Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blood Splattered Bride (1972)

We could have no better signage prefigure a return to new EUROTRASH UTILITY BELT posts than the opening marker from the delightful BLOOD SPLATTERED BRIDE. This 1972 classic is ripe with the expoiltation/giallo scumbag trademarks and some highly interesting yet subtle nods to older mythologies.

wedding night, oh what a night

The late Spaniard director, Vincente Arada, deftly moves about the borderline of where dreams can influence reality, shining light on myth's shadowy, stranger areas. Perhaps the opening wedding night rape is a statement on the unnamed husband's split personality - protector and ravenous sexual aggressor - or what Susan, the virginal wife played by feline Maribel Martin, dreams for at the same time as abhors.

When things go bad, how about a change of scenery? Into something less spooky, you say?

Hiding away in a castle that looks like the undead are at every corner wouldn't be most people's idea of a safe place. And Susan's wedding veil being torn by a cannon was a visual pun whose significance is not lost on this viewer (nor is the, uh, "trimming the hedges" shot later). Here we are met with the creepy female majordomo and the nearly catatonic teenage girl suffering from trauma. These characters are classically one-dimensional but quickly the film turns to something more unconventional.

What many commentators miss is Aranda's somewhat occulted introduction of some very obscure mythology. In the bucolic garden scene Susan is drafting a pic of her husband when he becomes impatient to view her work and lunges for a view she then names the picture "Saturn".

That one word made my head cock back a little. Perhaps it was his starved gaze that consumed even his children that inspired Susan to spurt this out as she had little knowledge as to the "saturnalia of crime" that is to occur.

Another honeymoon romp comes and goes and we are curiously met with an opening shot of...

Corn. Not with a K like that horrible 90s band, but Corn you eat. And overflowing loads of it, nearly a ritual offering that heralds the emergence of the dark goddess. 

Carmilla is consequently then seen by Susan in the woods. She is played by stunning Alexandra Bastedo, whom bares a resemblance to Playboy cover bunny Margaux Hemingway...an ish I still have a copy of... that I stole from my uncle...and absolutely ruined.

The final violation in the temple of Ops

Yet it is the moments of identification I can't seem to get over. If the Groom is called out by Susan as Saturn, the we should associate her in turn with JUNO, or rather Juno's shadow.

"Juno was the Goddess of marriage, pregnancy and childbirth.
She was the Queen of the Gods and part of the Capitoline triad that also included Minerva and Jupiter.

This Deity was an embodiment of the traditional female roles of wife and mother...Jealousy and vindictiveness (are shadow aspects)" v.

Juno was eaten by Saturn but later saved by another Goddess, her mother Ops, who feeds Saturn a stone that makes him evacuate his divine banquet. Now Ops is the chthonian goddess of fertility, earth and agriculture whom worshipers regularly depict holding a corn stalk... and there we have it.  Case closed. Ops is here for a harvest, and it happens to be the groom.

on the ground and eating dirt as she consumes life to counteract the "decay"

"Is that what's worrying you? You're ALIVE!" "Alive?"

Perhaps it was Aranda's choice of Sheridan Le Fanu's story that peppered this movie with dreams, reality, sex and violence, even some Jungian bibliomancy for christ sakes, but you are here for the dirty pictures and I won't pontificate any longer.

This beach beauty could also be a Yemaya influence

BLOOD SPLATTERED BRIDE is awesome fun and having a look at the deeper meanings gives you so many more feels.

PSA: If you want to avoid being harvested by a dark Ops/Juno themed vampiric female you can make peace with her instead:

  • "On August 25, Ops was evoked by sitting on the earth itself, where She lives in body and spirit. So, weather permitting, take yourself a picnic lunch today. Sit with Ops and enjoy any sesame or poppy breadstuffs (bagel, roll, etc) – both types of seeds are magically aligned with Ops’s money-bringing power. If the weather doesnt cooperate invoke Ops by getting as close to the earth as you can (sit on your floor, go into the cellar) - Patricia Telesco

Otherwise just conjure a succubus, it's way more fun and less lethal.

 The Something Wierd Video trailer:

Some nice and different clips, better quality:

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