Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 8th, 2016
Theatrical Release Dates: Yugoslavia / USA, 1963 (Operation Titian), USA / Yugoslavia, 1965 (Portrait in Terror), USA, 1966 (Blood Bath, Track of the Vampire)
Directors: Rados Novakovic (Operation Titian, Portrait in Terror), Jack Hill, Stephanie Rothman (Blood Bath), Stephanie Rothman (Track of the Vampire)
Writers: Vlastimir Radovanovic (Operation Titian), Vic Webber (Portrait in Terror), Jack Hill, Stephanie Rothman
Cast: William Campbell, Rade Markovic, Patrick Magee, Miha Baloh, Vjekoslav Afric, Irena Prosen (Operation Titian, Portrait in Terror), William Campbell, Marissa Mathes, Lori Saunders, Sandra Knight, Karl Schanzer, Biff Elliot, Sid Haig (Blood Bath, Track of the Vampire)
BluRay released: May 30th, 2016 (UK) / May 31st, 2016 (USA)
Approximate running time: 96 minutes (Operation Titian), 81 minutes (Portrait in Terror), 62 Minutes (Blood Bath), 79 Minutes (Track of the Vampire)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (All Films)
Rating: 18 (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: LPCM Mono English (All Films)
Subtitles: English SDH (All Films)
BluRay Release: Arrow Video USA
Region Coding: Region Free / Region Free NTSC
Retail Price: $39.95 (USA) / £19.99 (UK)
Blood Bath was co-written and co-directed by Jack Hill whose other notable films include, Mondo Keyhole, Spider Baby, Pit Stop, The Big Doll House,The Big Bird Cage, Coffy, Foxy Brown and Switchblade Sisters. This film’s other director Stephanie Rothman (Group Marriage, The Working Girls) was brought in to shoot additional footage for the film. Key collaborators on Blood Bath include, cinematographer Alfred Taylor (The Teacher, Killer Klowns from Outer Space) and composer Ronald Stein (The Little Shop of Horrors, The Haunted Palace).
Blood Bath began as Operation Titian and from there this film then became the made for T.V. film Portrait in Terror. And it is from Portrait in Terror that Blood Bath borrows footage from. Also Blood Bath would be made into a T.V. movie titled Track of the Vampire.
Despite being cobbled together from another movie; Blood Bath’s narrative is always straight forward. And at just over sixty minutes pacing is never an issues as this lean, mean, killing machine never overstays its welcome. Other areas where this film excels include, it kills sequences which are sufficiently gory and its atmospheric visuals, most notably the moments taken from the aforementioned Portrait in Terror. Ultimately Blood Bath is a quintessential example of low budget filming.
The four films that make up this collection are spread over two dual layer 50GB Blu-Ray’s and all films are presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Presentation wise there are two films per disc. With Operation Titian and Portrait in Terror on disc one and Blood Bath and Track of the Vampire on Disc two. These three films, Portrait in Terror, Blood Bath and Track of the Vampire have all been given brand new 2k transfers for this release. All four of these films come from clean sources and there are no issues with DNR or compression. The weakest of the four transfers Is Operation Titian and this is also the only transfer that uses standard definition sources.
All four audio mixes sound, clean, clear and balanced. And range wise all four of these audio mixes sound rather limited. Each film comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English and removable English SDH subtitles have also been included.
Extras included on disc two include, two interviews – the first is an archive interview with director Jack Hill (3 minutes 5 seconds) and the second interview is titled Bathing in Blood with Sid Haig (4 minutes 34 seconds) and a video essay with author / film critic Tim Lucas titled The Trouble with Titian Revisited (81 minutes 11 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Jack Hill include, Roger Corman and how he got involved in Blood Bath and Stephanie Rothman’s involvement in the Blood Bath which then became Track of the Vampire.
Topics discussed in the interview with Sid Haig include, how Roger Corman often bought foreign films and used parts of the films to make a brand new film, working with Jack Hill and how he excelled at low budget filmmaking and doing reshoots with Stephanie Rothman.
Topics discussed in the extra titled The Trouble with Titian Revisited include, Blood Bath and its multiple versions.
Rounding out the extras is a double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artworks, reversible cover art and forty-page booklet with cast and crew information, four essay – the first essay titled William Campbell: Shining Through written Anthony Nield, The second essay titled Patrick Magee: Representations of Some Strangeness written by Vic Pratt, the third essay titled Sid Haig: The Guy You’d Know If You Saw His Face written by Cullen Gallagher and a fourth essay titled A Vampire Tracked written by Peter Beckman and information about the restorations. Overall Blood Bath gets a definitive release from Arrow Video, highly recommended.