Back of Box:
Bruno (Andrea Occhipinti NEW YORK RIPPER) is hired to compose the music for a new horror movie and rents an isolated villa
to concentrate on his work. But when several beautiful young women are brutally murdered within the house, Bruno becomes
obsessed with solving the savage crimes. Is a clue to the killer's identity hidden within the film itself, or is there
a more horrifying secret lurking deep in the dark?
Directed by Lamberto Bava and written by Dardano Sacchetti,
this Italian shocker caused controversy throughout Europe due to its scenes of excessive violence. A BLADE IN THE DARK has
been transferred from original vault materials and is now presented completely uncut and uncensored.
Plot: This film spins quite
a tale. The story moves along decently well. I will admit that there are a few places where things slow to
a snail's pace, but the film manages to hold things together and recover. It adds a few twists here and there and
ends things with an enjoyable, downbeat "bang." I like the film within a film aspect, added a little something
Acting: The acting from
lead man Bruno (Andrea Occhipinti), works well, to some degree. Other notables include: Julia (Lara Naszinsky),
Tony Rendina (Michele Soavi), Sandra (Anny Papa). Everyone else in the cast is pretty much there for their cheese appeal
and death scene.
Gore: Body Count (6) IMDb tells
me, in their trivia section, that this film was originally made for T.V., but was considered too violent and turned into a
full length film. Well, I understand why. The "bathroom" scene was almost too much for me to watch (ME,
an extreme gore hound). It's brutal. Aside from that, various stabs, gashes, and cuts, along with a beating
and a strangling. Nice effects, great set-ups.
Suspense: Many randomly
tense, chill inducing scenes throughout. They usually involve the killer slowly creeping around with a sharp object.
However, these scenes are made more chilling with the use of some wicked P.O.V. The final chase must be commented
on for it's entertaining cat and mouse antics.
Directing: I must say,
Lamberto Bava knows what he's doing with a camera. He used some of the most creative camera work I've ever scene.
He had great set-ups and he knew how to use P.O.V. well. Not to mention the fun focus tricks and
style points he gets for setting use. Good man.
Tech: This movie provides an
insanely haunting score, complete with a relenting heartbeat. I think the opening credits song (Pretty much
the movie's theme song) is one of the most beautifully twisted songs I've ever heard. The lighting also
does a fine job providing this film with many lurking shadows.
Other: I liked the
opening sequence and how it tied into the film. Oh yes, the occupation of the lead character. Bruno is a
music composer, composing for a horror film. I think film composers aren't given enough credit, let alone
horror film composers, and I would like to thank this film for including that aspect.
I also want to comment on the ending and the use of a transvestite killer with
an alter ego syndrome. Nice. Very Psycho-throwback, if you will.
Final Word: Flaws, every film has them, but if
you're like me you learn to overlook those flaws and find the good. Give it at least one watch, especially
gore hounds (I'm telling you, "bathroom"). I don't think it will disappoint, but you can make up your
own mind. As for me, I'm not afraid to admit that I am a fan.