I bet your mother never told you that I was the first one to make love to her. Calvin Carruthers
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but there are few American International Pictures films that I don’t like. They have this way with B-Movies that tend to be strange and creepy (even if I don’t like the movie). Blood and Lace (1971) was called at the time of release a “proto-slasher film.”
I had to look this up because I wasn’t sure what it meant, sometimes we get overladen with titles and descriptions of things that need none of that. So pretty any movie with a stabby-stabby theme made before Halloween (1978) or prior to “slasher” being defined and copiously regurgitated; I love slashers, so it’s fine with me that there’s as many of them as there are.
AIP films always have the best musical scores to accompany the story, and this one is no different. This one has a melding of strange sexual tension interwoven as well. Even the first kill has sex sounds when the woman is killed. The fake blood looks like paint in a surreal way; I can’t criticize that since that’s the way it was in 1971.
The story is about Ellie, who is sent to an orphanage that is run like a workhouse because her mother and one of her Johns were killed by someone with a hammer then the house is caught on fire. Melody Patterson, who plays Ellie Masters, has some mad pipes when it comes to screaming, and I wish she’d done it more. Multiple sub-plots within the movie add a nice depth and great twists as everything unfolds.
Vic Tayback (Mel in the Alice TV show) is a detective that has a strange interest in Ellie. Many things ran through my mind about him as the film progressed, and I was delighted that I was right about each of them. Gloria Grahame is Mrs. Deere, the owner and administrator of the orphanage. She is quite deranged, and her story is just as twisted as the others swirling throughout the film.
Blood and Lace is a shocking delight filled with sinister sub-plots to make your skin tingle. This gem gets 4.5 out of 5 Stars from me.