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Pier Paolo Capponi
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Whenever I think of legendary grade z studio Crown International, the first movie that pops in my head is BLOOD MANIA. I love Crown International's movies. There something about movies from that "studio" that I just can't help but love or appreciate. And BLOOD MANIA is probably its crowning (pun intended) achievement. Sleazy, cheap, obscure, with dream-like pacing and direction, BLOOD MANIA is almost one of kind in its wonky way of telling a story about sex, greed and murder. BLOOD MANIA is a soap opera but with a sleazy and lurid twist. BM is low key from beginning to end and never goes overboard with the sex, gore or violence, which is why maybe some don't like it. It's lurid enough to turn off the casual viewers but it's not lurid enough for fans of exploitation or gory enough for gorehounds. But I like this approach. The way I see it, the makers of this movie were probably inspired by the soap operas made in those days (EDGE OF NIGHT, for example) but wanted the film to be a notch higher on the sex and violent factors (but it's not high enough to what we've become accustomed to these days on TV or films).
The film spends a bit too much time on the plain looking nurse, mainly because her character doesn't go anywhere, but I like the mostly good looking cast. The scene where the blackmailer talks endlessly to the nurse is one weird moment captured on film. The way he talks and the dialogue he says, and they way the scene is shot, is oddly fascinating. And the ending is effective, even if it might be a little too late for most viewers.
I like BLOOD MANIA. I'll always look at it as one of Crown International's "best" films.
PS, make sure to check out POINT OF TERROR, another trash classic from Crown International Pictures and Peter Carpenter.
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