BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is a murder mystery that popularized the giallo genre. It also became the prototype for slasher flicks decades later. The film is beautifully shot and directed by Mario Bava, the godfather of Italian horror.
The plot of BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is extremely thin, but that doesn't matter because Bava's film is style over substance done right. The story is best described as Agatha Christie “lite”. You don't have to pay that close of attention to realize who the killer(s) are.
What you really want to admire is the production design, staging of the scenes, camera movement, and lighting. As it turns out, BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is homework if you ever want to make a slasher movie.
Fashion model Isabella knows a secret, a secret so scandalous that she got strangled to death because of it. Her diary becomes a hot commodity and the body count rises due to it's popularity. A masked killer starts offing staff left and right to get their hands on the diary. A investigator shows up to arrest some suspects. But like always, the murders continue. And the killer is revealed to the audience.
Like I said, the killer in BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is easy to spot. It's the technical aspect of the film that is amazing.
Mario Bava's films are just as influential to the modern slasher film as Hitchcock's PSYCHO was. Even more so I'd say. The only difference is there is hardly any “slashing” in a giallo film. Victims are almost always choked to death in those movies. Sometimes a straight razor shows up, but only sometimes.
It's not that the kills are inventive or anything, it's more how they are staged and lit. I will say a few of them are creepy which leads me to the next influence.
Another influence is Dario Argento's SUSPERIA . That film would not exist if not for BLOOD AND BLACK LACE.
Both of these masters of Italian horror know how to use Technicolor really well. Half the time I don't know what's going on in SUSPERIA. All I know is that I love watching it!
I've been slacking this year but I'm going to try and watch more of Bava's films in the future. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite horror movie directors. I even loved his last film before he died, SHOCK. It's not very good but found it more entertaining than THE BABADOOK. Yeah, I said it!
In conclusion, if you're a fan of horror and a slasher flick movie buff, then BLOOD AND BLACK LACE is required viewing.