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A Blade in the Dark (1983)

Cast: Andrea Occhipinti, Andrea Occhipinti, Anna Papa, more...
Director: Lamberto Bava, Lamberto Bava
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Anchor Bay
Genre: Horror, Slashers, Italian Horror, Giallo
Running Time: 104 min.
Languages: English
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This horror-thriller from director Lamberto Bava stars Andrea Occhipinti as Bruno, a composer who becomes involved in a frightening series of murders while staying at an isolated villa. The story turns on a scene in the horror film Bruno is scoring: a young child, taunted by cruel bullies, descends into a dark cellar after a bouncing tennis ball. The kids hear a scream and the ball bounces up to them, leaving bloody tracks on the wall. Pretty Sandra, Bruno's director, explains that her inspiration was the childhood of Linda, the villa's previous tenant, but there is something far more sinister going on. Anyone who has seen Psycho probably has a good idea what that "something" is, but the plot is really incidental. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Bava Sr. gets some competition from Jr. by carlykristen April 15, 2004 - 8:13 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This is by far one of the best giallos I have seen. Nevermind the cover artwork, it is misleading. What stood out the most was how the killer was portrayed in the murder scenes. This is not the typical watch-the-black-gloved-man-stab-someone scene. Instead, Lamberto offers plenty of foot, hand, and body shots of the killer. He makes the scene more from the killers point of view than the victims. This adds to the creepiness and insanity of the situations. Love the crazy giggling and child-like voice. The last 10 mins are the best.

And this may sound like an odd comparison, but after finishing the film, I was reminded of Sleepaway Camp. Ok, so counselors getting murdered at a camp is not so similar as an italian composer being stalked, but you'll see what I mean. Ironically, they were made the same year, too.

A Little Style with your Slaughter by AHidalgo November 7, 2003 - 4:19 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Comparisons abound between this film and Argento's "Unsane".

Certainly, they both feature alluring females stalked by a killer and roaming camera.

This film features an amusing series of point of view shots from the perspective of a seemingly floating and unaccompanied blade (actually attached to the camera).

Intriguing is that the warnings of a killer in the midst comes to the protagonist, a horror film composer!, through the filtering of a recent reel to reel recording he has done for the new film that he is working on.

Apparently, Bava was given access to a plush property, the producer's hacienda in the hills, as a luxurious location to improvise a horror tale on.

The result is no bad improv movie but instead a chilling and attractive tale of terror that never lets you go of its panache and apprehension until the final reel, an object that even plays an important part in the resolution of the assassin's identity, but who cares whodunit? The mood and the cruelty are what distinguishes this film from others. Plus, it does not have the slow pacing and whodunit self-importance of the classic gialli.

Check it out as it is outstanding horror and probably the best film Bava ever made, ranking up there with the best of his father's films.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.48)
52 Votes
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Bloody Best
Just goes to show you that horror movies weren't meant to be PG-13!
Great Giallo Movies
A list of the best Giallo movies available at Greencine. In no particular order.

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