An elderly heiress is killed by her husband who wants control of her fortunes. What ensues is an all-out murder spree as relatives and friends attempt to reduce the inheritance playing field, complicated by some teenagers who decide to camp out in a dilapidated building on the estate.
This late entry in Italian horror auteur Mario Bava's catalog is in keeping with much of his other work: a rather murky plot, inventive camera work and editing, gauzy lighting using red and blue gels, and an atmospheric, dreamlike feel throughout. Where it parts ways with many of his films is in the high body count--so high that many feel Bay of Blood was a likely influence on American slasher films such as Friday the l3th. The killing centers on a list of potential heirs to a piece of lakefront property ripe for development (a subplot involves camping teenagers who are also being slaughtered--sound familiar?). The slayings come fast and furious, with gunshots, chokings, stabbings, decapitations, and a two-for-the-price-of-one impalement, to name a few. Bava creates an off-kilter mood of melancholia for the film that makes it somewhat less fun than the mindless slasher flicks of the 1980s, but also renders it a more thought-provoking, cynical sort of movie.
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