Bloodbath in the House of Knives
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A hypnosis demonstration serves as the catalyst for murder in this micro-budgeted, neo-giallo shocker featuring Troma's Lloyd Kaufman. When Ivy's friends all start dropping dead, the search for the killer reveals that everyone has a motivation for murder. Could sleaze-ball drug-dealer and pornographer Nick Lemenza be to blame, or has Ivy's troubled sister Violet finally taken the plunge off the deep end? The more bodies that turn up, the shorter the list of suspects grows, and the greater the chance that Ivy will be the next name on the killer's growing list of victims.
Regional horror films are the sort of thing every film maven lives for. I remember well the days of noting strange titles on drive-in marquees and wondering about their origin. Every one of us knew at least somebody who caught The Night Daniel Died on a one-week run or discovered the original Night of the Living Dead at the bottom third of a week-end bill. And once in a great while we too might have found something special at 2:30 AM on a local TV station. Because having access to this sort of experience is what made you cool among other film geeks. So I was delighted that Mr. Ted Moehring would elect to send me his giallo, Bloodbath in the House of Knives. Made in the isolated town of Boyertown, Pennsylvania (and surrounding environs), Bloodbath is a neat little film that shows how people with limited means can still create something to hold the attention. Using a cast of unknowns, it manages to capture the spirit of Bird With The Crystal Plumage and Suspiria. The plot is complex: a nightclub hypnotist puts a man in a trance. Suddenly, the trancee goes on a rampage, killing a member of the audience before he is felled by a bullet from an unknown shooter. Meanwhile a sinister figure in black wearing a Greek theatrical mask is randomly killing people. And a woman named Ivy keeps getting threatening phone messages from a stalker. Are the killings related? And when is the intrepid police detective going to put it all together? There are a number of effect-laden murders, none accomplished with CGI as well as good use of lighting, color, and a surprise ending. - Timothy Mayer --Alpha Home Entertainment
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Top customer reviews
I had high hopes for this movie after seeing some positive reviews, but after 15 or 20 minutes I realized this was going to be really quite awful. The story is poorly written, but the acting from several primary characters is even worse. The two female leads and two police detectives are extremely wooden actors with no capacity to convey realistic emotions. Anne Reiss as Ivy, the key protagonist, is completely unlikable and has no depth whatsoever. Monica Moehring as Ivy's sister Violet is scarcely better and equally unlikable. But the worst actor of all is probably Joseph Michael as lead detective Bliss. An absolutely atrocious performance.
The script is very amateurish with no wry sense of black humor or clever lines. The plotting is full of gaping holes and unexplained events. Who is this Vivian chick who was murdered at the beginning of the movie and what did she have to do with anything else? Maybe I missed something, but I can't bear to watch the movie a second time to find out. The man who mysteriously shot the murderer of Ivy and Violet's dad is never explained, nor is the dad's murder itself. I think it might have been implied that Ivy and Violet set up their dad's murder, but it's never really clarified nor revisited as a plot point. Either way, the dad's death remains an unsolved murder, as is the murder of the murderer. In fact, the first three deaths in the movie appear to be completely random and unrelated to the unfolding plot of Violet wanting to kill her sister.
The fourth murder, which is of Ivy and Violet's friend, is the first committed by the person in the Greek mask (who we later find out is Violet). But what is the reason that Violet wants to torture and kill this friend? I suppose you could say Violet is just unhinged and trying to torment her sister, but when Ivy finds out about her friend's death, she reacts like she has just burnt her morning toast; ho hum, no big deal. When you watch the movie, observe the person in the Greek mask carefully; it is clearly a man of normal weight, with no boobs. Later, the person in the Greek mask attacks Ivy in her kitchen, so Ivy knows first-hand the size and weight of her attacker. She also wrestles with the killer to control a knife for a full minute (in a ridiculous scene) and holds her own physically, so it makes no sense when Ivy encounters the very large, strong and heavy-set bartender later in the movie (without any mask) and thinks he is the killer. She's SEEN the killer, WRESTLED with the killer, and should KNOW the massive bartender doesn't match the body type of the killer at all.
The ultimate reveal of Violet as the killer comes as no surprise, as the only other possibility left in the movie would have been detective Bliss, and Violet was the much more obvious choice. But there is NO WAY Monica Moehring (Violet) played the role of the Greek-mask killer earlier in the movie. No matter how tightly you might wrap her boobs with duct tape, her body type is completely different than the killer shown earlier in the movie. Just observe the killer and compare his body with Violet's; you will agree that they are two different people.
The only decent performances in the movie are from Lloyd Kaufman as the lawyer and John Link as the hypnotist, but these are minor roles (especially Link's). Everything else about the movie is flat, predictable and blatantly staged, though at least the music score attempts to rescue the miserably acted scenes. Bloodbath in the House of Knives is a terrible movie that is really quite difficult to watch. It isn't smart enough to be so bad that it's campy, like Sleepaway Camp, nor is it a stylish thriller like the best giallo movies from the '70s or '80s. There's hundreds of better movies of this type available, so do a little research and get The Devil's Rejects or Alice, Sweet Alice.
Film has a meaness that surprises and pretty women getting cut.
Great poster reminds one of Fulci and Argento in English.
There is definitely something for everyone that loves the unpleasant !
The women are pretty and most are shown in stages of undress.
Found myself loving the acting of Monica Moehring and Mr. Kaufman.
Saw so many knives wanted more from the skewers that Shish-Ke-Bob one nubile victim,Change it up alittle people.
Great ending and some killings really looked painful,No matter the budget !
Stylistically based more on Argento than Carpenter, Bloodbath in the House of Knives is abrasive, disturbing and occasionally humorous in all the right places. Sure the budget is low (or non existent) but an interesting story-line and stand out performances by the cast (which includes John Link and Troma head honcho Llyod Kaufman) make this an entertaining gore filled romp!
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