Blood and Black Lace (Sei donne per l'assassino)


Blood and Black Lace (Sei donne per l'assassino)

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,912
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Movie Info

If a serial killer isn't stopped, there won't be any beautiful young models left in Rome. The killer always wears a stocking mask, making things extremely difficult for detective Thomas Reiner. The plot contains few surprises: what socks this one over is its gruesome stylishness, a trademark of director Mario Bava. As usual, however, Bava seems more comfortable with shock cuts and clever camera angles than he is with actors. Even such dependable performers as Cameron Mitchell and Eva Bartok come off like stick figures. All the same, Blood & Black Lace is a serviceable introduction to the blood-spattered ouevre of Mario Bava.

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Critic Reviews for Blood and Black Lace (Sei donne per l'assassino)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2)

  • It is such a lysergic collision of high art and low that its very outmodedness has now become a paradoxical part of its timeless appeal - and from such heady heights, the only way could be down for the slasher genre that Bava's film helped model.

    Mar 2, 2015
  • While there would be better giallo films arriving in later years, the postmark on this one makes it essential viewing.

    Jan 12, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The film that best defines the most habitual representation of a psychopath in these kind of productions, although at the same time denies its specific importance. [Full review in Spanish]

    Mar 29, 2017 | Full Review…
  • For those prepared to overlook the stumbling script which exists merely as a frame, this is a true original, a portrait of murder in oils.

    Feb 23, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It's one of Bava's most accomplished works, executed with a dazzling, unprecedented use of bright colors and deep shadows (sometimes both at once).

    Oct 21, 2010 | Full Review…
  • This B-film has a wooden script, leaden acting and uninteresting characters, but manages to show flashes of competence through the colorful direction of Bava.

    Mar 9, 2010 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blood and Black Lace (Sei donne per l'assassino)

  • Jul 14, 2011
    9.0/10 From the moment "Blood and Black Lace" begun, I knew I was watching a special kind of Giallo horror movie, which is particularly good, because I love a good Giallo once in a while. But great Giallo horror movies are not common; so that's why this movie, among others, is so oddly exquisite. I liked its approach to its thematic material; and it was actually scary. So it's a true entry to its genre, complete with rich atmosphere and a very nice story as well. Horror movies used to be so driven by narrative. What happened to them? Perhaps they died a little bit after "Blood and Black Lace"; which came out in the days of "Pyscho" and "Bloody Sunday". Funny I mention the second film, because it was also directed by Mario Bava. Now, in my review for "Bloody Sunday", I claimed that it was essentially the best film that Bava ever made. I retract those words. While I liked "Bloody Sunday" a lot and found it an atmospheric work of art, this is a film that is so much better; in so many ways. I don't know why; but "Blood and Black Lace" just strikes me as something genuinely awesome, maybe because it kind of is. The story is pretty simple, and sticks to being fairly basic throughout. So let's get down to it; and have fun with it. The film involves the murder of a fashion model, which leads to a thorough investigation of the crime. The victim apparently had a diary which contained information that the killer might want to get rid of, although other models get involved and begin to get killed off one-by-one by the psychopath, perhaps because the killer believes they might know something, and he/she can't have that. Yeah, this film is essentially the story of a body-count. But at least it's a classic body-count. Before mindless bull-shit like "Friday the 13th" plagued screens in the 80's, we had fine pieces of work like this. While there are many brutal, sadistic killings; what I like most about "Blood and Black Lace" is that it doesn't exploit itself too much, leaving room for tension and atmosphere. The film pays a lot of attention to colors and cinematography for its creepy, coming-up-behind-you feeling. I liked the rush that it gave me, and it felt alive. But it is also well-acted, and superbly directed by Bava, who might as well be one of the major stars of the film himself. He put this thing together; he is responsible for its success. He also co-wrote the script, and it's a pretty good one. I mean, there are no doubt BETTER scripts; but who gives a damn? "Blood and Black Lace" is a masterpiece of the Italian Giallo horror-thriller; a mad, erotic work of high cinematic art. It stands as more than a classic; but also just a damn great movie in general. In films where serial killers brutally kill off women, the act is almost always interpreted as the work of a misogynistic filmmaker, but not this time. There's enough flare and substance to "Blood and Black Lace" to allow it to NOT be tame, but still NOT exploitative. It's not misogynistic, which is good. And it's not a pain in the ass to watch either. It is violent, but also smart and highly entertaining as long as you can look past the content and move on to the substance. Can everyone do this? I don't think so. But if you can, then you've earned my respect. I guess this film was not made for everyone, but I believe that anyone who calls themselves a horror fan should give it a go. Some horror fans might even dislike it; who knows. All I know is that I found it rather fascinating, in a gory, Giallo sort of way. It is like a wondrous orgy of corpses; a celebration of the mad and macabre realms of horror, when they still truly existed. Nowadays, horror has been reduced to something less than it was probably ever intended to be. There are horror films out right now, new ones, which are even more violent than "Blood and Black Lace"; yet this is still the better film. And if you've been reading this review all along, then you should know why that is.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2011
    Visually, this may be one of the most stunning films you will ever see. The photography, framing, lighting and use of colour is unequalled in this genre of film making from this era. The fluidity of the camera-work is remarkable and repays repeated viewings to appreciate it fully. The only thing that may make this difficult going for some is the English dubbing so see it with subtitles if you can. The acting is not great and in some places will bring about laughter where it was not intended ditto the actions of some of the victims. The murders are gruesome and graphic even in the cut version of this film and must have been truly shocking to audiences in 1964. The excellent music score fits perfectly with the fashion house setting of the story and the models are beautiful.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 13, 2010
    Absolutely loved this movie, kept me intrigued the entire time. Beautiful, stylish, violent and suspenseful.
    Quinto W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2010
    For its time this film was unmatched in its execution, though its conception was one in a long line of thematic whodunit films. Bava deviates from this classic structure by introducing a body count, and takes his time in showing the death scenes, in all their gory glory. While later slasher films were happy to leave the killer's motivations to mental disease, revenge fantasies, and a criminal disposition, this film shows that the killer is trying to keep a secret. Still, each of these model's killings is perpetrated in sick detail, each murder different from the next. They range from a fire poker torture session, to drowning, to eye gouging, which usually isn't conducive to murder mysteries. This may be the first instance where the promise of gruesome death overshadows catching the killer. There are some really great scenes, especially the first death scene in the warehouse, which borrows heavily from Welles' "Touch of Evil" in its choice of lighting. The ending was a little anti-climactic, but the rest of the film was as fresh and gritty as any slasher film, while still being stylish.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

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