The horror world has debated the true origin of the modern slasher subgenre and six decades later, the question remains. Is there a single film that clearly laid out the formula that the entire slasher subgenre would follow? The answer is yes, but that movie might surprise you.
Mario Bava’s 1971 film “A BAY OF BLOOD” was first to combine all the elements that established the basic template for future slasher films to follow: a twisty plotline marked with multiple red herrings, the idea of the anniversary event causing the mayhem, the Point of View from the stalking killer, a cast of quirky characters, myriad creative kills, the dramatic discovery of mangled bodies, the shock ending – and of course, young victims who live only to get drunk, high, laid and dispatched in spectacular fashion.
A succession of graphic murders follows the killing of wheelchair-bound matriarch Countess Federica (Isa Miranda). The plot revolves around the acquisition of an idyllic piece of lakefront property, where every character has a motive for murder. Once it was picked up for North American distribution, “A BAY OF BLOOD” was released numerous times under a variety of different titles. Its first American distributor, Hallmark Releasing, released it to theaters in 1972 under the title THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT PT2, selling it as a sequel to Wes Craven’s 1970 hit. It was also released with promotional vomit bags under the title CARNAGE.
You’ve read our interview with screenwriter Dandano Sacchietti in RM196; now, see the movie that inspired the entire slasher subgenre on Halloween Night!
Tickets are available now via Kino Marquee. Executive Editor Andrea Subissati kicks things off with an intro and trivia at 8:30pm EST via Zoom – link will be posted on our Facebook event page at 8:15. Stick around to chat during the film!