Blood and Black Lace

BookBlood and Black Lace

Blood and Black Lace

Devil's Advocates


January 31st, 2020

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Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace (1964) is a legendary title, and is commonly considered as the archetypal giallo. A murder mystery about a faceless and menacing killer stalking the premises of a luxurious fashion house in Rome, Blood and Black Lace set the rules for the genre: a masked, black-gloved killer, an emphasis on graphic violence, elaborate and suspenseful murder sequences. But Blood and Black Lace is first and foremost an exquisitely stylish film, full of gorgeous color schemes, elegant camerawork, and surrealistic imagery, testimony of Bava’s mastery and his status as an innovator within popular cinema. This book recollects Blood and Black Lace’s production history, putting it within the context of the Italian film industry of the period and includes plenty of previously unheard-of data. It analyzes its main narrative and stylistic aspects, including the groundbreaking prominence of violence and sadism and its use of color and lighting, as well as Bava’s irreverent approach to genre filmmaking and clever handling of the audience’s expectations by way of irony and pitch-black humor. The book also analyzes Blood and Black Lace’s place within Bava’s oeuvre, its historical impact on the giallo genre, and its influential status on future filmmakers.

'Curti’s long and wide experience as a historian and analyst of Italian film, in particular horror film, is evident in this well structured, print monograph... Curti’s monograph makes a more concise starting point for both the enthusiast and the academic.'
Tina Stockman, Media Education Journal

Author Information

Roberto Curti is an Italian film historian who has written many books on Italian cinema. They include Italian Crime Filmography 1968-1980; Mavericks of Italian Cinema; and a trilogy of volumes on Italian Gothic Horror Films (1957-1969; 1970-1979; 1980-1989), published by McFarland.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Prologue (and Epilogue)8
1. Bava Goes Fashion10
2. Under the Sign of the Giallo16
3. Something To Do With Women, Something To Do With Death20
4. On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts30
5. A World of Mannequins44
6. Dressed to Kill54
7. A Matter of Style60
8. The Evil Eye70
9. The Rules of the Game78
10. From the Page to the Screen88
11. A Celibate Founder100
12. The Red Telephone108