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Bay Of Blood, A (1971)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Bay Of Blood, A (1971) (aka TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE) Just caught up with Mario Bava's A BAY OF BLOOD- enjoyed it immensely! Really cool film, and honestly, there were moments when I thought I WAS watching a FRIDAY THE 13TH flick! From the skinny dipping girl (FULL ON NUDITY HERE, FANS!), the "woods" setting with the handheld POV of the killer, the spear-the-fornicating couple-in-bed sequence, the machete-thingy to the face, to the decapitation...I mean, this is where Paramount's FRIDAY THE 13th 1 & 2 definitely "borrowed" their stylistic murder scenes from for sure, no question about it! I mean, the skinnydipping hottie off the dock sequence looks right out of Crystal Lake! Now I TOTALLY see why so many fans say BAY [or TWITCH] influenced FRIDAY THE 13th! Now the STORY- of course, was totally different with all the lying, conniving characters killing each other off to get the rights to the "bay" property. But the stylistic execution of the murders was borrowed for sure. FRIDAY THE 13th producer/director surely saw this, and I KNOW who else did- FRIDAY 1-5 financier Phil Scuderi, who got screenwriter Ron Kurz to ghost write FRIDAY THE 13TH and to pen Part 2. (Phil and his Hallmark Distribution were the exclusive distributors of TWITCH in the '70's, even retitling it LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT 2 during its run alongside LAST HOUSE, and even though it wasn't a HUGE success at the time, it made dough for them. And Scuderi was the one who was instrumental in shaping ALL the F13 scripts from 1-5, even the original, and he really loved Bava's movie! Since not many had seen it, he definitely cribbed from it, and no doubt director Cunningham saw it and "borrowed" the down-and-dirty very quick and effective murder styles!) So I see what the purists are saying---but the stories are night and day, of course, but loved the TWITCH plot of EVERYONE killing everyone, the whole cast was murderers for greed, and then the couple that "prevailed" –SPOILER HERE- their bratty little kids blow them away at the end! Classic! But I can seriously see about 20 min of this movie which could easily be a FRIDAY THE 13th movie---a blueprint to be inspired by for sure! Interestingly, the sweater the one "illegitimate brother" of the second heiress wore was strikingly similar to the one Mrs. Vorhees sports in FRIDAY THE 13th! While F13 is not a "carbon copy" of TWITCH...you can see where the whole POV-SLASHER IN THE WOODS style originated from for sure, and the effects by maestro Carlo Rambaldi are amazingly good, even by today's standards (and Savini's almost a decade later in FRIDAY THE 13th!!!!).Of course, the story of F13 was much different and also inspired by HALLOWEEN and also came across fairly original [at the time], but no question- the roots of today's stalker/slash/POV movies comes from BAY...Like I said...there were moments when I was SURE it was a F13 movie, especially with the teens hitting the place, splitting up, skinnydipping, being impaled in bed with the spear [that who sequence was completed "borrowed" by Phil for F13 2----no question!!!!----and GREAT to finally see that UNCUT and really uninhibited! WOW!] Kind of hard to explain, but for 15 plus minutes, A BAY OF BLOOD is like watching a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie made in the early 70's as opposed to early 80's! Highly Recommended!

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