Blood Bath (1966)

Karl Schanzer plays Max, the artist

Blood Bath on IMDB

'In Venice, California, student Daisy (Merissa Mathes) leaves a club alone after having an argument with her beatnik boyfriend Max (Carl Schanzer). Walking through the deserted streets, she stops to admire some gruesome paintings in a gallery window painted by artist Antonio Sordi (Campbell), who coincidentally also comes by to look in on his "lost children." After a friendly conversation, Sordi convinces the young woman to pose nude for him that night. At his bell-tower studio, Sordi is possessed by the spirit of a long-dead ancestor and suddenly transforms into a vampiric monster who hacks the screaming Daisy to death with a cleaver. Afterwards, he lowers her mutilated corpse into a vat of boiling wax.

Sordi, in his vampire form, stalks Venice in search of victims; he is able to do so freely at all hours. In the middle of the day, he chases a young woman into the surf at a beach and drowns her. At night, he kills a prostitute in a car while pedestrians stroll by, all of them assuming the pair are lovers sharing an intimate moment. Another victim is approached at a party, chased into a swimming pool, and drowned there after the other guests have moved into the house. The murdered women are carried back to Sordi's studio and painted by the artist, their bodies then covered in wax.

Max wants to make up with Daisy but cannot find her anywhere. Learning that she has posed for Sordi and become the subject of the latest in the artist's series of "Dead Red Nudes," he visits her sister Donna (Sandra Knight) to ask her forgiveness. Donna tells Max she hasn't seen Daisy for days, and is concerned about the recent rash of disappearances. She reads Max the legend of Sordi's 15th-century ancestor Erno, a painter condemned to be burned at the stake for capturing his subjects' souls on canvas. Unable to convince Max that Antonio Sordi might also be a vampire, she confronts the artist at his studio and asks him if he has seen Daisy. He angrily brushes her off. That night, he later follows her through the streets and murders her as she tries to escape from him on a carousel.

The "human" Sordi is in love with Dorian (Linda Saunders), an avant-garde ballerina and Daisy's former roommate. At first he tries to protect her from his vampiric tendencies, warning her his studio is a cheerless place and at one point breaking a date with her to spend time gaining control of his feelings for her. When she turns up at the studio unannounced, he believes she is the reincarnation of Erno Sordi’s long-dead mistress Melizza (also played by Linda Saunders), a witch who had denounced him to the ecclesiastical courts in order to protect herself from prosecution, and traps her in a net. He is about to slash her throat with a razor when Max and his beatnik friends finally realize Sordi is a murderer and successfully free her from the tower. Melizza, seen in a painting that Sordi keeps concealed behind a curtain, brings three of Sordi's victims back to life and they dispatch him by forcing him into the boiling wax.'
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