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Blood Bath


Take the plunge for old-school scares

Rod Lott June 3rd, 2011

In tone and in theme, Jack Hill and Stephanie Rothman’s “Blood Bath” from 1966 is reminiscent of Roger Corman’s “A Bucket of Blood” from 1959.

bloodbath

The similarities can’t be accidental, nor problematic — there’s plenty of room in horror fanatics’ collections for both.

New to DVD from the MGM Limited Edition Collection, “Blood Bath” is far less concerned with comedy. William Campbell of “Dementia 13” headlines the picture — in black-and-white, not color as the box reads — as Antonio, a creative who’s crazy for his art. Really crazy. Possessed by a female spirit who laughs at him from canvas, he finds various lovely ladies to model for him, and then kills them. (Too bad, because they’re quite skilled in filling out skimpy bikinis.)

It’s not too long before townspeople note the series of missing women and their similarity to the subjects in Tony’s new works, and put two and two together. That equals four, if four stands for “maybe it’s a vampire come back to life.”

“Blood Bath” is a mess, but it’s a fun mess, like a shaving-cream fight. Beach sequences play like Maidenform commercials, beatnik scenes have a goofy datedness, and no one is all that nice to each other: “Just gimme the money and lemme get outta here so I don’t have to look at your greasy face.” Now that’s how to service a client!

Apparently, the story behind this quickie is more entertaining than the movie itself. If that’s the case, great, because “Blood Bath” is nothing is not entertaining in all its AIP charm. —Rod Lott
 
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