Mario Bava’s 1971 Reazione a catena is known by more titles than almost any other movie. It’s known as A Bay of Blood, Twitch of the Death Nerve, Carnage, Bloodbath, The Last House on the Left Part II (even though it has nothing to do with the Wes Craven movie), The Antecedent, Ecology of a Crime and Bloodbath Bay of Death. And that’s just the English titles.
My Anchor Bay DVD is called A Bay of Blood but I think Twitch of the Death Nerve is a far cooler title. The movie follows several people who are all trying to inherit an estate and are systematically murdered in various grisly and inventive deaths. This is easily Bava’s most violent movie – he spent most of his career directing horror movies that were more stylish and moody than gory. In the 1960’s he had paved a path for the growth of the Italian horror industry with such classics as Black Sunday and Black Sabbath. By the 1970’s his movies were receiving fairly poor treatment by the film industry. Lisa and the Devil was never picked up by a distributor and the film was re-edited into an Exorcist clone called House of Exorcism.
This film is considered to be the earliest of the slasher film genre and it certainly influenced movies like Friday the 13th. The trailer is one of the weirdest trailers I think I’ve ever seen. For some strange reason it’s shown in various solid colours, although the movie itself is actually a regular looking movie. I think it was done to get away with showing several of the grisly deaths in the trailer. Whatever the reason it’s a funky trailer.