One of the most curious things I find about the slasher movie is the puritan aspect that is often present. If you have sex, you stand a much better chance of dying than someone who doesn’t. This theme was taken to its extreme in Friday The 13th Part 2, where two youngsters are busy going at it when Jason stabs them both with a spear which goes through both of them and bursts out the bottom of the bed. Sadly this scene, like most of the kills in this movie [which to my mind is the best of the Jason films after the fourth], suffered from cuts demanded by the American censors, so you don’ t actually see very much. However, this scene was actually copied from an earlier film called Bay Of Blood [this has been denied by some people involved with the film who claim they never saw Bay Of Blood, though other bits in this and the first Friday The 13th are remarkably similar to scenes in it]. And in this movie, you get to see the gruesome details of the kill in all its glory, unless of you own one of the cut versions; this film was banned during the Video Nasty scare under the title Blood Bath, and had a minute or so removed when first released again. It’s widely available uncut now.
Now this film has had a bewildering array of titles including Twitch Of The Death Nerve and would you believe it The Last House On The Left Part Two, but this should not be taken as any indication of a lack of quality, and after having had a Death Of The Week from Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci respectively, it’s right that we should have one from the other absolute master of Italian horror and the one who paved the way for the others: Mario Bava, a filmmaker whom I personally love even more than the others and consider to be possibly the most unfairly neglected filmmaker in cinema history. His films are full of beauty and poetry, yet usually managed a memorable death scene or two, and Bay Of Blood, both an early slasher picture and a twisted black comedy with a very nihilistic view of humanity killing each other, as well as intriguing ecological undertones, is crammed full of them.
It’s about a quarter of the film through the film, and four teenagers decide to have a bit of fun in the big house where all these murders are taking place. Big Mistake, but remember, this was before films like Friday The 13th so we can forgive their stupidity. The first two are dispatched with a cleaver, then the unseen killer, whose POV we often adopt, moves into the room where the two remaining youths are having sex. He walks towards the bed, and we see the point of the spear looming over the couple, looking [deliberately I reckon] rather phallic. Then it pierces the two lovers, and after we cut to the spear sticking out of the bottom of the bed, we see, for several seconds, the couple writhing in both pain and ecstacy as they are obviously still having sex despite the impalement and the large amount of blood everywhere. Sex and violence meet nastiness and very black humour in classic censor-baiting stuff.
You actually get to see the previous kill on this video as well as the one described above:
Check out Matt Wavish’s review of this film [where I agree with every word] here: http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/2011/03/blood-bath-aka-a-bay-of-blood-1971/