Blood and Lace (1971)

Wow! It’s a film like this that makes me want to start up Basement Cinema again. There’s no one aspect of the film that impresses, but it’s cinematic synergy that adds up to a killer combination of bad acting, sleazy plotlines, inept direction, and too many amoral twist-endings to keep you guess just how low this PG* film will sink.

So, what does the film have going for it or in other words what’s so bad that it makes Blood and Lace so fun?

  • Oscar winning actress Gloria Grahame slumming for a paycheck as a wicked boarding house owner.
  • Vic Tayback, Mel from TV’s Alice and Len Lesser, Uncle Leo from Seinfeld, trying to prove who is the bigger creep.
  • Ronald Taft, an unspectacular actor with a propensity for entering every scene with his shirt half-off.
  • The candor with which everyone in the film discusses the fact that the film’s heroine had a whore for a mother.
  • Lots and lots of twenty-somethings cast as teenagers, each one trying to overact the other.
  • A musical score that underscores every action with bombastic orchestral announcement
  • Hammer-cam! That’s right, a camera angle that gives you the perspective of a killer claw hammer as it seeks out its next victim.

In summation, this all adds up to Blood and Lace being one of the best/worst films I’ve seen in many a months.
* The films is actually rated GP, a rating term used before PG. Today, the film would probably get a PG-13 just for the ‘mature’ subject matter. There is little cursing and scant nudity, or nothing worth recalling, other than Taft’s frequently bare chest, something that is more a motif than a perversion.

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