Review: Blood and Black Lace Limited Edition UHD
4K UHD Blu-ray: Blood and Black Lace (1964)
Mario Bava is the undoubted Godfather of Giallo. Giving fresh life to the horror genre in a way that was to be mimicked and repeated for decades. ‘Blood and Black Lace’ is Bava’s Giallo masterpiece. Having already made the perfect Gothic Horror ‘Black Sunday’ (AKA ‘The Mask of Satan’) in 1960 and then the genre classic ‘Black Sabbath’ in 1963. (both available by Arrow Films) Bava made Blood and Black Lace in 1964. Here we have a perfect vintage example of Giallo in its purest and most stylish form. Bava’s use of psychedelic colours is one of the most influential tools in horror cinema and showcased beautifully here in this 4K UHD release. The genre owes almost everything to Bava, without him and especially this film we certainly wouldn’t have the incredible legacy of Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava or the modern homage’s such as Amer, Berberian Sound Studio and even I consider Verhoeven’s ‘Basic Instinct’ a Giallo throwback. (See also Edgar Wrights ‘DONT!’ trailer on Tarantino’sGrindhouse). Arrow’s 4K restoration from the original camera negative has breathed new life into Bava’s exquisite cinematography. The colours explode from the screen and I can only imagine Bava would have applauded the love and attention lavished on this film.
Starring movie legend Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok and Thomas Reiner. The plot is what we now know as ‘classic giallo’. A masked killer brutally murders beautiful young women as a detective/s tries to solve the mystery of ‘Who done it?’ As with all Giallo films the masochistic undertones are all present as well as the deviant sexuality of the murderer. This film is not without genuine scares or brilliant tension. The killer jumps out from every dark corner and in one scene we are shown the graphic torture and murder of a woman with a red hot stove, for a film 50 years old it’s still quite grim!
This film has a timeless feel like all Bava’s classics, the score is moody and memorable, sets are sumptuous and acting is brilliant. If you enjoy the neon lit mystery’s of Argento’s supernatural thrillers such as Inferno or Suspiria (also available from Arrow Films) you need this classic film in your collection!
Special Features on this Bluray release are exceptional. Anyone new to Bava has a wealth of extra content to educate them on Bava’s style and influence. For seasoned horror buffs like myself, wonderful insights and documentaries that make this another essential release from Arrow.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- Restored original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
- Optional English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- Audio commentary by Mario Bava’s biographer Tim Lucas: Lucas commentary is pin sharp and full of trivia and knowledge…. he has the voice of a computer whose entire purpose is to tell us about every inch of Blood and Black Lace from production to score to the history and influence of Bava’s masterpiece. It’s at once brilliant and exhausting. So much to say about a film like this and he doesn’t hold back.
- Psycho Analysis – a documentary on Blood and Black Lace and the origins of the giallo genre featuring interviews with directors Dario Argento (Suspiria) and Lamberto Bava (Demons), screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi (All the Colours of the Dark), critics Roberto Curti and Steve Della Casa, and crime novelists Sandrone Dazieri and Carlo Lucarelli
- An appreciation by Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, the creative duo behind Amer and The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears
- Gender and Giallo – a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the giallo’s relationship with the social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s
- Blood and Bava – a panel discussion on Mario Bava featuring Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava and Steve Della Casa, recorded at the 2014 Courmayeur Film Festival
- The Sinister Image: Cameron Mitchell – an episode of David Del Valle’s television series, devoted to the star of Blood and Black Lace and presented in full
- The alternative US opening titles, sourced from Joe Dante’s private print
- Original theatrical trailer
- Image galleries
- Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady
- Limited edition 60-page perfect bound book featuring writing on the film by Howard Hughes, Alan Jones and David Del Valle, plus new writing by Rachael Nisbet and Kat Ellinger
- Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady
- Six double-sided collector’s postcards
Released 18th September.
Review by Ramrod from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.