A Bay Of Blood, more commonly known as Twitch Of The Death Nerve, is a 1971 Mario Bava film, that was made to give Bava and actress Laura Betti, a reason to work together again. The film was first met with with disappointment, but over the years would gain popularity, later being listed as one of the 50 horror films of all time, in a 2005 issue of Total Film.
The story is a quite convoluted tale of murder and suspense, all regarding who will inherit a bay, in which lives only a handful of residents. The film has no heroes, as it turns out everyone is willing to kill anyone else, to reach their goals, all stemming from fiances. While this sounds very vague, it really is all there is for plot, and if I go into to details, it will take away from the viewing experience.
This is one of only a handful of Mario Bava film’s I’ve seen, yet it makes me crave more. The stylistic approach, use of colors, and interesting shots, really make it fun to watch, and the fact Bava spares no time in getting to the first few deaths, doesn’t hurt either. The deaths in this film seem to come in handfuls, with four coming in shotgun succession near the first half hour, that while gruesome, really bothered me. It seemed the four characters were brought in, only to add to a body count, as their characters have nothing to do with the murderous plot.
The kills are interesting enough to keep you going, with everything from slit throats, strangling, and even a double spear impalement, of a couple having sex, which would later be echo’d in the Friday The 13th series. While the gore it’s self is quite tame, it’s interesting to see where the film, and the deaths will go next. The score really helps bring home the murders, specifically in the case of a decapitation, the score really shines.
While the film is quite a lot of fun, I don’t believe it deserves a place on any list of the best horror movies of all time, but it does deserve a place in any horror films film collection. The biggest flaw of the movie, is the ending, which is so random, and so out of place, it leaves a taste of pure shit in your mouth. If not for the ending, the film would have a much higher rating.
Score – B
Gore – 6/10
Quality Of Gore – 5/10