“That’s the essence of what I’m after — bring death to the canvas.”
A crazed artist (William Campbell) kills his models, painting death-themed canvases to immortalize them; meanwhile, a vampire roams the streets at night, attacking beautiful women. Could the two killers be related in some way?
Produced by Roger Corman and co-directed by Jack Hill and Stephanie Rothman, Blood Bath (a.k.a. Track of the Vampire) is a notorious mess of a film, one which incorporates footage from an unfinished European vampire flick into an entirely different storyline about a psychopathic modern artist. (Click here to read about another such dubious “salvaged film” effort by the industrious, penny-pinching Corman.) Critics have noted Blood Bath‘s thematic parallels with Corman’s darkly humorous A Bucket of Blood (1959) — also about a crazed artist who kills for his art — but this comparison simply serves to remind one how much infinitely better the latter film is on every level. Scenes taking place in a Beatnik bar — as a cadre of wannabe artists listen intently to their mentor (Karl Schanzer) — are clearly an attempt to add some comedic relief, but ultimately fall flat. Working in Blood Bath‘s favor is its atmospheric b&w cinematography; and if one focuses exclusively on the modern-day tale of Campbell’s seduction and murder of beautiful young women, the storyline begins to makes some kind of sense (with Campbell’s visions of his ancestor seduced by a siren-like muse [Lori Saunders] simply a symptom of his deranged sensibility). Overall, however, this one remains a disappointing misfire.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Atmospheric cinematography
No; this one is only must-see for diehard Corman fans.