A Blade in the Dark (1983)

Unrated   |    |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller


A Blade in the Dark (1983) Poster

A killer stalks a composer staying at a posh Tuscany villa while writing the score to a horror film which has an incriminating clue to the killer's identity.


6/10
2,699

Photos

  • Fabiola Toledo in A Blade in the Dark (1983)
  • Valéria Cavalli in A Blade in the Dark (1983)
  • Lara Lamberti in A Blade in the Dark (1983)
  • Valéria Cavalli in A Blade in the Dark (1983)
  • Andrea Occhipinti and Michele Soavi in A Blade in the Dark (1983)
  • Valéria Cavalli in A Blade in the Dark (1983)

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Reviews & Commentary

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2 August 2004 | Coventry
5
| Sadistic violence, a compelling score and not much of a plot. Welcome to Bava's textbook Giallo!
Lamberto Bava, son of the greatest director of all time – Mario Bava, suffers from an unhealthy obsession to face his audiences with some of the most nauseating and gross images ever. He previously did so in `Demoni', while using a terrific gimmick and appealing black humor. Demoni still ranks as his most famous film. In this `A blade in the Dark', he tries to mix his typically sadistic violence with tension and mystery…but fails shamefully.

The plot and style is textbook Giallo stuff. During the entire film minus the last five minutes, walls of mystery are built up around the killer's identity. The `whodunit' is overstressed and it all results in far-fetched nonsense. In this case: A woman (?) who brutally slaughters young girls inside a luxurious mansion. The new tenant of this mansion is Bruno, a music composer hired to provide a new horror film with a compelling and ominous score. Bruno discovers there are a lot of similarities between the script of this particular film and the real-life murders. Bava enthusiastically focuses on the mystery so much he doesn't realize the climax actually is real dull and déja-vu. Also, the film isn't entirely worth its controversial status. Sure, the murders are disgusting and explicit, but not different or more repulsive than the ones shown in any other Italian Giallo. The most positive aspect about `A blade in the Dark' is the excellent score. The loud music, warning you someone is about to die gruesomely, is far more exiting and `horrific' as the crime itself. Apart from a few top-creepy moments (tennis balls falling from the ceiling), this film isn't highly memorable.

Although not as notorious as `A blade in the Dark', I strongly advise to check out another Bava Giallo. `Foto di Gioia', a.k.a Delirium, which is a lot more imaginative and it doesn't take itself as serious. Not to mention it features Italy's most beautiful woman, Serena Grandi.

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