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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Blood & Black Lace - Blood & Black Lace(Blu Ray/ DVD) [VCI Entertainment/ MVD Visual - 2018]

On VCI Entertainment/ MVD Visual here is a recent duel format release of the classic & genre-defining Mario Brava film from the mid-1960s.  Many of Bravaís films have made a big impact on the horror film form, but I think itís safe to say that Blood & Black Lace is one of his most far-reaching & influential of his films- so itís great to get this new Blu ray/ DVD edition of the film- which features a new 2k restoration of this classic, two new commentary tracks, and a few other bits & bobs.

Iíd imagine this film & Brava himself will little need no introduction to most reading this review, but hereís a rough rundown. Released in 1964 Blood & Black Lace tells of a black-gloved & faceless killer who is killing first one victim after another in & around a fashion house. The film blends together stylized murder set pieces,  a tight twisting & turning plot- with beautiful & moody cinematography. The film not only defined the Giallo genre but the wider slasher/ killer genre, as well as influences pretty much anyone who has attempted arty/ classy horror cinema.
Moving onto Mario Bava himself- there really are few other directors who had such an impact on the wider horror genre- with films like Black Sabbath & Kill, Baby, Kill defining the gothic horror genre. Blood & Black Lace & his early The Girl Who Knew Too Much defining the Giallo genre, and A Bay of Blood that set up the structure of the Slasher genre.

I wonít really attempt to really review/ critic Blood & Black Lace here, as itís been analysed, pulled apart & reviewed by far, far better & more respected writers than myself. So instead Iíll discuss what this new edition offers up to buyers. First off we get the new 2K scan, which comes with either original Italian,  English & French versions- the print is wonderfully defined, crisp & balanced- highlighting Brava masterful use of colour filters, shadow & light, set dressing, and artful/ classy shot choices- really this is the type of film deserves the best print you can get, which this most certainly is.

Next we get the two brand-new commentary tracks (only on the Blu Ray)- first thereís one from film historian David Del Valle and  director/writer, C Courtney Joyner- Iíve now heard a few tracks from this pair, and as always this is meticulous research, highly informative, and enjoyable track- it hears the pair move from their personal experience with the film, Brava- both the film to hand & his wider filmography, the cast, the film's production, etc.
The next track comes from Kat Ellinger- of the Daughter Of Darkness podcast / Diabolique Magazine- this finds her discussing the early films that influenced Blood & Black Lace, Brava  cinematic style & how it links into other Italian directors, other horror films of the 1960s, and the impact the films has had on the wider horror film genre. Itís another enjoyable track, which manages to balance Ms Ellinger passion for genre films, interesting comparisons, and a list of films that Iíve got to now check out.
Other extras take in a comparison between the euro & US cuts of the film, isolated music score, and an interview with one of the films female cast Mary Dawne Arden. Alternate US credits, original Italian trailer, and a double-sided cover with alternate poster artwork


In summing this new edition of this classic film- Iíd say itís certainly worthy of your time, even if you already have it in other editions- as you get a great new print of the film& two great commentary tracks. And if you never have seen Blood & Black Lace, well now is the time to buy, buy, buy.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Roger Batty
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