Having not seen Blood and Lace previous to this release I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I know that it has a huge cult following. My Facebook newsfeed seemed to celebrate this particular obscure title release more than most. Every time I’d share more news, key art etc I’d get a new fan response saying just how excited they were for this movie. For a proto-slasher flick from 1971, it really does open the door to the grit and grime of 70’s Horror quite well as well as becomes a perfect early example of early tropes in a budding genre.
Scream Factory has given us Blood and Lace for the first time on any format since 1971. That’s a treat and speaks to the importance of the preservation efforts of the Factory. Quite often we get some nice new packaging of previously released works from MGM or even new material getting its first send off into physical media land. It’s releases like this that highlight one of the important missions of boutique distro companies and how they are helping to keep Horror history alive. For that we thank them. This is a gem of a release in terms of content, unburying a movie that had been lost to the format wars and it gets a very pretty transfer. The cover/key art is preserved. The extra package is light but does include an alternate title sequence as well as historical commentary.
The movie itself is a bit of a mess, but I mean that in a good way. There are so many little plot turns, random character changes and moments of violence out of nowhere that one might get a little confused. The opening sequence is exceptionally strong and sets a nice base for the unease of the rest of the movie. By the end of the whole thing I wasn’t sure whether to feel completely creeped out or somewhat relieved. Sometimes we have to choose between the less of two evils (you’ll see what I mean).
You can order your copy now.
From Scream Factory
She searched through the dark corridors of the unknown, only to find… the unbearable.
Available for the first time on a home entertainment format, the 1971 cult favorite Blood and Lace is a twisted tale of horror frequently cited as a precursor to the slasher films of the late 70s and early 80s.
After her mother's brutal murder at the hands of a hammer-wielding maniac, teenaged Ellie Masters (Melody Patterson) is suddenly orphaned. She is sent to a home for children run by the enigmatic Mrs. Deere (Gloria Grahame, a 1952 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award® winner for her role in The Bad and The Beautiful), in spite of the concern that Ellie will be the newest target of her mother's killer. But as terror strikes again and again, it becomes unclear who might be the bigger threat to Ellie's life: the mysterious murderer with a hammer… or her sadistic new caretaker.
With borderline insane plot twists, and some unexpected performances by two faces familiar to fans of classic sitcoms – Vic Tayback ("Mel" from Alice) and Len Lesser ("Uncle Leo" from Seinfeld) – this little-known horror gem is a jolting, terror-filled thriller you've got to see to believe.
NEW Audio Commentary By Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
Alternate Opening Title