Blood And Lace (1971)

Directed by Philip S. Gilbert
Shocking Videos DVD-R

Ellie, the lovely mod. Tom, the drunken 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 B.L.T. at lunch, an evening headphone session with Nilsson Sings Newman, a late-nite tryst with The David Steinberg Show; 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 POVs and rubber-limb gore?

Blood And Lace knows the answer. Welcome to the right place.

Blood And Lace is not trash film perfection. But, it does come close. The film follows fab-girl Ellie, an orphan with a checkered past, as she shacks it 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: Ellie is quite attractive (Colby: “She’s good breeding stock!”; Tom: “I’d like to take a crack at that!”). There’s a hammer-killer running around in a flannel, Converse sneakers, and a disfigured old man mask. Crickets are constantly chirping. It all falls into place.

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 (you know who he is) 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 midriff of talking heads and rehashed details (not so good stuff). Whatever. Wipe aside the inconsistencies. Blood And Lace is a sickie-slasher forerunner with smart secrets, quaint sensationalism, and cheapo 60s-styled trash violence in the-right-place-at-the-right-time. It’s got the feeling. You’ll get it, too.

Did you know that this film was rated “GP”? Incest for all ages. Amen!

Ahoy, North America. Never released to tape in the USA, Blood And Lace has The Look. I’m not sure where this film was shot, but it has “Florida Exploitation Club” written all over it. That’s guilt by association (the best kind). Clear and colorful, this spruce, full frame print looks terrific. Being a DVD-R, there’s a bit of compression evident, but the presentation is still superior to most budget DVDs.

Shocking Videos throws on a sixty second TV spot and I’m set for the night. Maybe, for life even.

It takes one to know one. Blood And Lace may not be an other-worldly trash experience, but that grounding is what makes it purr. It’s cheap and lewd, yet passively enchanting — a pleasant summation of that immoral warmth which emanates from the best of ‘em. Simple. Shocking. Lovable. Throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.