Sei donne per l’assassino – BLOOD AND BLACK LACE – The Dungeon Review!
The tag-line for the film states, “The greatest shocks ever filmed.” In 1964 I bet these were some of the greatest shocks ever filmed! He was truly a master of atmosphere. A death scene in a Bava film is an articulate work of art. Watching this film will make you realize how much influence his work had on other directors. His contribution to the horror genre is unparalleled. I had forgotten what a cinematic treat this film really is.
One of the alternate film titles is “Six Women for the Murderer”, giving the viewer more than a hint at the films body count. The decadent world of a fashion house is the backdrop for murder. When one of the models is brutally strangled to death, a diary of the house’s indiscretions is left behind. Drug dealing, blackmail and other sordid affairs are the order of the day at Christina Haute Couture. There are many who would be affected by the information in the diary so we have numerous suspects right off the bat. As the body count goes up the list of suspects go down, and the police are powerless to stop the cycle.
Blood and Black Lace is light on plot but heavy on style. The opening credits with shots of the various characters posing amongst the mannequins are just fantastic. It gives you the sense that your flipping through some gothic fashion magazine. The heavy use of mannequins on the set is brilliant and unsettling. Unmoving eyes witnessing daily depravity. The deaths are effectively grisly without being graphically gory. The models are narcissistic and catty and garner little empathy from the viewer. The Countess Christina and her lover played by Eva Bartok and Cameron Mitchell give delightfully unlikeable performances. It serves up its share of intense moments and suspense. A unique and wonderfully trashy soundtrack compliments it all perfectly. The one and only slight to this film is the dialogue. There are a few statements made by characters that are pretty ridiculous, but it may be in part due to bad translation. This is an extremely effective and well made horror film that is an absolute joy to look at. This is horror 101. A must for anyone who is a fan of the genre and a really great start if you are just discovering the wonderful world of giallo.
Dungeon Rating: 5/5
Directed By: Mario Bava
Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante DiPaolo, Mary Arden, Franco Ressel, Claude Dantes, Luciano Pigozzi, Lea Lander, Massimo Righi, Francesca Ungaro and Giuliano Raffaelli