on September 28, 2013
Bay of Blood/Twitch of the Death Nerve is a legendary horror film from director Mario Bava. In the Arrow Video region-free release, the picture quality is great but the sound is average. There is a decent amount of supplements for the film believed to have inspired Friday the 13th and its first sequel. The Kino Classic release is fairly similar with the same problems but contains much less bonus content. Many Bava fans consider this film a must own for their collection.
Arrow Video Special Features:
- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned art work
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- Collector's Booklet by Jay Slater, critic and author of Eaten Alive!
- Brand new high definition transfer of the English version of the film (1080p)
- 2 versions of the film including the Italian cut
- Original Mono Audio
- Twitch of the Death Nerve Radio Spots
- Argento! Bava! Fulci! The Giallo Gems of Dardano Sacchetti (1080p)
- Joe Dante on Mario Bava (1080p)
- Shooting a Spaghetti Splatter Classic: Cameraman Gianlorenzo Battaglia on A Bay of Blood (1080p)
- Audio discussion with Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
- A Bay of Blood Trailers: `Carnage' and `Twitch of the Death Nerve' with commentary by Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead.
Kino Classic Special Features: Audio Commentary, Alternate European Cut (85-Minute), Trailers
Buy the Arrow Video imported release of Bay of Blood on Blu-ray. It has managed to hold its value.
on November 9, 2015
Some Facts about the movie: This movie was directed by Giallo director Mario Bava, it was produced by Giuseppe Zaccariello, the music is by Stelvio Cipriani, due to the movie low budget Mario Bava did the cinematography himself, plus many of the tracking shots had to be done on a child's wagon, the gore effects were done by Carlo Rambaldi, it came out in 1971 though it was released to U.S. movie theaters on May 3 1972, some of its alternate titles are: Twitch of the Death Nerve, Blood Bath, "Thus do we live to be evil", Carnage etc., finally this movie has highly influenced the American slasher and body count idea ever-present in the 1980's. It especially highly influenced Friday the 13th close to a decade before F13 came out and it came out a couple years before Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The simple gist for the those that are new to it is: An elderly wheelchair bound woman named Countess Federica is seized and throttle with a noose by her husband, Filippo Donati. Donati places a supposed suicide note on a table and in a short time some unseen other killer stabs Donati and drags his corpse off to the bay. The police just runs with the countess's death just being a suicide and somehow are never aware about Donati's death. It isn't long before multiple murders soon ensue by one or more people that have a high desire to claim ownership of the Countess's bay property. Our possible suspects are: Countess Federica's beautiful daughter Renata, her husband Albert, sleazy real estate agent Frank Ventura, Frank's sexy secretary and lover Laura, local fisherman Simon, entomologist Paolo Fassati, and Paolo's psychic wife Anna.
The camera work is incredibly detailed showing the full environment outside and inside the houses. The camera pans are intense and give way to making the movie extra scary. The killer's first person camera perspective was one of the awesome elements of this movie that was used by several 80's slashers including Friday the 13th. The cinematography complements of Bava, is beautiful and serene, but also gives way to a creepy element as well as a false sense of security. The rain, blowing winds, and certain doors flying open uncontrollably are a testament to the creepy and feeling of a lack of safety element.
The sheer mystery as to who or whom the killer or killers are actually manages under the best of circumstances to keep you guessing not only the mystery behind the slayings but also why the bay property is so highly desired. The mystery proves quite intriguing and uniquely handled.
The music is just so-so. It's nothing special and doesn't prove scary or to offer any scary or tense elements to it. It's not horrible however.
The characters are all very interesting and carry their own mystery and secrets about them. The character development is fairly decent.
The movie's pace is a little slow at times, but, thankfully it's never slow for too long and keeps the plot and motives as one of its priorities.
The gore is brilliantly done for the early 70's, in that it looks remarkably real to the point of making Carlo Rambaldi a worthy predecessor to Tom Savini. The kill scenes are brilliant including: a billhook to the throat, the same billhook to the face, a decapitation with an axe, a stabbing with a small knife, an impaling with a tribal spear, and a double homicide with the same spear going through two young people simultaneously while their having sex. Does that last kill by chance sound familiar to anyone?
There's not very much nudity, but what you do get is definitely worth seeing. Even better it's a skinny-dipping scene.
Overall, while this movie may be old to where it pre-dates Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Black Christmas, Halloween, and Friday the 13th, it shows a strong all around influence/inspiration, to the point of being quite the pioneer, for so many of your classic American and Canadian slashers that it's a must see just for that reason alone. It boasts a big body count, nudity, first person perspective and creeping camera, great gore effects, great kill scenes for the most part, and a whodunit that keeps you guessing as well as a mystery over the total motives. If you're into great slashers from America, Italy, Canada etc. than this one is not to be missed.
on November 10, 2012
This is more a review based on the quality of the Blu-ray than an overview of the film. If you're a fan of slasher films or giallo horror, then this is well known as a masterpiece. It is a giallo classic, and it is a precursor to the slasher film. It's also one colorful, strangely motivated trip of a film. It is also available in the 2nd Bava boxed-set, in DVD format, and as a single disc release. As a horror film, the work is genius. Bava was a master, and this is one gory murder expose. The kill scenes were instant classics in their time, and the film has aged as well as Bava's earlier works like the beautifully gothic Black Sunday, or the giallo masterpiece, Blood and Black Lace. Yet, it remains incomparable to them in certain ways, and is more comparable to those he influenced including Argento and Fulci, and it's clear that his camerawork in this film helped take the stalker viewpoint into the slasher perspective, something that influenced his future counterparts in America during the late 70s and 80s slasher advance.
A summary of the film... people trespass at the wrong place at the wrong time, and the title holds true to the film, as there is a vicious and multi-seeded land dispute going on as the backstory. Bava elevated the disturbance of the audience through dedicated violence and dread-based suspense, rather than the atmospheric suspense he relied upon in his films from the 60s. This film was a turning point for Bava, in ways, this work really let him stretch out.
The quality of the DVD was good, a lot better than the VHS recording I grew up with. However, when the Blu-ray came out, I knew it was one of the few films from the 70s that I was interested in purchasing. I feel that it is only natural for a lot of people to be particular about which Blu-rays they wish to purchase, because, for many, they're upgrading from a film they might already own. Also, some films don't transfer as well as audiences would hope, or the proper prints are not used. This is not the case here. The Blu-ray quality is superb. The video is 1080P, and the bitrate is more than double the previous DVD release. The colors are crisp, the sound is truly great- especially in the English release, even the dubs aren't poor. The price is a little steep, but I found it on here from an independent seller and spent less than $20. Well worth my money, also, anyone who is a Mario Bava fan probably skipped this review and already added to cart. The Blu-ray comes with a great booklet with a superb 7 page overview of Bava, giallo, Bay of Blood etc... Also, it has an awesome, double-sided poster of both theatrical release posters (as pictured) and alternative red/black poster.
NOTE: The English language version of the film is the version that they used for the high definition. The original Italian version is included in the same print (I believe) as the previous DVD release, which is fine. Great film. Great artist- Bava has screenwriting and cinematography credits for Bay of Blood. Let the blood bath begin.
on March 24, 2000
Simitar video's transfer to DVD of this classic slasher film is nothing short of an abomination. The picture quality is inferior to my VHS print. Amazon have the aspect ratio as 2.35:1.It is 1.77:1 at best!
on October 2, 2013
if you are a horror fan like myself and love the early friday the 13th movies especially pt 1-2 you will immediately notice the influence of Bava Bay of Blood(AKA Twitch of the Death nerve) You will see the heavy influence of the kill scenes throughout this movie. Bava to me is the most talented out the holy trinity of Italian horror directors that came on the scene the movie still hold up to today standards of horror and in some cases surpassed it ..A must have if you're a Bava fan..
on July 14, 2015
This movie was equal parts maddening and fascinating as an early excursion into slasher flicks. Maddening in that cameraman Mario Bava didn't seem to know which way was up. Half the time the scenes were purposely just blurs (extreme close-ups that sometimes revealed a character, sometimes nothing at all). Throughout the movie, I just wanted to scream FOCUS for pity sake! When he did bother to keep things in focus he'd soon grow restless allowing the camera to roam freely hither and yon. I wasn't surprised to learn that his budget was so low he had to use a child's wagon for the tracking shots! The acting was minimal because no one was around long enough to establish their character as anything other than fodder for the axe, spear, knife, noose............... The plot can be explained in one word: greed. Everyone wanted this particular bay and was willing to do whatever it took to `inherit' it. This resulted in a free for all killing spree, kill or be killed. What this movie lacked in finesse it more than made up for in audacity. By the end I had developed a begrudging fondness for it's clumsiness. It took senseless killing to a whole other level. I quite liked it.
on February 28, 2014
No need for a full film review here. All you need to know is that it's one of Bava's most influential and enjoyable films. Gory as hell and with a heck of a twisted sense of humor.
This Kino remastered Blu-Ray looks incredible for the most part. No visible print damage that I could see, beautiful but natural colors, and a film-like look. Only a few sequences suffer from noticeable digital compression, but for the most part, it's a lovely looking transfer.
However, the audio is atrocious. None of the Italian films of this period would be an audiophile's dream, but whoever mastered the audio used so much noise reduction that it sounds like a 128 kbps MP3. Both the music and dialogue suffer as a result, and I found this incredibly distracting. I wish reviewers would realize that sometimes a little hiss and crackle is natural in a film, and mucking up the music and making it sometimes even difficult to understand dialogue all for the sake of removing hiss is just replacing one problem with another. This could have been a stellar release if an amateur wasn't called on to restore the audio.
on August 31, 2015
What a difference a Blu-ray makes - I love the BLACKs (Sabbath and Sunday) but always dsliked this film and its muddy ugly color schemes, but this Blu-ray makes it like a whole new film - now it's a vibrant and enchantingly macabre roundelay of murder that's both funny, absurdist, sexy and strange, glowing with a sexy charm all its own, unusual twists, lovely lasses, a great ending and blood curdlingly comic deadpan ending. And what else, a macabre snaggletoothed red-headed child, the Italian horror signature
on January 3, 2000
Terrible picture and audio quality on this DVD mar Bava's pioneering effort. The transfer is just the pits, I'm sorry to say, and takes away from the film's enjoyment.
There's rumored to be another release of this coming from the same folks who recently released "Black Sunday", with which they did an excellent job. Wait for that, and pick up "Black Sunday" or "Baron Blood" in the meantime.
on October 14, 2013
The best thing about this disk (for me) is it's got English subtitles. For the first time in years I can understand what they're saying. And what they're saying is important, since it explains why all the murders are happening. It's a proto-slasher (one of the Friday the 13ths actually appropriated one of the killings), but unlike the slasher film, the characters are killed because of the rights to an important piece of real estate (the bay of the title), not for wanting and/or having sex. Well, except for the quartet of hippies that shows up just to raise the body count. That and to inject some nudity into the proceedings. (Brigitte Skay goes for a swim, finds a body, jumps out and after a moment or two finally puts on her green velvet minidress -- a particularly unfortunate choice of wardrobe, since Ms. Skay is a big...girl, and the dress makes her look even more strapping.) There's some nice photography (to be expected in Bava's pictures), the killings are inventive, and a mjajor plus is Stelvio Cipriani's score. He came up with an absolutely gorgeous "Bay Theme" that could be a reworking of a classical piece (there are echoes of Schumann and Rachmaninoff) but works nonetheless. The only thing wrong with the score is the final cut, a hideous Euro-pop "la-la" number. I'm really glad to have this disk; I only wish Kino had released it under it's alternate title, Twitch of the Death Nerve....