42nd Street Cinema

The Blood Spattered Bride (1972) & The Beast In Heat (1977) Double Bill

I thought I would switch things up a bit and tackle a double bill of Vicente Aranda's The Blood Spattered Bride (1972) and Luigi Batzella's The Beast In Heat (1977).

The Blood Spattered Bride
Like most most euro horror films of the era, this was no exception when it came to the video nasty circuit and is coincidentally what originally attracted me to it.
Starting off as something similar to a kitsch Hammer flick I begin to feel the warmth and familiarity I get when watching cult European films. Starring Simon Andreu and Maribel Martin as a newlywed couple. It is clear that Susan (Martin) is having trouble adjusting to married life and is becoming scared of her husband and his increasingly sexual and quite often violent ways. She soon begins to believe that she is being visited by Mircalla Karstein (Alexandra Bastedo) who 200 years ago murdered her husband. She also happens to be a descendant of Susan's husband. Now Mircalla wants Susan to take a page out of her book and kill her husband. Apologies if that became convoluted as Simon Andreu's character is simply referred to as 'The Husband'.

The Blood Spattered Bride deals with misogyny, virginity and lesbianism without it becoming tasteless and sleazy, through various metaphors. An interesting scene worth of a note; is when Susan is first 'visited' by Mircalla Karstein and given the dagger, the entire sequence has a strobe effect adding a real dreamlike quality to it. It also ends with Mircalla kissing Susan in what would appear to be a vampiric manner introducing a supernatural element to the story.
The film's plot has some minor gaps in logic which are easily overlooked and aided by sublime climax. Coupled with exquisitely dreary mise en scene and a picturesque autumnal backdrop, atmosphere is something this film doesn't fall short on and is one of the first things to be established within the first 10 minutes.

A stylish and tasteful, yet often awkwardly paced entry into the euro horror genre. Genre fans will no doubt eat this up. I certainly did.

DVD: Blue Underground
Running Time: 101 Mins
Extras: U.S. Combo Theatrical Trailer



The Beast In Heat
A film that harbors some of the most ridiculous scenes ever committed to celluloid. Within the first 5 minutes we see The Beast (Salvatore Baccaro) getting his freak on with an unlucky lass.
Giving incredibly brief look at the wafer plot we would see that a female doctor within the S.S. has created what is essentially a neanderthal man who bonks his victims to death. What a way to go, ay? I do not understand from a logical standpoint of how the German army could benefit from having a 'beast' in their possession.

Along side this scientific abomination and his cruel mistress is a group of resistance soldiers who intend on overthrowing the town's Nazi occupation.
The film is generally snail paced and the promises of something gruesome are few and far between, with boring set pieces and bland cinematography it ranks low. It would be interesting to hear what Nigel over at Italian Film Review would make of this with his political smarts. I am however somewhat naive when it comes to giving a political commentary of sorts.

A film for completists of Nazisploitation. I'd personally stick to Gialli films over this rubbish, unfortunately I have another 3 S.S. films to sift through...lucky me.

DVD: Exploitation Digital (Shriek Show)
Running Time: 86 Mins
Extras: Photo Gallery, Trailer and Shriek Show Trailers.

1 Star

2 comments:

Nigel M said...

I cant remember where I saw beast in heat- since I doubt it was on TV (though funny enough a cut version may have showed up on telly) it was probablhy a vhs rental. If I remember- and it was a long while ago, the film was completely shit start to finish.

Alex Bakshaev said...

Well, "Beast in Heat" is very much an "aquired taste" picture.
Couldn't ever sit through it in one go.
My copy has no opening credits (just the Swastica background and music) and aspect ratio keeps jumping. A good deal of Beast in heat is stock footage from another Italian war shitfilm.
Nazi films are a fairly shit genre. I hated "Ilsa", for example.
The only good fun one is Mattei's "SS Girls" - quite well-paced and VERY tasteless!

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