Murder in a Blue World

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Murder in a Blue World
Una gota de sangre para morir amando.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Eloy de la Iglesia
Produced by José Frade.
Screenplay by Eloy de la Iglesia
José Luis Garci
Antonio Fons
Antonio Artero
George Lebourg
Starring Sue Lyon
Christopher Mitchum
Jean Sorel
Music by Georges Garvarentz
Cinematography Francisco Fraile
Edited by José Luis Matesanz
José Frade Producciones Cinematográficas S.A.
Intercontinental Productions[1]
Release date
22 August 1973
Running time
100 min
Country Spain
Language English
Box office ESP 25,198,396 (Spain)

Una gota de sangre para morir amando (English: Murder in a Blue World) is a 1973 Spanish/French film directed by Eloy de la Iglesia and starring Sue Lyon, Christopher Mitchum and Jean Sorel. Shot in English and set in the near future, the film is a crime thriller.

The plot follows a respectable nurse, who seduces young men, takes them home to bed, listens to the post-coital beating of their hearts, and then stabs them to death with a surgical scalpel. The film takes some cues from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange to the extent of being released on UK VHS as Clockwork Terror.[3]


Anna Vernia, a beautiful young nurse, receives a medal of recognition for her outstanding dedication to her patients at the medical center where she works. She is going out with Victor Sender, a doctor working in the same hospital. Victor is deeply involved in a project that employs electro-shock therapy in violent criminals in an effort to turn them into model citizens.

Crime is rampant in the city. There has been a number of unresolved killings of young men which have been attributed to a serial killer believed to be a sadistic homosexual. A family is getting ready to watch Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange on television when they are assaulted by a gang of delinquents who knock at their door. The assailants, wearing red helmets, leather biker’s outfits, and handling bull whips smash the modern looking apartment. They rape both husband and wife, but leave the couple’s young son unharmed. After their crime, there is a dispute among the four members of the gang. One gang member, David, is beaten up and expelled from the group.

Anna is a pop art collector. She is the highest bidder in an auction of Alex Raymond’s artwork for Flash Gordon. At the auction she gives her phone number to her bidder rival, Toni, a young man with a handicapped leg. Anna lives alone in a large mansion in the outskirts of the city where Toni comes to see her. After they have sex, Anna listens to Toni’s heartbeats while he sleeps and stabs him to death with a surgical scalpel. She disposes of Toni's body in a river, but she has been secretly observed by David. He finds out Anna's information through her car’s number plate and begins to follow her. Wearing a wig and dressed matronly, Anna seduces Bruno, a narcissistic underwear model, who she has seen on TV commercials. She takes him home and kills him. His body falls next to the book Anna was reading: Vladimir Nabokov's novel "Lolita".

Although Anna is still going out with Victor, she rebuffs his romantic advances. Dressed in drag, Anna enters a gay bar where she picks up Roman Mendoza, a gay man who she takes home. After dancing a waltz, Anna proposes to have sex. He is initially hesitant. He thought she was a lesbian. He had never had sex with a woman before, but he is game. While Anna was out, David entered her house after befriending the German Shepherd that guarded her property. Hiding behind curtains, David witnesses Anna seducing the young gay man and sees her stab him in the heart.

Broken glass inside her house alerts Anna that there is an intruder. When she looks outside she sees David playing with her dogs behind the mansion fence. Anna, pretending to be a maid, befriends David and invites him in. When she is going to start her pre-murder routine, David shows her the surgical scalpel used by Anna to kill her victims. She has been hiding it inside a music box. David does not want to denounce her to the police, but he begins to blackmail her instead. Through their monetary transactions, David begins to arouse Anna's personal interest. David buys a motorcycle with the money, but the members of his former gang, who believe he has stolen a bounty from them, pursue him and leave him badly beaten. David is taken to the hospital where Anna works. Since David was a violent criminal in the past, Victor wants to experiment on him the electro-shock therapy to turn killers like David into “useful citizens”. Anna is moved when she finds out that David is now her patient. She is not going to allow Victor to use David for his experiments. At night on New Year's Eve, Anna reads a poem by Edgar Allan Poe to David. When Victor arrives he finds Anna covered in David's blood after she killed him. In another room, the criminal patients in Victor's experiment go berserk, savagely killing each other.


Alternative titles[edit]

The original Spanish title Una gota de sangre para morir amando translates as A Drop of Blood to Die Loving and the film was theatrically released in France as Le bal du vaudou and in the United States as To Love, Perhaps to Die, with the latter title a closer translation of the Spanish.[4][5][6] In the 1980s, Empire Video released the film on British VHS as Clockwork Terror in an attempt to sell it almost as a sequel to A Clockwork Orange and subsequent UK video and DVD releases were titled Murder in a Blue World in reference to the fictional Blue Drink featured in the film.[7][8]

Home video releases[edit]

In 1986, the film was released on British VHS by Empire Video as Clockwork Terror and again in 2001 by Pagan Films as Murder in a Blue World, with the latter title used for its UK DVD releases in 2004 and 2009 by Hanzibar and HB Films respectively. The original Spanish version is 100 minutes long and the later three British home releases presented it in its slightly shorter 98-minute cut, which is still 10 minutes more than Empire Video's release. There is no Region 1 DVD available.


  1. ^ Lázaro-Reboll, Antonio (November 20, 2012). Spanish Horror Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 131. ISBN 9780748636389. 
  2. ^ Lázaro-Reboll, Antonio (November 20, 2012). Spanish Horror Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 131. ISBN 9780748636389. 
  3. ^ "Clockwork Terror on Empire Video (United KingdomVHS videotape)". Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Video Watchdog, Issues 9-14. Tim & Donna Lucas. 1992. p. 20. 
  5. ^ La Revue du cinéma, image et son. Ligue française de l'enseignement et de l'éducation permanente. 1975. p. 60. 
  6. ^ Films in Review, Volume 27. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. 1976. p. 410. 
  7. ^ Lázaro-Reboll, Antonio (November 20, 2012). Spanish Horror Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 146. ISBN 9780748636389. 
  8. ^ "Murder in a Blue World (1973)". Cult and World Cinema Connection. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 

External links[edit]