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Blood and Lace aka "The Blood Secret" [Blu-ray]
(Philip S. Gilbert, 1971)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,079,057,883 bytes
Feature Size: 21,700,657,152 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 24th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1632 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1632 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1764 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1764 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
•Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
• Alternate Opening Title (:21)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (1:49)
Description: She searched through the dark corridors of the
unknown, only to find… the unbearable.
Gloria Grahame joined the list of aging Hollywood stars who bloodied their hands in the wake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with this sick, effective horror film about nasty doings at a private orphanage. Grahame gives a wonderfully grotesque performance as Mrs. Dorothy Deere, a crazy widow who bilks the county out of money by running a home for wayward youths. If any of her tenants happens to run away, the wino handyman Tom kills them with a meat-cleaver and throws them into a deep-freeze in the cellar. Into this unsavory situation comes young Ellie Masters (Melody Patterson of TV's F-Troop), whose prostitute mother was viciously murdered with a claw-hammer while in bed with a john. Ellie witnessed the killer leaving the burning bedroom, and is warned by helpful cop Carruthers (Vic Tayback) that he could still be around. This film looks absolutely horrible considering the names involved, with an air of cheapness pervading even the most minor elements of the production. Nevertheless, it works because of the performances. Grahame brings a deadpan madness to her character that is a welcome and chilling change from the fright-wigged harridans of similar films, and Len Lesser exudes considerable menace as the murderous Tom. It might also amuse some to see a young Dennis Christopher as the nerdy Pete. The "shock" ending is pretty silly, but director Philip Gilbert manages to maintain a fairly skillful tone of depravity and madness until that point, making this an atmospheric (if ratty) treat.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
There's a good deal of blood and a minimum of logic, or lace for that
matter, in "Blood and Lace," which was exposed in local theaters
yesterday, to illustrate, we assume, that horror can be both vague and
silly. Exposed also are
Gloria Grahame and a clutch of decidedly
lesser-known performers in a low-grade exercise in shadows, screams,
traumas and slayings that are largely more laughable than shocking.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Blood and Lace looks solid on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory - it's in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Detail in the close-ups is strong. It's only single-layered but with a reasonably high bitrate. There is depth and the colors may be slightly faded. It's not particularly dynamic but contrast seems adept and it's probably a very good representation of the theatrical - or as good as we are likely to ever get for this also-ran.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
A standard lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1632 kbps supports the, often, unusual (and uncredited) score (described by Harland Smith as 'Library music') and the few effects come across with decent depth. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
One of the best things about the film (actually, that is not true, I liked it anyway) is the new audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith who brings up plenty of interesting details especially about Melody Patterson - who he claims may have been his first celebrity crush. I genuinely appreciated his insights from Giallo to the nostalgia circuit, Hollywood Gothic etc. - he is also quite amusing. There is also an alternate Opening Title (Blood and Lace; in the same font) and an original theatrical trailer. There is also a second disc DVD included.
November 16th, 2015
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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