Movie Review: BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

BLOOD AND BLACK LACE was directed by Mario Bava from a screenplay he co-wrote with Giusseppe Barilla and Marcello Fondato and stars Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Mary Arden and Enzo Cerusico.

A Fashion House of Glamorous Models… Becomes a Terror House of BLOOD!. Director Mario Bava’s Giallo Masterpiece! An unscrupulous business operating under the guise of a top fashion house with exotic models running sexual favors, cocaine dealings and blackmail, becomes a murder scene–after someone is pushed to the edge. The saga begins when a beautiful model is brutally murdered, and her boyfriend, a known addict supplying her drugs, is suspected of the crime…but is he guilty or is someone waiting in the shadows setting him up?

Blood and Black Lace follows a murderer who’s terrorizing a top fashion house and killing off the beautiful models in gruesome style. There’s also some shady dealings going on inside this fashion house and the list of suspects slowly grows while the murders continue to take place. All the fingers point at one particular person but there’s a diary that comes into play and it has dirt on some of the shady players involved with the fashion house as well as clues that reveal who the killer could actually be. Needless to say, the killer finds out about this diary and attempts to retrieve it before anyone else finds out about it but it’s too little too late for the sinister figure who’s identity is ultimately revealed in the shocking finale where a fatal blow of justice is finally served.

Okay, this 1964 giallo classic plays like a psychologial thriller and a murder mystery all rolled into one perfect cinematic experience. The formula keeps everything simple as far as the story goes becuase it’s nothing more than your usual murder mystery but there’s so much more that goes with it that makes it such a special watch. There’s a masked killer who’s going around murdering the beautiful women inside this fashion house and there’s a little blood to go along with the kills. Blood and Black Lace paved the way for other giallo films to follow because it’s beautifully shot and relies heavily on the colors, atmospheric cinematography and score to help tell the story and it’s extremely well done on all levels. You can see the influence that Mario Bava’s masterpiece has had on so many other films that came after it.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back include movie details, some images and list of special features. The reversible sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. The Blu-ray and DVD disc both feature their own individual artwork. VCI Entertainment has given the movie a brand new 2K restoration from original film materials in widescreen. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. This high-definition upgrade is pristine. The picture and sound quality for Mario Bava’s giallo masterpiece were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Blood and Black Lace was another first time watch for me and I really enjoyed this 1964 giallo classic. The movie is such a stunning slice of cinematic history because of the colors it uses to help tell the story along with the atmospheric cinematography and fitting score. Mario Bava constructed a horror classic that’s part psycho-thriller and part murder mystery because of its whodunnit elements – all courtesy of the driving forces behind this masked killer’s mayhem. The story was interesting and I thought the cast did a good job with their characters but the real standouts of the movie are the colors and the way it was shot. I’m aware that Arrow Video released this movie on Blu-ray a few years ago but I don’t have anything to compare the two with so I’ll just go out on a limb and check this one off and an impressive home video release for Mario Bava’s giallo masterpiece that paved the way for so many others to follow. Blood and Black Lace will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on October 23rd and is a job well done by VCI Entertainment.

Distributor: VCI Entertainment

Run Time: 88 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English LPCM 2.0

DVD Video: Widescreen (1.85:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 / Italian Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include two new audio commentary tracks, interviews, original trailers, photo gallery, main titles, music tracks, video comparions and bonus trailers for other Mario Bava films.

  • 2018 Commentary by Kat Ellinger, Editor-in-Chief and author, Diabolique Magazine
  • 2018 Commentary by film historian and David Del Valle & director/writer, C Courtney Joyner
  • Video Interview with Mary Dawne Arden – located on DVD (12:10)
  • Archival video interview with star, Cameron Mitchell, with David Del Valle – located on DVD (07:25)
  • Original American Theatrical Trailer plus Italian, German and French trailers (03:21)
  • Extensive Photo Gallery (05:38)
  • Alternate original Italian or original US theatrical main titles (01:53)
  • Bonus Music Tracks by composer Carlo Rustichelli (07:26)
  • Video Comparison: American Version Cuts / Euro Uncut (27:31)
  • Bonus Trailers of other Bava films – Plays before feature presentation

 

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