Wednesday, December 2, 2015
One of the wonderful things about doing this site for several years as I have is all the excellent list contributors that I've come across and all the cool recommendations that I've come across because of said contributors. I had never heard of BLOOD AND LACE until it showed up on a neat Underrated Horror list that blogger Hal Horn did for my site back in 2010. He had been fascinated by the film even years prior and had done his own post about it back in 2006:
Once it was on my radar I had to track it down and was able to find a grey market version with a little effort. It of course looked rather terrible and was perhaps a VHS dub a fe generations removed, but it was just watchable enough to sit through. The film opens with a now quite familiar POV shot of a man carrying a hammer into a bedroom where he proceeds to murder a couple lying in their bed with it. It's a quickly cut scene once the hammering starts, as to hide the less than spectacular gore effects. The editing is effective enough and I'm sure it was a rather shocking sequence when the movie came out in 1971. It is an odd and thoroughly creepy film overall and one that stuck with me. It's female lead, Melody Patterson (of F-TROOP fame) was unfamiliar to me, but had that delightfully attractive late 60s/early 70s look that really caught my eye. Patterson is the daughter of the woman killed in the open and she is sent to an evil orphanage. Most of the movie takes place at this orphanage which is run by two sadists (Gloria Grahame and Len Lesser) who perpetrate some pretty nutty stuff on their orphans. I'm talking weird, creepy and gross stuff. BLOOD AND LACE is assisted in being interesting in that also features veteran character actor Vic Tayback who is one of those guys that always elevates any movie. Here he plays a cop (apparently he played a lot of cops during his career) who is investigating the murder. BLOOD AND LACE is an odd film indeed, but one that I am sure will find some new fans now that it can be readily seen after languishing in obscurity for so long. It's one of those movies that when you try to explain it end to end, you end up sounding like a lunatic - which I often think is the sign of something worth viewing.
The disc features an audio commentary from Film Historian Richard Harland Smith (of TCM's Movie Morlocks Website). Smith really knows his stuff and the track is filled with interesting bits of trivia. He has a lot to say about all the principal actors and what he has been able to piece together about the production itself.
BLOOD AND LACE can be purchased on Blu-ray here: