Blood And Lace (1971)

Ellie, the mod. Tom, the drunk handyman. Colby, the horny cop. And, of course, “Old Man Mask,” the burly hammer-killer.

I think I’m in the right place.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? The right place. The right time. The right feeling. Collectively, that’s what we search for. A perfect salad at lunch, an evening headphone session with “Nilsson Sings Newman,” a late-nite hang-out with SCTV; they all pave the road to many rights and very few wrongs. Of course, that depends on who you are. Do you have a thing for hammer-killing POVs and rubber-limb gore?

Blood And Lace is not trash film perfection. But it comes close. The film follows Ellie, an orphan with a checkered past, as she shacks up at The Deere Home For Children, an orphanage with a double-checkered past. In other words, Ms. Deere keeps dead bodies in the cellar, chops off kids’ hands if they try to escape, and plays sexual tension like a finely tuned tuba. I’m not entirely sure of what it all means, but I do know this: there’s a hammer-killer running around in a flannel, Chuck Taylors, and a disfigured old man mask. Crickets are constantly chirping. Everything feels right.

Blood And Lace swipes beauty tips from Blood Freak, procrastinates with Scream, Baby, Scream, and weeps next to an After School Special. In essence, it’s the greatest thing that Donald F. Glut (I Was A Teenage Movie Maker) and Brad F. Grinter (director of Blood Freak) never collaborated on. Amateurish yet decently budgeted, it’s all sunshine, sloppy edits, bursts of perversion, and ill-suited orchestral bomps (good stuff) backed up against a 30 minute middle of talking heads and rehashed details (not so good stuff). Whatever. Wipe aside the inconsistencies.

Blood And Lace is a sickie proto-slasher with smart secrets, quaint sensationalism, and cheapo 60s-styled trash violence in the-right-place-at-the-right-time. Throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.

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