Back Add a Comment Share:
Facebook Button

Feature


Arrow Synopsis: SIX MODELS. SIX VICTIMS FOR A CRAZED MASKED KILLER.

The Cristiana Haute Couture fashion house is a home to models... and backstabbing... and blackmail... and drug deals... and MURDER.

Having established a template for the giallo with The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Mario Bava set about cementing its rules with Blood and Black Lace. In doing so he created one of the most influential films ever made an Italian classic that would spearhead the giallo genre, provide a prototype for the slasher movie, and have a huge effect on filmmakers as diverse as Dario Argento and Martin Scorsese.


 Blood and Black Lace

Video


The film opens with a little note from Arrow Video about the restoration and the  2K resolution scan this boasts (I like this new addition to Arrow releases, it's nice to know the details of the restoration at the start of the film).

The stylish opening credits feature a lot of great black levels countered with bold reds and blues lighting the cast and it just looks gorgeous. Nice sharp edges, loaded with detail and bright luscious colours, this is a striking opening in itself but even more elevated in this new HD release.

Cutting to the lavish fountain spraying in the courtyard, detail looks even better and it doesn't take long to realise this is a great presentation. The use of colour here is fantastic throughout. The well lit mannequins in dark corners are really striking with their primary colours in deep black  dark dwellings and it's a great contrast to the often naturally lit characters with their warm skin tones passing by them.

This is generally how the film continues. Lavish 60s sets, all well lit, warm but natural and when menace is lurking those bright but deep and strong colours creep in from the pure black darkness and it just makes the image leap off of the screen. Blood and Black Lace is a great Blu-ray release with very little in the way of downsides outside of some grainier instances and a touch of minimal softness at times. Detail is fantastic, packed full of texture in close ups and the wider shots showing off of the sets and costumes with wonderfully sharp edges and strong lighting that just brings everything to life in high definition.

 Blood and Black Lace

Audio


The mix of Italian, English and dubbed English over Italian actors comes with that audio separation from the visuals that is native with the Bava titles but of course this is the way of things so should just be accepted as we enjoy the audio presentation.

Everything here is a clear and fresh sounding but the mono track doesn't really reach out beyond it's limits and sounds very small and confined. The score balances well with the sound effects and everything is clean and clear but higher pitches are often quite shrill.

There's a little bit of depth to the track but it's never exceptional for Mono or anything and while the track's clean up is clearly a fine restoration it's not a Mono track that punches above its weight.

 Blood and Black Lace

Extras


The commentary with Tim Lucas is the usual history lesson he provides. Well paced, well detailed and full of stories that are great to listen to regarding cast, crew and the film itself. These commentary tracks are a great listen and make these cult classic titles even more accessible to new viewers, like myself who want to know more about not just the film but everything else before, during and after its production amongst other things.

'Psycho Analysis' (55:08 HD) is a long, thoroughly enjoyable affair. Studying Bava's films and  of course Blood and Black Lace. The nature of cinema, thrillers, horrors and the differences between American and European film is discussed in detail but we keep coming back to Blood and Black Lace as a core, so the structure of this documentary is very focused and to the point.

 Blood and Black Lace
'Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani' (10:35 HD) The creative team behind the recent Amer discuss their admiration of Mario Bava and the elements of his films they love.

'Yellow' (26:02 HD) is a Bava inspired short film and it's a great inclusion on this disc, showing a modern appreciation of the genre and it's elements.

'Gender and Giallo' (38:01 HD) is a visual essay about the Giallo genre and is a perfect starting point for all newcomers or overview for long time fans. It's full of well used clips and steadily placed detail to take in as the genre's staple elements are laid out precisely. Great stuff.

 Blood and Black Lace
'Blood and Bava' (11:21 HD) Recorded at a 2014 festival this panel discussed Bava's films. It's pictures set to the audio recording but still holds attention for the fairly short runtime.

'The Sinister Image' (56:25 HD) is an episode of David Del Valle's TV series devoted to Cameron Mitchell. Vintage TV interviews lI've this are so great

Last up on this packed disc is the alternative US Opening, a Trailer and a DVD copy.

 Blood and Black Lace

Overall


Blood and Black Lace is another Bava film that you can see the influence it has had to modern filmakers at every turn. His style and ability to rinse every scare or bit of tension out of a scene is fantastic. His black gloved killer, the sophisticated world of the victims and the lavish locations he plays in all here and it all looks stunning on it's new Blu-ray home.

That alone is impressive but add the ton of extras Arrow have compiled for this release and Bava fans should be going crazy for yet another fantastic Mario Bava release celebrating his work as it should be celebrated.

* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.


Links: