Aug 31, 2022

A Bay of Blood (1971)


Much less restrained than Bava's earlier work, with just endless amount of violence and even full frontal nudity.  

Wheelchair bound Countess Federica Donati (Isa Miranda)

She's killed in a hideous manner, hanging by a noose

She was murdered by Count Filippo Donati (Giovanni Nuvoletti) who is quickly murdered via knife.

This was all orchestrated by Frank Ventura (Chris Avram) a real estate agent who's master plan involves getting hold of the valuable bay property. Laura (Anna Maria Rosati) is his accomplice.

Paolo Fosatti (Leopoldo Trieste) an entomologist living on the grounds of the Donati estate

Anna Fosatti (Laura Betti) Paolo's eccentric wife

Paolo speaks with Simon (Claudio Camaso) the Countess's illegitimate son.  Simon killed Filippo; he was paid a cash sum by Ventura. 

Four youth roll up on the estate in their dune buggy.

The always awesome Brigitte Skay as Louise

The youth presume the property is abandoned and decide to spend the night partying here.

Sylvie (Paola Montenero) and Luca (Guido Boccaccini)

Roberto (Roberto Bonanni) and Louise

Louise skinny dips by herself.

She doesn't see the rotting remains of Filippo floating towards her.

Filippo's hand touches Louise; she screams and scrambles off the dock.

Louise is murdered (as we'll learn, by Simon)

The other three are killed in quick succession. Roberto gets a scythe to the face.

Sylvie and Luca get impaled while fucking. Gee I wonder where we'd see this scene again?

Introducing Renata Donati (Claudine Auger) Filippo's estranged daughter (Simon's stepsister), and Albert (Luigi Pistilli) Renata's obedient husband.

They visit with the Fosattis and learn about the recent tragic events. Anna Fosatti says she thinks the inheritance will actually go to Simon.  Renata will not stand for that.

Renata is horrified by the ghastly sight of her dead father.

Filippo's corpse is covered by this octopus.  What a memorably macabre moment.

Renata finds the dead youth all stuffed in the bathtub.

Ventura shows up and tries to murder Renata, but she stabs him with a large pair of scissors.

Renata's dark side comes to light.  She wants the conspirators dead.

Paolo tries to call the police and is murdered per Renata's command.

Anna has her head chopped off.

Laura finally shows up. Ventura crawls to her.  He's miraculously not dead, and tells her to get Simon.

She finds Simon, but he's in no mood to help her.

He has figured out that Ventura and Laura were behind the murder of his mother (the countess).

We get a brief flashback, seeing Ventura and Laura plot to kill the countess, and subsequently Filippo at Simon's hand.

The bay property will soon be theirs.

Simon flies into a rage and strangles Laura to death.

Albert kills Simon.

They're all dead: Ventura, Laura, the countess, Filippo, the Fosattis and Simon (not to mention the four youth).  All that remain are Renata and Albert.  They burn the documents signed by Simon for Ventura.  The bay property is as good as theirs now.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, they are shot dead.  But by who?

Their kids?  What the fuck? THE END

Such an influential film on the slasher genre, and brilliant in its own right.  Bava creates masterful visuals as always; some moments will stick with me forever. If only he had taken it all one step further - i.e. ditched the tired old inheritance kill-a-thon in favor of a slasher or some manner of boogeyman. Supposedly Mario Bava's personal favorite of all the films he made; I definitely wouldn't go that far. 

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