Movies of the Morning : Mario Bava, Joan Collins, Joseph Cotton

A-Bay-of-Blood-movie-poster

THE KILLER IS LOOSE – What strikes you first is the location shooting and the cars, the evocation of a time and place long gone. Lots of familiar faces and great character actors of the period. Directed ably by Budd Boetticher and starring the always stalwart Joseph Cotten, This tale of heist and tragedy and vengeance is a solid, brisk, and engaging watch.

THE DEVIL INSIDE HER – One of that slate of unusual 70s movies, this one starts with Joan Collins in all her close up glory, with a performance somewhere between Agony and ecstasy, giving birth to a most unusual child. Film’s more than a bit ludicrous, but entertaining despite that.

BAY OF BLOOD – There are not many director’s as revered for their style (if not the quality of their actual movies) as Mario Bava, and in BAY OF BLOOD, he does double duty as cinematographer and director. Here his motifs of black gloved killers and primary colors are in full effect. This tale of rabid heirs offing each other for a fortune is hurt by an overbearing score, and a meandering, overlong and, like the characters portrayed, vapid storyline. An early progenitor of the splatter film, it’s little more than flimsy reasons to see people dispatched one after the other. That said there is something in the conceit of no innocents in this film, that makes this film stand out over its imitators.

Not a particularly enjoyable film, but worth seeing for its cinematic insignificance and visual style. Having seen most of Mario Bava’s film (including BLACK SUNDAY and BLACK SABBATH) the only two I consider worth owning are THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and DANGER DIABOLIQUE. However BAY OF BLOOD is at least worth a luck.

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