BLOOD BATH REVIEWED
“Blood Bath” is such a complex film that it should be used to teach a class on Corman. American International in the 1960s was a fascinating beast that Corman ruled like the most indie mogul that ever existed. When the initial film “Operation Titian” failed to impress Corman, he hired Jack Hill to recut a European heist film into a horror movie. But, something happened before Jack Hill got to touch the film. Corman had Titian recut and rescored into a European B-movie that he could drop onto the Drive-In circuit. But, Corman didn’t stop there. Realizing that TV was on the rise, Corman recut Hill’s cut of the cut of the original into a late-night TV friendly horror movie. The final count is four movies originating from a Yugoslavian production gone awry.
I’ve spent more time with this release than anything that Arrow has released to this point. Noticing the changes between Operation Titian and Portrait in Terror (Film 2), Portrait seems dedicated to ruining the twist ending and spelling out the plot for the audience. Blood Bath (Film 3) is where the film succeeds, as Jack Hill knew how to work within the Corman system. Sure, he helped with the TV cut dubbed Track of the Vampire (Film 4). It’s just that Hill’s choices are ruined by adding more to the running time and less to the plot.
While I don’t expect this film to work for everyone, it’s a testament to the power of film editing. The technical nature of film fascinates the living hell out of me and I whipped out the trust AV notebook to jot down every change between the films. Shots play differently, music cuts scenes differently and Sid Haig pops up in the only film I like. Stellar work all around and it might be one of my favorites of 2016.
- Brand new reconstruction of Operation Titian using original film materials and standard definition inserts
- The Trouble with Titian Revisited – a brand new visual essay in which Tim Lucas returns to (and updates) his three-part Video Watchdog feature to examine the convoluted production history of Blood Bath and its multiple versions
- Bathing in Blood with Sid Haig – a new interview with the actor, recorded exclusively for this release
- Outtakes from Track of the Vampire, scanned from original film materials
- Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artworks
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford
- Limited edition booklet containing new writing on the film and its cast by Peter Stanfield, Anthony Nield, Vic Pratt and Cullen Gallagher
- 1.66:1 1080p transfer
- LPCM 1.0