Quick-Thoughts: Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace (1964)

I genuinely feel like it’d be virtually impossible for somebody to argue that the camerawork, alongside the respective blocking + composition and technicolor-oriented set design it covers, is anything less than monumental in Mario Bava’s 60s giallo Blood and Black Lace — the execution of that warehouse kill especially is just cinematic *chef’s kiss*. However, its narrative sort of left me lukewarm: schematic characters are selfishly covering their own asses (industry image comes first!) at the expense of progressing an ongoing murder investigation, and we essentially see this stressed throughout the whole movie. Don’t even get me started though, more so, on this genre’s practice of dubbing everything with stale English dialogue, which is so disengaging against Bava’s otherwise immersive craftsmanship. 

Regardless, this was still definitely worth the watch purely because of how intoxicating and just utterly satisfying it is to consume from a visual standpoint. I doubt there’d be an “Argento” without this.

Verdict: B-

“Blood and Black Lace” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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