Sometimes I am just amazed at not only some of the titles that get released on blu-ray, but in the huge special editions that they come out with. Case in point, a title that Arrow Video just announced. At the end of May, they will be releasing a special edition of the 1966 film Blood Bath. But this isn’t just any ordinary film that was made under the Roger Corman umbrella. In fact, it started as a film being made in Yugoslavia by someone named Rados Novakovic and called Operation Titan. But it didn’t really fit Corman’s approval, so he hired Jack Hill to take the film and see if he could make something out of it, which he did, and would be later called Blood Bath. But for various reasons, such as the film stock from the original footage and what Hill shot didn’t match up that too well. So because Hill went on to make Spider Baby, the film was set aside. Then Corman came back to the picture and hired Stephanie Rothman to see what she could do with it. She changed the title to Track of the Vampire and made it more of a vampire film! According to Hill, about 80 % of the film is what he shot, but I have to say that it is kind of a mess of a picture, even though it has one of the best posters from that era!
Well, thanks to Arrow Video, their release is going to feature FOUR various versions of the film: Blood Bath, Track of the Vampire, Operation Titian, and even Portrait in Terror! They have been newly restored from the “best material available” (got to say…that kind of worries me). There will be a visual essay by Tim Lucas, who covered the different versions of this movie back in 1991 in his magazine Video Watchdog. There will also be an interview with actor Sid Haig.
Honestly, this release is a mix bag for me. I love the film only because it is an early Corman/Hill production from the ’60s, an era that I really enjoy, no matter the actual quality of the film. But I will say that it is not really a good film, or at least the version that I’ve seen. But on the other hand…I will probably be picking this edition up because I’m a sucker for these kind of releases.
Well played, Arrow Video. Well played.