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Blood Bath
Track of the Vampire

USA 1966
produced by
Jack Hill, Roger Corman (executive) for AIP
directed by Jack Hill, Stephanie Rothman, Rados Novakovic (archive footage)
starring William Campbell, Marissa Mathes, Lori Saunders, Sandra Knight, Karl Schanzer, Biff Elliot, Sid Haig, Jonathan Haze, Fred Thompson, David Ackles, Thomas Karnes, Frank Church, David Miller, Jess Nichols, Lowe Stephens, Patrick Magee (archive footage)
written by Jack Hill, Stephanie Rothman, music by Ronald Stein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat

Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!


Even though belittled as a hack by the beatniks of his day, Antonio Sordi (William Campbell) is a successful and well-selling painter, especially known and esteemed for his series of pictures of dead women. Thing is, all of the women who are portrayed in Sordi's pictures apparently have gone missing after posing for him ... but nobody seems to make the connection. Sordi you see has a condition though, one that has been handed down from generations of mad artists before him, he's secretly a vampire. And the only reason he has not been found out is that none of his victims have ever turned up dead anywhere, as he keeps them covered in wax in his studio. Still, his being a vampire wrecks Sordi personally, as he's in love with Dorean (Lori Sanders), but just cannot consume this relationship for fear of consuming her quite literally. So he keeps her at a safe distance while luring one model after the other to his studio ... until eventually he goes to far and gets his beatnik adversaries (Karl Schanzer, Sid Haig, Jonathan Haze, Fred Thompson) on his trail. However, his undoing comes from the most unexpected of sources ...

 

As a film in its own right, Blood Bath might feel ok but horribly disjointed: Some of the horror scenes are really chilling and atmospheric, but especially the scenes with the beatniks are rather broad comedy somewhat reminiscent of Roger Corman's A Bucket of Blood. And while the movie has some trippy and dreamlike scenes to it, they don't do anything much for the film's coherence that falls totally flat as all the characters seem to be weirdly disjointed from the proceedings - to the effect that makes one believe this isn't the work from just one brain but a weird mish-mash as only Roger Corman could concoct it (see The Terror for example) ...

 

... and whoever thought this would be totally right. Blood Bath's story actually started when Corman invested some money in the Yugoslavian flick Operation Titian, starring his regulars William Campbell and Patrick Magee, back in 1963, with later directorial legend Francis Ford Coppola involved as script consultant. Now that flick didn't work out in Corman's eyes, nor did the "Americanized" version A Portrait in Terror - which despite some added beautiful underwater footage and a tighter pace didn't really satisfy Corman either ... and here's where the story gets muddy, as according to reports, Corman had then Jack Hill shoot additional footage, and only then Stephanie Rothman (both his go-to directors at the time for jobs like this) add some more - which ultimately led to two versions, one called Blood Bath, using only some establishing and location shots from Operation Titian, and Track of the Vampire, using quite some footage starring Patrick Magee (a master thief in the original, a spurned husband in this one) ... for little apparent reason.

Now none of this makes Blood Bath or Track of the Vampire a particularly great movie in its own right, but if you're only somewhat of a B-movie buff, you simply have to watch the film in all its incarnations for the story behind it ... and you'll be charmed by it for that, too!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD