Customer Review

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wildly stylish, fun and engaging, if not perfect, 28 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Blood & Black Lace [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
A great looking murder mystery that clearly laid the groundwork for later directors
(DePalma in particular), and has a fun macabre sense of humor to go with some
very effective tension.

Considered a masterpiece by many, I can't quite go there, with the bad dubbing,
some over the top acting, and a few silly twists. But that's not to say I didn't really enjoy it.

Someone is killing models at a high fashion house, and there are plenty
of suspects to go around.

Bava's use of color is wonderful, if not quite up to what he did in his own
`Whip and the Body', and there's also very effective use of shadows and
moving lights. Yes, many of those devices are now visual clichés, but
someone had to invent them, and Bava gets a lot of the credit.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Apr 2015 12:29:05 BDT
the dubbing is well done in this !

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2015 15:56:02 BDT
K. Gordon says:
Personally, I found it more distracting than in other Bava films, but I think dubbing is one of those very personal things in how everyone's brain responds to it from film to film. Occasionally I've had just the opposite disagreement on other films -- the dubbing seemed very good to me, bad to someone else. I suspect what visual and aural cues make our minds accept or reject dubbing are highly individual in nature.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2015 13:32:06 BDT
''Pan'' says:
..Shadows are visual cliches? Hmmm...things would be less cliched with no shadows then? What a strange film that would make for!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2015 18:31:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Apr 2015 19:14:54 BDT
K. Gordon says:
I think you're taking me a wee bit literally while changing the context as well. First, I said some of the specific techniques Bava used BECAME cliches in the years since from overuse, not that they were when the film was made. If anything I was defending Bava, saying a young audience might look at the film and not realize that some things you've seen a million times in more recent films were comparatively new and bold when he was doing them.

And it's a bit of a twist to turn what I was saying to the generic statement 'Shadows are visual cliches'. I said 'use of'. I'd have to go back through the film to find the specific shots I meant when I jotted down my notes, but yes, shadows can be a cliche in specifically HOW they are used, just as any other visual element can. But that is a far cry from simply dismissing shadows as cliches. Perhaps I needed to make that point clearer in my wording.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2015 21:59:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Apr 2015 22:00:08 BDT
''Pan'' says:
You could say that i was being a little provocative in order to elicit your clarification into specifics, which, worked a treat! So thanks for your clarification, and, no, shadows - or their deliberate presentation as formal elements of composition/mood etc - aren't cliches at all. But, of course, we still have legions of films, - in fact probably 99% of mainstream multiplex fodder, completely without any heed paid to them! And, strangely, I cannot think of many films that overuse shadows in a derivative and uninspired way - perhaps i haven't watched many mainstream hollywood attempts at film noir or horror, but then again, film noir died a death and hollywood horror a la ''I know what you did last summer'' or ''scream'' or even ''a nightmare on Elm street'' don't seem to contain even one shadow of note, in terms of strategic atmospheric composition! Perhaps this is the irony here - these shadows of Bava and noir and expressionism stayed in the shadows, perhaps, and Bava's influence is next to zilch! Now that, in my opinion, is a credit to the man......Am I heading into paradox territory again?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2015 10:37:42 BDT
K. Gordon says:
You make some interesting and well articulated points. Now you have me sitting here trying to think of 'uninspired shadows' in films, and wanting to go back and re-watch 'Blood & Black Lace' to see exactly what images I was talking about and why.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2015 16:14:27 BDT
''Pan'' says:
Yes, me too. Now that's a good thing, surely, a film that demands a rewatch straight away afterwards! It was, for me, a film that was very hard to rationalise as why, exactly, it was so effective! Perhaps some of it is or was to do with the overuse and light saturation of most films per se, as, well that's modernity! But the set design and deliberate lighting applied thru' that, like a series of candy-coloured filters, and the resulting colours that were half art deco and half fairground lighting probably flies so far in the face of ''shot on digital'' or his resolution fare that we know today...
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Review Details

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4.3 out of 5 stars (19 customer reviews)
5 star:
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K. Gordon
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