A Bay Of Blood: The Granddaddy Of The Slasher Genre

A Bay Of Blood is an Italian giallo film directed by Mario Bava. The plot follows a series of murders taking place around the titular bay.

I enjoyed seeing early slasher elements pop up in this film, I thought it was very interesting to see the genre cross pollination. For example the bed spear scene would later be used in Friday The 13th Part 2, as well as the machete to the face kill. If you are a fan of genre cinema or film history that is a really rewarding part of the film.

I thought keeping us guessing about who the killer was, rather than showing us outright was a smart move as I often had my expectations subverted and the end reveal feels satisfying. This is defiantly less of a traditional giallo film as the mystery of who the killer is feels secondary to the body count, which is suitably creative and gory.

I thought it was well paced and none of the scenes felt too long, which is often a complaint of mine. The acting was also strong and all the performances seemed genuine and real, a lot can be learnt by comparing the performances of the teen ‘victim’ character in films like this and in our modern day slasher films; it is night and day, with a less favourable view going to today’s performers. Have our standards dropped?

Overall, if you’re a fan of slasher cinema then you owe it to yourself to watch this film.

Pros.

Keeping the killer mysterious

The kills

The pacing and the acting

It’s a big part of horror history

Cons.

It is a little dry by today’s horror standards

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

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