Magazine article Filmmaker

Blood Bath

Magazine article Filmmaker

Blood Bath

Article excerpt

"Wait, what happened?" asks Sid Haig at the end of the entertaining but nonsensical 1966 AIP flick Blood Bath, and one can't help but wonder if it's intended as a wry bit of self-critique on the part of screenwriter-director Jack Hill. Hill was neither the first nor the last filmmaker to work on Blood Bath, which had a tortured production history even by producer Roger Corman's standards - and that is really saying something given Corman's predilection for reshoots, extensive dubbing, and retitling to transform and resell his pictures.

Blood Bath began life as Operation Titian, a lackluster thriller shot in Yugoslavia by an Eastern European director and crew with an assist from Corman protégé Francis Coppola. In an effort to salvage the material, Corman had it recut and renamed, but the result, Portrait in Terror, wasn't any better than the original - and actually clocked in at a longer running time. Corman dumped it to TV but kept trying to make the best of his investment, bringing Coppola's UCLA classmate Jack Hill in to shoot a half-hour of new material; Hill's idea was to turn Titian into something closer to Corman's earlier directorial effort A Bucket of Blood. Before Hill could complete his version of the picture, now titled Blood Bath, he left to direct Spider Baby and another Corman discovery, Stephanie Rothman, shot around a half-hour of material of her own. This footage completely changed the nature of the film - mostly for the better - by transforming it from a satiric thriller into a vampire flick. …

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