The Blood Spattered Bride
Seriously, some of this box art from the old VHS days, when things came in boxes bigger than your head or in shiny clamshells, really, just wow sometimes. At other times come on, stop leading us on! Case in point, this film, because the girl you see on the cover appears nowhere in the actual movie and is clearly being used to sell the rental and/or purchase with her heaving chest. Known literally as “The Bloody Bride” in its native country of Spain, The Blood Spattered Bride will probably give you more faith in Gorgon Video, because it’s actually an interesting take on the classic novella Carmilla. What? That’s right, this film is partially a vampire flick, but you’d have no idea of that just looking at the cover or hearing the title. The novella had nothing to do with any of it, in fact, and it would be the farthest thing from ‘vampire’ in your mind, or you’re a mind reader, or, hmm, film reader? Who would think this has anything to do with vampires, or Le Fanu, by looking at the girl with the knife and what looks like a dismembered groom wedding cake topper? Well, it is, seriously. And seriously, it’s also a commentary on facism.
But it takes you awhile to get there, or rather a while searching for what the hell is going on in the subtext via articles you’ll find on the internet. Otherwise, The Blood Spattered Bride presents as classic B-film shlock, sex, and gore, and it does a pretty good job of it. The Gothic framework on which it is based, and the structural elements of the scenery where it was filmed lend a lot of atmosphere to an otherwise simple alteration of Carmilla‘s plot to include a dominating husband, some suggestions of lesbianism and violence against women, which was kind of “the thing” for some of these 1970s vampire flicks, and some classic Gothic mystery and intrigue. The plot, no spoilers here, revolves around the young couple arriving at the groom’s family home, a huge mansion with some secrets and weirdos afoot. After some sexual domination and weird scenes where dude whines like a baby for sexual activity, we get to the ‘Carmilla’ of it all, when our anti-hero who we hate finds, randomly, a mysterious woman buried up to her breasts, yes that’s correct, in the sand with a diving mask on. Various strange moments like this occur throughout, but of course, you can already assume the mystery girl’s actually the Carmilla character of the film and you can guess what’s going to happen next.
The plot moves along smoothly enough, though the ‘machismo’ approach may be somewhat troubling to modern Western viewers at first, and you certainly won’t get a sense of the social subtext here either, because it’s entirely removed from its culture of origin. Unless you grew up in Spain and have an idea of what the word machismo even means, you probably won’t see it, which is fine because it makes dude getting crapped on all the more enjoyable. For a reworking of Carmilla this one actually does a pretty good job with it without corrupting or really alluding too much to the original. Like many B-movies of this type, especially of the vampire variety, it has it’s fair share of WTF moments, but the gore scenes are occasionally artistic and the ending is somewhat shocking and symbolic, so it has that going for it. Remove this symbolic approach, and you still have a good case for the power of woman, though the ending kind of buries that, no pun intended, and no spoiler. For an underground vampire film and a Carmilla homage, it does what it needs to, nothing spectacular, but nothing you’ll regret watching.
Blood Spattered Bride Original Trailer
Written by Stanley Stepanic
The Blood Spattered Bride
3.5 / 5