• Blood Spattered Bride, The

    Released by: Mondo Macabro
    Released on: February 12th, 2018.
    Director: Vicente Aranda
    Cast: Simón Andreu, Maribel Martin, Alexandra Bastedo, Dean Selmier, Angel Lombarte
    Year: 1972
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    The Movie:

    The Blood Spattered Bride, directed by Vicente Aranda in 1972, tells the tale of a young, recently married woman named Susan (Maribel Martin). At night she tends to have strange fever dreams where she's raped while her new husband (Simón Andreu) isn't around. Susan figures that this has to have something to do with the hotel that the pair are calling home during their trip. When she communicates this to her new husband he pulls a few strings and before you know it they're off to stay at the home of a distant relative of his. After their arrival they notice some odd things around the house and soon enough Susan starts having strange dreams again – but this time they’re different. This time she’s dreaming about a mysterious and alluring woman clad in a long white gown.

    When her husband goes for a walk along the beach he comes across, completely by chance one would assume, a nude woman who is buried in the sand and breathing out of a snorkel. When he digs her up and takes her back to the house it comes out that she's a relative of his, Mircalla Karnstein (Alexandra Bastedo). Oddly enough, Susan recognizes her as the woman that she's been dreaming about and soon she finds herself under Mircalla's control and embarking on a killing spree!

    The Blood Spattered Bride is a pretty twisted film with a lot of nice atmosphere and a considerable amount of weirdness going on. The film has a dream like atmosphere and a really weird vibe going on throughout its running time. It's got style to spare and a few grisly murder-set-pieces keep things moving along nicely. Like a lot of lesbian vampire movies, this one is also kinda-sorta based on Carmilla, but if it’s an adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu’s insanely influential novel it’s a very loose one. Vicente Aranda, who also wrote the film, definitely takes the story in its own quirky direction. Where this picture really excels, however, is with its weird gothic tone. The interiors look like they could have come out of Castle Of Blood or something like that, they give the picture a ‘classic’ feel which contrasts in interesting and sometimes very unexpected ways with the copious amount of graphic nudity and strong, sometimes very over the top, scenes of bloody violence (all of which give the film a more modern sensibility).

    Performances are strong across the board, often times quite bold. Simón Andreu, a familiar face to even casual fans of European cult cinema of the sixties and seventies, is a fine choice for the male lead. He’s cool looking, he’s got good screen presence and he handles the material well. Maribel Martin plays his increasingly confused bride quite well, doing a believable enough job of seeming lost in her predicament, overcome by her dreams and clearly – at least in the last half of the movie – not operating under her own free will. Sultry Alexandra Bastedo vamps it up wonderfully, bringing the perfect air of sexual menace to her character.

    Note that Mondo Macabro presents the full length restored version of the movie. It contains significantly more violence and nudity than the eighty-minute domestic version that was released on VHS by MPI before Anchor Bay and then Blue Underground released it uncut on DVD.


    The Blood Spattered Bride receives its worldwide Blu-ray debut from Mondo Macabro in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85.1 widescreen taken from a ‘brand new 4k transfer from the original negative.’ In a word, it looks excellent. Detail is vastly superior to previous DVD editions, there’s a lot more appreciable depth and texture to take in here as well. Skin tones look nice and natural, black levels are deep without showing any macroblocking or compression issues and color reproduction is spot on. There’s no noticeable print damage to discuss, just the occasional small white speck here and there that most won’t notice, nor are there any signs of digital manipulation like edge enhancement or noise reduction – this looks very film-like, fans should be more than pleased.

    LPCM Mono tracks are offered up in English and Spanish with optional English subtitles that translate the Spanish track. Like a lot of European films of the time, this one seems to have been shot without live sound and then later dubbed in post but it does look like some of the actors are speaking English, if that makes it more authentic for some. Either way you slice it, both tracks sound just fine. Understandably range is limited but dialogue is clean, levels are properly balanced and hiss/distortion are non-issues.

    Extras begin with an audio commentary by Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger of the Daughters Of Darkness podcast. The discussion covers a lot of ground, with the two participants offering up some insightful thoughts on the film’s gender politics and the way in which its female characters are treated, but so too does it cover how the film compares to similar lesbian vampire movies, director Vicente Aranda’s work outside of this picture and how it compares to some of his contemporaries, the sets, locations, cinematography and performances and plenty more.

    From there, move on to the featurettes beginning with an interview with cinematographer Fernando Arribas where, for thirty-two-minutes, he talks about how he got into the film business, his collaborations with Aranda on this picture, the challenges involved in the shoot and locations used, his interactions with some of the cast members and more. Also well worth checking out is a two-part interview with actor Simón Andreu. In the first half, which runs thirty-two-minutes, he shares his experiences from The Blood Spattered Bride and talks up his co-stars, his thoughts on the film and its director and his thoughts on the film’s stronger sexual content. The second part, which runs twenty-eight minutes, is more of a career overview in which he talks about how he got into acting, some of the other films that he’s been involved with over the years and some of the other director’s he has collaborated with on those films – great stuff. A third and final interview gets author Jonathan Rigby in front of the camera for twenty-eight-minutes to offer up his thoughts on the film’s gothic characteristics, comparing and contrasting it to others of its ilk. It’s well thought out and quite interesting, a worthy addition to the disc.

    Interestingly enough, Mondo Macabro has also dug up some alternate and deleted scenes that appear for the first time on this disc. A three-minute alternate ending is the best of this material, and while we won’t spoil it here let it suffice to say that it’s quite different from the one featured in the final version of the movie. Along with this, we also get some alternate footage shot for both the bedroom and bathroom scenes as well as some softer takes of the film’s more explicit scenes that were intended for use in the film’s Spanish theatrical run.

    Rounding out the extras are two trailers for the feature, some radio spots, the Mondo Macabro preview reel, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Mondo Macabro has really rolled out the red carpet for this one, presenting The Blood Spattered Bride in gorgeous shape and with an impressive array of supplements that not only provide intelligent critical analysis but which also document the film’s history. The movie itself is great, a lesbian vampire movie that is as titillating as you’d expect but which also features plenty of eerie gothic atmosphere, some strong performances and interesting directing choices. Highly recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!