With the recent passing of Sid Haig, I dived into his early career for this week's pick. Since I posted about Spiderbaby – the obvious choice – back in 2010, I went with 1966's Blood Bath.
A string of disappearances in a seaside town may have something to do with an eccentric artist named Sordi (William Campbell) known for painting portraits of “dead red nudes”.
At just over an hour long, Blood Bath was an entertaining enough slice of cult Americana. It featured all the hallmarks of Roger Corman & Jack Hill's sixties oeuvre, along with sprinkles of House of Wax and H.G Lewis' Color Me Blood Red, the latter of which was released a year previous. I also detected perhaps the finale may have inspired Bill Lustig when it came to end his seminal flick Maniac. Additionally, I was struck by the scenery and locale that I later learned was Yugoslavia. This was one of the few times that I have wished a black & white picture was filmed in colour.
I found it funny that even in the sixties, people were making fun of the art world's latent pretentiousness. It was amusing to watch and you can tell they were having fun with it. However, I cannot fail to mention that a good chunk of the movie is scantily clad women running around on the beach. Because, you know, it is a Corman/Hill production. Those swimsuits on Lori Saunders were hanging on for dear life, but truth be told what made more excitable was watching her try to cut bread.
I was a little taken aback when the vampire showed up, as it seemed to come out of nowhere. Of course, I found out later that this picture was really three movies in one. Originally, it was an unreleasable picture from Yugoslavia called Portrait of Terror, for which Jack Hill then shot new scenes (including the stuff with Sid Haig) and became Blood Bath. Then, Corman employed a director named Stephanie Rothman to add in all the vampire stuff. This all resulted in it being a somewhat disjointed, yet still watchable affair.
|Sig Haig (2nd from left) in Blood Bath.|