Blood and Black Lace

Blood and Black Lace

Roberto Curti

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9781911325932

Publisher: Liverpool University Press


Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace (1964) is a legendary title, and is commonly considered as the archetypal giallo. A murder mystery about a faceless and menacing killer stalking the premises of a luxurious fashion house in Rome, Blood and Black Lace set the rules for the genre: a masked, black-gloved killer, an emphasis on graphic violence, elaborate and suspenseful murder sequences. But Blood and Black Lace is first and foremost an exquisitely stylish film, full of gorgeous color schemes, elegant camerawork, and surrealistic imagery, testimony of Bava's mastery and his status as an innovator within popular cinema. This book recollects Blood and Black Lace's production history, putting it within the context of the Italian film industry of the period and includes plenty of previously unheard-of data. It analyzes the film's main narrative and stylistic aspects, including the groundbreaking prominence of violence and sadism and its use of color and lighting, as well as Bava's irreverent approach to genre filmmaking and clever handling of the audience's expectations by way of irony and pitch-black humor. The book also analyzes Blood and Black Lace's place within Bava's oeuvre, its historical impact on the giallo genre, and its influential status on future filmmakers.