Murder In A Blue World (1973)

(Aka Une Gota De Sangre Para Morir Amando)

Director: Eloy de la Iglesia
Cast: Sue Lyon, Chris Mitchum, Jean Sorel, Charly Bravo

The world is blue!” The night-time is terrorised by gangs, one of them, a gang of leather wearing, dune buggy driving, whip wielding hooligans. There is trouble in the gang and one member is thrown out (Chris Mitchum) for disagreeing with the leader and is later suspected of pocketing all their plunder. That night after being beaten by the gang members he sees a body being dumped into the river. Opportunist that he is, he endeavours to find out who the person is that dumped the body, where they live and blackmail them for as much money as possible.

His search brings him to the house of Anna Vernia (Sue Lyon) a respected nurse, and one who would never, seemingly be under suspicion for having her way with young men, then stabbing them and dumping them in the river, humanitarian that she is. But it’s her all right, and whilst hidden in the house the gang member witnesses her murder one of her unsuspecting victims.

One night after procuring some bounty from Anna the estranged gang member is pursued and beaten by his old gang, left for dead he is taken to the hospital and set up ready to be the next “patient” (make that victim) of Victor (Jean Sorel ), Anna’s friend, who has been trying out some revolutionary new mind re-programming techniques, on criminals at the hospital. Afraid that the technique might work on the young blackmailer, and that her out of work activities might be exposed, Anna, steals him away from the ward, sneaks him up to the lab, and endeavours to perform some of her own revolutionary techniques on the quivering young man.

Sue Lyon sitting reading Nabakov’s “Lolita” is just one of the many nods to Stanley Kubrick in this film, obviously Sue Lyon starring in this film being the biggest one since she played Lolita in Kubrick’s film.  Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” being shown on TV as a family’s house is being raped and plundered by the leather gang is another.

Murder in A Blue World has often been called the “Spanish Clockwork Orange” and there certainly are a great deal of similarities in the story, except that is the theme of the female serial killer. I think that more than trying to make a Spanish version of “A Clockwork Orange” de la Iglesia (who used the theme of serial killer the previous year in the equally brilliant “Cannibal Man ” 1972) was maybe trying to pay tribute to Kubrick’s film and Burgess’s novel, then trying to add something extra with the story of the serial killer.

The film is very well done, and though maybe not as extensive as “A Clockwork Orange (1971)” in it’s portraying of the message of freedom of choice and freedom of expression for human beings, rather than stupefied conformity, it does put the point across, especially in the outstanding final scene.

It may be getting a little bogged down however with the serial killer theme. The story of freedom of choice against government sanctioned brain re-programming being enough to carry the story through. The only motive for the serial killer seeming to be something a dying man said and an old Edgar Allan Poe poem. Even though she was killing before the old man told her anything!

Maybe Anna was just the ultimate anti-establishment revolutionary?  Though for this to be her only motive doesn’t really warrant her being such a fruit loop at the climax of the film! Though maybe it does? Starting out as the ultimate revolutionary, with an idea to follow and a program to adhere to, but with an unforeseen effect on her state of mind due to the murders she commits, maybe a Spanish 20th century Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov?

Chris Mitchum, second son of Robert, is in this film, I thought at first he played, the TV gigolo that sells the “Panther” underwear, as I thought he looked like the most likely person to be Robert Mitchum’s son. But it seems like he looked nothing, like his father.  One web site does have him down as playing the leader of the gang of leather boys. By this I assume they mean the leader who throws out the young man, who then pursues Anna in the film? Rather than meaning this young man himself as he was in no way leader of the gang, but this is actually the character he plays!  Here is a short list of some of his other films.

Most Recently: –
Tombstone 1992
Aftershock 1988
Stingray 1978
To Love Perhaps to Die 1975 (which  is this film, listed as this on the “all movie guide 2” on CD ROM)
Mean Machine 1973
Chisum 1970

At time of writing not much Chris Mithcum Stuff on the net, now in 2009 with Updates, thank god for IMDB

Review by Giovanni Pistachio, Giovanni can be contacted at:-
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio 26/03/2002

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