never pays off and is silly and forgettable.
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Plenty of ideas in a very messy movie
The_Void20 June 2008
This film really is a complete mess so it came as no surprise to me that it's actually made up of about three different films that were spliced together over a period of a few years. It's a shame really because there's several interesting plot elements on show and they could definitely have resulted in a decent movie – as evidenced by Roger Corman's A Bucket of Blood which is an excellent movie based on similar ideas. The central plot line revolves around an artist who happens to be the descendant of a man who was put to death for witchcraft centuries earlier. Both men were painters – the modern day one very successful. He paints pictures of beautiful women; before tossing them in a vat of acid when he's finished. He's apparently also a vampire. The film is shot in black and white and features some very interesting visuals, although it does look very cheap throughout. There are a few memorable faces; including those belonging to William Campbell and Sid Haig and the director's credit goes to Jack Hill, although Roger Corman had something to with it too apparently. It's a shame that the film couldn't have come together better because there are some good ideas here, but unfortunately it didn't and Blood Bath will be best be remembered as a bit of a mess. It's an interesting cult film...but I really wouldn't recommend going out of your way to find a copy!
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