Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 10th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1976
Director: Joel M. Reed
Cast:Harve Presnell, Jack Somack, Curt Dawson, Doris Roberts, Jerry Lacy, William Chen, P.J. Soles, Sonny Landham
DVD released:June 27th, 2006
Approximate running time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Subversive Cinema
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Peter Brown has invited a group of his closet friends over for a dinner party. Before dinner he puts on a little show for his guests involving the Devil and a virgin sacrifice. While eating dinner the various guests take turns telling Peter supernatural tales. The first story is about a hit man who dies when the bomb he meant for his victim ends up in his hands as it is ready to explode. The second tale is about a man who acquires a talisman that comes with an endless amount of wishes. Wanting so desperately to get away form his wife he ends up in France during Napoleons rule. The third story is about a loan shark who ends up locked in his vault for thirty days due to his greediness. The final tale is about an American Kung Fu master who is now selling the secrets he has learned from the Shaolin’s. The Shaolin’s are angered by this and an armless/legless fighter challenges him in a fight to the death. The winner gets to the tenth secret of self defense and gains all the riches of the Shaolin temples have accumulated. After all of his guests leave we are introduced too the ultimate horror.
Blood Bath is anthology in the tradition of Amicus and Hammer. Each of the four stories and two segments in the beginning and end of the film are all enjoyable. Beside elements of the macabre there is also plenty of humorous moments through out. The best segment in the film is the one which involves the Hit Man who accidentally blows himself up. This segment really works well as he is a man who never makes mistakes and somehow this day everything that can go wrong does. The worst was easily the segment with the man with Talisman who wants to get rid of his wife. This segment lacked the humor that is present in the others and outside of time travel there was very little supernatural.
Blood Bath’s outstanding set designs were designed by none other then Henri Pachard (Babylon Pink) under the name Ronald Sullivan. The acting is excellent all around with notable performances by Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond) and P.J. Soles (Halloween) in her first role albeit a minor role. Joel M. Reed’s direction is superb as he keeps things moving at a frantic pace and despite the films lack of budget he somehow creates an atmosphere which is totally believable.
Subversive Cinema presents Blood Bath in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors look accurate and lucid through out. The remains stable as details in the background and foreground look sharp. There are no problems with compression, artifacts or edge enhancement.
This release comes with two audio options the films original mono mix and a Dolly Digital stereo remix. Both audio mixes are in English. There are no problems with distortion or any other sounds defects and the dialog is easy to follow.
Extras for this release include trailers for Blood Bath and other titles released by Subversive Cinema. Bios for Joel M. Reed, Anthony Fingleton, Victor Kanefsky, Henri Pachard, Harve Presnell, Jack Somack, Doris Roberts, Jerry Lacy and Sonny Landham. Other extras include a forty one minute documentary titled ‘Taking a Blood Bath’ with interviews’ with Joel M. Reed, Henri Pachard, Jerry Lacy and Sonny Landham. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary with director Joel M. Reed who is joined by moderator Norman Hill. They discuss a wide variety of topics like Reed’s friendship with Oliver Stone and how he helped discover P.J. Soles and Sonny Landham.
Also included for this release are three replica lobby cards and a mini replica poster. Blood Bath has never looked or sounded better and to top everything off Subversive Cinema has added enough extras to keeps fans of Blood Bath busy for a while, recommended.