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also known as Twitch of the Death Nerve

A Bay of Blood1971

  • 3.7
One of the most influential horror films of all time, Mario Bava's A BAY OF BLOOD (aka TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE) is the spurting artery from which all future slasher films would flow. When crippled Countess Federica is murdered at her isolated mansion, a gruesome battle ensues to secure the rights to her valuable property around the bay. Everyone, from illegitimate children to shady real estate agents, stakes a claim, only to be killed in increasingly bizarre ways, from simple shootings to impalement by fishing spear. The makeup effects are by Carlo Rambaldi (who would later earn Oscars for his work on ALIEN). Initially scorned upon its original release because of its graphic violence, A BAY OF BLOOD eventually became a trendsetter, the model slasher film that FRIDAY THE 13TH would emulate nearly a decade later.

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“Despite being one of Bava’s simpler works, or perhaps because of that very reason, [it] has proven to be the foremost progenitor of the slasher film, the one in which the Jason Voorheeses and Ghostfaces owe their blade of choice to." - Wes Greene, Slant


6 members like this review

You might think you're at Camp Crystal Lake for the first twenty minutes or so--especially given certain events on-screen and the way the camera is used--but this no American morality tale about childhood trauma and/or the perils of adolescent horniness. Instead, it's a Renaissance revenge play--complete with contested inheritances, illegitimate offspring, Machiavellian double dealings, fortune tellers, and over-the-top honor killings. Bava updates the classic formula with miniskirts, groovy music, and, most importantly, real-estate developers.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (6)

8dae6774defd1d0f91cc7dd2835ce800?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0083
top reviewer

You might think you're at Camp Crystal Lake for the first twenty minutes or so--especially given certain events on-screen and the way the camera is used--but this no American morality tale about childhood trauma and/or the perils of adolescent horniness. Instead, it's a Renaissance revenge play--complete with contested inheritances, illegitimate offspring, Machiavellian double dealings, fortune tellers, and over-the-top honor killings. Bava updates the classic formula with miniskirts, groovy music, and, most importantly, real-estate developers.

6 members like this review
8de8e285cdceb4ca65268665f02961df?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0079
top reviewer

Twists, twists, and twist. Good style, mood, pacing.

I have been watching some Bava lately and I quite enjoyed it. I thought the ending seemed rushed or really odd, with the children killing the parents and such, but you can see the huge influence it had on American Horror in the next decade or so.

Bava once again evolves the horror genre with what must be considered one of the first slasher films ever made. Without a doubt the foundation for most of the plot and plot mechanics of "Friday the 13th" with many of "Bay's" kills being replicated by Tom Savini in the original "Friday". Also has one of the best endings ever for a slasher film

The Italians have such a care-free hand with logic and spatial relationships that it's almost child-like.

ok but,most influential...?