Director Mario Bava has always been called the Godfather of Giallo cinema, the horror thrillers which audiences loved throughout the world from the mid-1960’s onwards.
Blood and Black Lace is from 1964 and sees the influential director at his best, fantastic cinematography combined with a horror mystery story. A faceless killer is stalking the fashion house full of models and after one is found brutally murdered and her diary is found the killer must find it and get rid of any evidence but the bodies keep piling up…
An Italian classic that would spearhead the Giallo genre, provide a prototype for the slasher movie, and have a huge effect on filmmakers for years to come. The film itself is of course dated and the plot a little plodding at times. The acting is serviceable but its the way in which it is photographed with striking colours and unusual composition that makes it a must see for all horror aficionados.
The new 1080p transfer from Arrow is stunning. A new 2K scan was done from the original camera negative and it looks amazing. Colours pop, blacks are solid and overall this is one of the best restorations Arrow has done so far. Audio gives you a choice of uncompressed English or Italian dubbed with optional English subtitles. Clear and crisp the soundtrack is very good indeed considering its mono origins.
Extras are again excellent with the following provided:
- Newly translated subtitles for the Italian audio
- Brand new audio commentary by Mario Bava’s biographer Tim Lucas
- Psycho-Analysis an interesting new 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 Colors of the Dark) critics Roberto Curti and Steve Della Casa, crime novelist Carlo Lucarelli and others.
- An appreciation by Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, the creative duo behind Amer and The Strange Color of Your Body s Tears
- Yellow the much-acclaimed neo-Giallo by Ryan Hansom & Jon Britt
- Gender and Giallo a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the giallo’s relationship with the social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s
- 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 (from VHS source)
- The alternative US opening titles, sourced from Joe Dante s private print and scanned in 2K especially for this release
- Original theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- A booklet featuring new writing on the film by Howard Hughes, author of Cinema Italiano and Mario Bava: Destination Terror, and an interview with Joe Dante, David Del Valle on Cameron Mitchell and more, all illustrated with archive stills and posters.
Interesting point about this release is that it is Region A + B and has been released by Arrow in the USA at a slightly later date and I presume the quality will be identical. A great release with fantastic remastered picture this is another winner from Arrow.
FILM: 6.5 PICTURE: 9 AUDIO: 7 EXTRAS: 8