Blood and Lace (1971)

After her prostitute mother and her john are beaten to death while they are asleep in bed, teen-aged Ellie Masters (Melody Patterson) is sent to an isolated orphanage run by Mrs. Deere (Gloria Grahame) and her handyman (Len Lesser).

While Melody Patterson is known for being Wrangler Jane in “F Troop”, she will now forever be branded in my mind as Ellie Masters. I found this film to be far better than the ratings people assign to it, and Patterson was an excellent choice as the film’s star (why she no longer acts is a mystery to me).

Perhaps most interesting, from a historical standpoint, is this film’s impact on the slasher subgenre. I generally like to think of “Black Christmas” as the first true slasher film, but there were elements here that had “slasher” written all over them. The film in general is not a slasher film, but the opening scene with the “hammer cam”? Heck, it was very much like the beginning of “Halloween”. Coincidence or inspiration?