Let’s Watch A Giallo: 'Blood And Black Lace' (1964) aka Sei Donne Per I’assassino

Blood and Black Laceby Marcey Papandrea, MoreHorror.com

What is a ‘giallo’? – Giallo is Italian for yellow; a term which came from crime/mystery paperbacks with the yellow toned covers. In turn, highly stylized films of the same genre with elements of eroticism became known as ‘giallo’ films themselves.

Why did you pick this film? – Blood And Black Lace is one of the earliest giallo films, from a masterful director. The film has been such a huge influence on many things, and overall this is simply quite a fantastic film and visually one of the best you are likely to see.

Who is behind this one? – It was directed by Mario Bava, a man who got his name and reputation for his gialli and being one of the innovators of the genre. It stars Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante DiPaolo, Mary Arden, Franco Ressel and Claude Dantes.

The Film – Blood and Black Lace is a classic giallo film, one of the first of its kind, and it is highly regarded as one of the first killer stalker/slash films. It is not difficult to see why this film has been such an influence on cinema as a whole as Bava crafted a simply stunning film on every level.
The story isn’t a complicated one, with a mysterious stalker hiding behind a mask that kills fashion models by vicious means. Everyone here is a suspect, the men, the women, no one is left as an innocent until they bite the dust. The mystery is grand, and the suspicion and suspense is held high through out the film. The audience will be left guessing until the reveal is made as to whom is behind it and why. This film is expertly executed and it will keep the blood boiling throughout the experience.

What impressed me the most and what really makes this film stand out so much is the look of the film. It is filled with such vibrant and rich colours, striking visuals and sets that compliment those aspects as well as the script. This is a visual delight; Bava took full advantage of the colours and cleverly placed certain tones over different set pieces. The way the film was shot is extraordinary and it certainly felt very much ahead of its time, there are some shots that are unforgettable and just genius in the context of which that were used. This is a style rich piece, and one that I don’t think has really been matched, at least not in this way.

On the other side of the fence, the film is actually really well acted. Each cast member brought their own flair and character, where you can suspect each of them but also have the feeling that that person may be the next victim. The performances are really told through their eyes and their face more so than what they have to say. This really makes for such an engaging experience with the characters, as you can see pain and frustration as well as deep seeded fear without the reliance of hearing it come out of their mouths.

The script is a solid one; it is a well-written mystery that comes full circle thanks to the fantastic direction by Bava and the performances of the actors. If you have not experienced this film, you owe it to yourself to seek it out and experience it. If you have ever wondered where certain filmmakers got their inspirations from, you need not look any further than this. It is a fabulous film; one that engages on all fronts and as a whole it is an amazingly satisfying experience.

Rating – As an overall film I’d give it a 5/5 and as for a giallo a 5/5, the film is pretty much a flawless experience with both aspects.


Submitted by Ken Storey (not verified) on Mon, 02/06/2012 - 08:00

Ken Storey's picture

great review..

Submitted by Desi (not verified) on Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:49

Desi's picture

Cameron Mitchell was great in this and in so many A-List movies: How to Marry a Millionaire, Kazan's Man on a Tightrope, The Tall Men with Clark Gable...brilliant actor!

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