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Regional horror films are the sort of thing every film maven lives for. I remember well the days of noting strange titles on drive-in marquees and wondering about their origin. Every one of us knew at least somebody who caught The Night Daniel Died on a one-week run or discovered the original Night of the Living Dead at the bottom third of a week-end bill. And once in a great while we too might have found something special at 2:30 AM on a local TV station. Because having access to this sort of experience is what made you cool among other film geeks. So I was delighted that Mr. Ted Moehring would elect to send me his giallo, Bloodbath in the House of Knives. Made in the isolated town of Boyertown, Pennsylvania (and surrounding environs), Bloodbath is a neat little film that shows how people with limited means can still create something to hold the attention. Using a cast of unknowns, it manages to capture the spirit of Bird With The Crystal Plumage and Suspiria. The plot is complex: a nightclub hypnotist puts a man in a trance. Suddenly, the trancee goes on a rampage, killing a member of the audience before he is felled by a bullet from an unknown shooter. Meanwhile a sinister figure in black wearing a Greek theatrical mask is randomly killing people. And a woman named Ivy keeps getting threatening phone messages from a stalker. Are the killings related? And when is the intrepid police detective going to put it all together? There are a number of effect-laden murders, none accomplished with CGI as well as good use of lighting, color, and a surprise ending.

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ALP1063 Bloodbath in the House of Knives DVD (2009/Lloyd Kaufman) $5.99