Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5  
Blood and Black Lace (1964)

A serial killer is working his way through six beautiful models, ensuring that all meet grisly fates. The Police seem powerless to stop him and there are plenty of suspects. Sound familiar? Welcome to the first and one of the best stalk'n'slash movies out there.

It's a sub-genre that should for many of you conjure up memories of terrible serial killer films where the body count is as important as the scantiness of the victim's apparel. As with any new plot strand in cinema, there are ultimately many awful derivatives, but put them to a side and marvel at this fiendishly tight film.

The script is wooden, but despite that there is a rare emotional depth to the characters. It comes perhaps from the shallowness of their lives, led in a fashion house where they deal with their problems through blackmail, fuelled by sex and cocaine. Their model-perfect looks distort only in their final moments, when confronted by the faceless killer who is in some way connected to them all.

Director Mario Bava stages all these murders with the flair and style that was to become a founding mantle for the 'Giallo' films. His bold use of colour (processed onto Technicolor dye stock) was in direct contrast to Hitchcock's black and white "Psycho", made only four years earlier. Through a prowling camera style and shadow-strewn baroque sets that are illuminated only by single brilliant colours, he creates a claustrophobic paranoia that seeps into the fabric of the movie and the viewer.

Read a review of the Region 1 DVD.

End Credits

Director: Mario Bava

Writer: Giuseppe Barilla, Marcello Fondato, Mario Bava

Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Mary Arden, Arianna Gorini, Dante Dipaulo, Franco Ressel, Claude Dantes, Luciano Pigozzi

Genre: Horror, Classic

Length: 90 minutes

Cinema: 1964

VHS: 10 July 2000

Country: Italy

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