Reazione a catena
Twitch of the Death Nerve
The Last House on the Left Part II
This multi-titled picture from Italy’s greatest visual stylist Mario Bava (it was even passed off as a sequel to the inferior Last House on the Left ) has achieved an influence in the horror genre far out of proportion to its modest means of production. It provided a blueprint for less talented filmmakers like Wes Craven, John Carpenter and Sean S. Cunningham, so indirectly we have Mario Bava to blame for the cinematic excrement inflicted on the world by these amateurish filmmakers. Its status as the slasher film in embryonic form often detracts from the fact that A Bay of Blood is a ruthlessly efficient giallo that owes its own debt of gratitude to the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None (1939). It also emerges as a withering satire in its own right, refreshingly bereft of the self-conscious post-modern prattling of odious and arrogant films like Scream (1996). It takes a rare talent indeed to not only put in place a plot structure with obvious potential for imitation, but also to send up such a plot structure. This is by no means a one man show and although their names have largely been written out of slasher history Bava’s collaborators on the screenplay Fillipo Ottoni and Giuseppe Zaccariello deserve a mention. Indeed these three men wouldn’t have had a screenplay to work on were it not for the original story by Franco Barberi and Dardano Sacchetti. I’ve been critical of Sacchetti in the past, but the man has an undoubted gift for creating complex plots that somehow hold together and a myriad of distinctive sequences and scenarios. Its just he has the same aptitude for writing dialogue as a deaf mute.
An early victim of a machete, and an example of the films impressive make up effects
A copulating couple experience penetration from an unexpected source in a hugely influential scene
© Shaun Anderson 2011