Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blood Bath (1966)

Blood Bath

Written & Directed by Jack Hill & Stephanie Rothman

Max...Karl Schanzer
Daisy...Marissa Mathes
Donna...Sandra Knight
Dorean...Lori Saunders
Antonio Sordi...William Campbell
Sid Haig...Abdul the Arab

When model Daisy has a big blowout with her beatnik boyfriend Max, she dumps a bottle of Chianti over his head and storms out, leaving Max alone to ponder the intricate patterns that the liquid makes on his sketch pad as it drips from his greasy mug.  Daisy finds herself wandering the streets alone, stopping to admire a series of paintings in a storefront window, all of which depict beautiful women in various poses of death.  Mere moments later, she is greeted by the artist, a charming fellow named Antonio Sordi.

Sordi is quite sordid (see what I did there?), and convinces the delicate Daisy to accompany him back to his studio for a little nude modeling session.  Once there, he falls into something of a fugue state, becomes possessed by the vampiric spirit of his ancestor (or something), and slaughters her with an axe.

Days later, Max discovers a painting of dead Daisy hanging on the wall of his favorite coffee house, and so he teams up with Daisy's sister Donna to locate his missing lover.  The usual highjinx ensue.

Allow me to pause this review to run down an abbreviated list of things that I enjoy:
  • Horror movies
  • Beautiful woman (especially when in stages of undress)
  • The Beat Generation, and the many exploitations of same
  • "Mad artist" films
  • Vintage sleaze
  • Sid Haig

Lori Saunders: Soooo Tasty!
And Blood Bath has it all.  Sure, it's not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but "good" and "enjoyable" don't always coincide, as I'm sure all of my readers are aware.  The sheer silliness of the script and the kookiness of the characters make it fun--witness the owner of the coffee shop/art house, who removes his dirty apron when dealing with an art buyer to reveal an impeccable suit--but the beatsploitation elements really push it over the edge for me.  Considering the short running time of this feature (at least the version I watched; there are said to be various running times), more time could have been spent with the beatniks in the coffee shop, rambling about ridiculous theories of art and using the word "quantum" more than Stephen Hawking ever has.

One thing that really sets this apart from nearly every other film in this particular vein is that, for once, the beatniks are the good guys, instead of the villains. 

Take that, establishment!

Following my viewing of this film, I have something else to add to the above list of likes:  The drop-dead gorgeous Lori Saunders (who plays Sordi's lady lover Dorean), especially when frolicking in a retro-style bikini.  Ms. Saunders also starred in such quality television as Petticoat Junction and The Courtship of Eddie's Father, although she was probably more fully clothed on television.  Her website can be found HERE, where you can purchase some of her artwork and browse her filmography--although Blood Bath is mysteriously absent.

I have attempted to contact Ms. Saunders regarding this film, but I am taking the glaring silence on her end to mean "NO COMMENT."

ALSO KNOWN AS: Track of the Vampire

Not Rated.  Can you dig it?
62 Mod Minutes
Quantum Black & White
United States

Another entry in the Horror Hipster History Book.


  1. hi

    just wanted to drop you a line to say how much im enjoying your site. im a big horror / sleaze / b-movie freak, and youve turned me on to some great movies here. i just wish i had time to watch em all.

    but keep up the good work, and as a fellow beatsploitation fan, i gotta say that 'bloodbath' sounds really, really good...

    may i recommend that you check out an 80s flick called 'spookies'? its a terrible movie, but good-terrible with some pretty surreal special effects....

    i figured you might get a kick out of it...

  2. Tony,

    Thanks for dropping by. Glad you're enjoying the blog. You mean I'm not the ONLY beatsploitation fan on the interwebs!? Awesome.

    I'll definitely check into "Spookies". Never even heard of it. Thanks for the reccomendation!



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