Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 24th, 2018
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1972
Director: Vicente Aranda
Writers: Vicente Aranda, Matthew Lewis
Cast: Simón Andreu, Maribel Martín, Alexandra Bastedo, Dean Selmier, Ángel Lombarte, Montserrat Julió, Rosa M. Rodriguez
BluRay released: February 13th, 2018
Approximate running times: 102 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: LPCM Mono English, LPCM Mono Spanish
BluRay Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A virgin bride’s inability to meet her husband’s sexual demands, puts a stain on her marriage. Her situation takes a turn for the worse, when she digs deeper into her husbands’ family’s past. She eventually loses her grip on reality, after being introduced and seduced by a woman, who bears a striking resemblance to Mircalla Karstein, a descendant of her husband, who two hundred years before murdered her husband.
The Blood Spattered Bride was co-written and directed Vicente Aranda (The Exquisite Cadaver, Sex Change). The screenplay for The Blood Spattered Bride was adapted from Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella tilted Carmila. This novella has been adapted several times for the silver screen. With the most famous adaptions being Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr, Blood and Roses, The Vampire Lovers and Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. The cinematographer on The Blood Spattered Bride was Fernando Arribas, whose other notable films as a cinematographer include, Death Walks in High Heels, Death Walks at Midnight, The Legend of Blood Castle and Cannibal Apocalypse.
Though the premise is ripe with possibilities. The end result is a slow-moving melodrama. That ultimately redeems itself with a very satisfying final act. Another drawback is this film’s inability to decide, whether it is an all-out exploitation film or an art house film with a message.
Without a doubt, the visuals are the one area where this film does excel. With that being said, there are a handful of visuals moments, that are horror film enthusiasts are sure to thoroughly enjoy. Most notably, a dream sequence where the wife violently stabs her husband in the abdomen and at the end of bloodletting, she severs his penis. Another standout moment includes, a scene on the beach where the husband discovers a nude Mircalla Karstein submerged in sand.
Another strength of this film is Alexandra Bastedo’s (Stigma) bedazzling performance in the role of Mircalla Karstein. Other performances of note is Simón Andreu (Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, Death Walks at Midnight) in the role of Susan’s overbearing husband and Maribel Martín (Bell from Hell) in the role of the Susan, the sexually repressed bride.
The Blood Spattered Bride comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer for this release was sourced from a brand new 4k transfer from film negative. This release gives you the option to watch, the opening quote, opening credits and closing credits, in English or Spanish. Colors are nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp and black levels look solid throughout. Grain remains intact and there are no issues with DNR or compression. Needless to say, this new transfer is by far and away, the best this film has ever looked on home video.
This release comes with two audio options, a LPCM mono mix in English and a LPCM mono mix in Spanish. Both audio mixes sound, clean, clear and balanced throughout. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, the Mondo Macabro’s Promo Reel, a Spanish language trailer (3 minutes 30 seconds, no English subtitles), a English language trailer (3 minutes 24 seconds), the film’s U.S. double feature release trailer under the title Frenzy of Blood (3 minutes 54 seconds), three radio spots (4 minutes 12 seconds), four deleted / alternate scenes (total running time 7 minutes 35 seconds), an interview with Euro Gothic author Jonathan Rigby (28 minutes 20 seconds), an interview with cinematographer Fernando Arribas (32 minutes 26 seconds), a two part interview with actor Simón Andreu, part one (32 minutes 13 seconds) and part two (28 minutes 36 seconds) and an audio commentary with Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger (Daughters of Darkness podcast).
The four deleted / alternate scenes can be played with or without sound. And the four deleted / alternate scenes are, Alternate Ending, Alternate Bathroom Sequence, Alternate Hotel Room Sequence and Alternate scenes for the Spanish release for the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Jonathan Rigby include, Euro Gothic horror films and how they differ from other Gothic horror films, Vicente Aranda, Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla and information about various film adaptions of this story and background information about The Blood Spattered Bride.
Topics discussed in the interview with Fernando Arribas include, his origins as a cinematographer, Vicente Aranda, Fata Morgana, The Exquisite Cadaver, The Blood Spattered Bride / the cast / locations / information about the differences between the Spanish and English versions, censorship issues related to the film’s Spanish language version and editor Pablo G. del Amo.
Topics discussed in the interviews with Simón Andreu include, his origins as an actor, The Blood Spattered Bride, Vicente Aranda, the cast, Fernando Arribas, locations, how the film was shot in four weeks, his clashes with Vicente Aranda throughout the making of this film, his thoughts about the characters and the film, issues the film faced related to censorship, critic / audience reaction to the film, Luciano Ercoli, the Giallo genre, Nieves Navarro, director Amando de Ossorio, The Night of the Sorcerers, León Klimovsky, El asesino está entre los trece and how this film was shot in one day, Eloy de la Iglesia, Paul Verhoeven / Flesh + Blood and Jack Taylor.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, Vicente Aranda / his legacy / information about other films he directed, lesbian vampire films, their thoughts about The Blood Spattered Bride, Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, Spanish cinema under dictator Francisco Franco and Pedro Almodovar.
Overall The Blood Spattered Bride gets an exceptional release from Mondo Macabro, highly recommended.