Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Gloria Grahame
BLOOD AND LACE (1971). Director: Philip S. Gilbert.

Ellie Masters (Melody Patterson) became an orphan when her mother and one of her "clients" were attacked in their bed by someone wielding a claw hammer. Sleazy Dr, Mullins (Milton Selzer) sends Ellie to the Reede Youth Home run by Mrs. Deere (Gloria Grahame). There Ellie falls for a dude named Walter (Ronald Taft), incurring the wrath of "Bunch" (Terri Messina), a 16-year-old who has her own hankering for Walter. A bigger problem is the dead bodies of "runaways" in the freezer. Before long Ellie finds herself in a life or death struggle against Mrs. Deere and her loutish handyman, Tom (Len Lesser). And who is that Freddy Krueger lookalike with the burned face and sweater who runs around the home with a hammer? Blood and Lace is a somewhat schlocky horror film which truly suffers from its "score," which consists of stock music from very old movies such as cliffhangers and is almost never appropriate. This gives the whole production a low-class tone from the beginning. Patterson, most famous for the sitcom F Troop, is okay as the heroine; Gloria Grahame, who had quite a few credits even after this picture, doesn't offer one of her better performances, although she's suitably sinister. Vic Tayback (of Alice) is better as a cop who comes to Ellie's aid but has a few secrets of his own, as is Lesser as the nasty and corrupt handyman..Dennis Christopher [Fade to Black] appears as one of the young people in the home. The shame of Blood and Lace is that it has some surprising revelations and a neat wind-up, but the lurid movie just doesn't cut it. The resemblance of one character to Freddie Krueger is interesting, as A Nightmare on Elm Street didn't appear until 13 years later. Not to be confused with the far superior Blood and Black Lace.

Verdict: Where's Wilton? **.


angelman66 said...

Bill, your screen capture of Grahame here looks so much like Annette Bening, who is playing Grahame in an upcoming bio-pic about the end of the actress's stormy life...

William said...

Yes, there is a resemblance. Bening played Grahame in 2017's "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which I have not yet seen. It was based on a book by her lover, which I began reading, but I was much more interested in a full bio of the lady -- there are two or three -- and this account didn't hold my interest, as I wasn't at all interested in the boyfriend and his mother, who seemed to get equal time with Grahame. Hopefully the movie will be better.