Countess Federica Donati (Isa Miranda) is a wheelchair bound old woman. She owns a large piece of property that encompasses a bay. One night she is murdered by her husband Count Filippo Donati (Giovanni Nuvoletti). Placing a note near her body he makes it look like she committed suicide. Immediately after he kills his wife he in turn is murdered and his body is anchored to the bottom of the bay.
Frank Ventura (Chris Avram) is a real estate agent who lives on the bay. He is trying to get the bay property so he can develop it. Now that the Countess is dead he is expecting Filippo to sell. He doesn’t know that Filippo too is dead. Also living on the bay is Paolo/Paul Fosstti (Leopoldo Trieste) and his wife Anna (Laura Betti). Paolo is an entomologist and Anna plays with tarot cards. Another resident of the bay is Simon (Claudio Camaso). Simon is a fisherman.
Four young people are driving around the bay attracted by the reports of the reported suicide, Sylvie/Denise (Paolo Montenero), Luca/Duke (Guido Boccaccini), Roberto/Bobby (Roberto Bonanni) and Louise/Brunhilde (Brigitte Skay). They end up breaking into one of the homes on the bay to party. Louise/Brunhilde goes down to the bay to skinny dip. While she is swimming she finds the dead body of Filippo. Someone lurking in the bushes realizes that she found the dead Count. Louise/Brunhilde is murdered. The murderer goes up to the house and kills the other three teenagers.
Things start going downhill from there. Simon turns out to be Countess Federica’s illegitimate son. He conspires to sell the bay to Frank. Renata Donati (Claudine Auger) and her husband Albert (Luigi Pistilli) show up. Renata turns out to be Count Filippo’s long lost daughter. Both Renata and Simon want to inherit the bay and will do anything including kill to get it. Since there is no honor among thieves everyone ends up being either a killer or a victim or both.
“A Bay of Blood” AKA “Ecologia del delitto” AKA “Reazione a catena” AKA “Carnage” AKA “Twitch of the Death Nerve” AKA “Blood Bath” was released in 1971 and was directed by Mario Bava. It is an Italian slasher horror movie and giallo.
Sometimes considered Bava’s bloodiest film and the beginning of the slasher craze, it boasts a total death count of thirteen. Included among the myriad of murder methods is hanging, stabbing, more than one impaling (one by pinning to a wall and one by intercourse interruptus) , a beheading with an axe, a machete in the face, strangulation (both manual and by telephone cord), etc. etc., and at least five or six murderers. It is Friday the 13th run amok. In fact the films “Friday the Thirteenth” 1980 and “Friday the Thirteenth Part2” 1981 are said to have lifted two of the murder methods from the movie. The film is nothing if not controversial.
The first murder is expected, the second not so much. When the teenagers arrive is the clue that their jaunt is not going to end well. Similar to the view from the bushes in most stalker movies the first of the four teens takes a while to be dealt with. From then on everyone is chum and the murders spill out in all directions. That’s not surprising for a slasher style film. What is surprising is how quickly everyone devolves into their baser selves. Whether it’s greed or preservation that motivates you I suppose that once you get past the first gruesome murder it gets easier.
Add on a kicker of an ending and you have a movie that you have to see to believe.