The Bloodstained Shadow

1978 [ITALIAN]

Mystery / Thriller

1
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 1559

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 13, 2021 at 02:37 AM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU
999.91 MB
1280*690
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S 2 / 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferbs54 7 / 10

Eerie Canal

A practically goreless giallo coming fairly late in that genre's cycle, "The Bloodstained Shadow" (1978) yet manages to provide all the requisite thrills that Euro horror fans might reasonably expect. This was the second picture from director Antonio Bido, whose initial giallo entry, "The Cat With Jade Eyes" (aka "Watch Me When I Kill"), released the year before, seems almost forgotten today. Drawing liberally from 15 years' worth of giallo tropes and conventions preceding it (Bido, on this Anchor Bay DVD, acknowledges his debt to Dario Argento during a modern-day, informative interview), the film remains a very worthwhile contribution to the genre.

In it, the viewer meets a pair of brothers, Stefano and Paolo D'Archangelo. When Stefano, a college professor (played by Lino Capolicchio, who some may recall as the leading man in Pupi Avati's grisly giallo of 1976, "The House With the Laughing Windows"), comes to visit his older brother, a priest living on an island off the coast of Venice, he picks a rather unfortunate time to do so. On his first night in town, Paolo witnesses the murder of the local medium woman, although the murderer him/herself is not visible in the driving rain. Before long, Paolo (played by Craig Hill in a very intense manner) begins to receive threatening notes enjoining his silence, while the trio of regulars at the medium's seance get-togethers starts to meet very violent ends. To help his distraught brother, Stefano goes into Sherlock Holmes mode, accompanied by a woman whom he'd met on the train trip to the island, Sandra (played by Stefania Casini, whose barbed-wire demise in Argento's "Suspiria" the previous year will be recalled by many)....

Filmed largely on the island of Murano, right off the northern coast of Venice, "The Bloodstained Shadow" certainly does have local color and ambiance to spare. The town where Stefano visits looks beautiful and at the same time run-down, engendering a seedy aura of old-world, decayed charm. Bido and his director of photography, Mario Vulpiani, treat the viewer to many glimpses of the town and its canals, as well as nearby Venice; add this picture to the list of horror films that transpire around Venice in the winter, such as "Don't Look Now" and "Who Saw Her Die?" Plotwise, Bido's film holds together fairly well, unlike many other gialli that I have seen (I'm thinking of you, "Death Walks at Midnight"!), although most viewers will benefit from a repeat viewing to appreciate all of the film's plot subtleties. As mentioned previously, this is not a particularly violent giallo picture, and even the queasiest of viewers will have no problem watching the murders--a strangling, a spear to the chest, an old woman being thrown into a roaring fireplace, a slaying via motorboat in a nighttime canal, a throat slitting--that the film dishes out. And adding hugely to the experience is yet another wonderful score done by the prog-rock outfit known as Goblin. Here, the band has arranged and performs music by composer Stelvio Cipriani, and those viewers who have enjoyed the band's contributions to the Argento films "Deep Red" and "Suspiria" will certainly be pleased with its work here. Goblin goes uncredited in the film, as does director Bido's cameo role, playing a cemetery surveyor around 4/5 of the way in. (On a side note, this viewer just recently saw yet another Italian horror film with a score by Goblin, the 1979 cult item "Beyond the Darkness," which I can also recommend. This film is twice as sick and 100 times as gruesome as "The Bloodstained Shadow," and is quite the unforgettable experience!) As for the Anchor Bay DVD itself, it looks just fine, and the 13-minute interview with the modern-day Bido reveals him to be a man with an engaging personality and a clear memory. The film has been excellently dubbed for this print (although subtitles would still have been preferable), and in all makes for a very nice evening's entertainment. Just one thing: Make sure you look up the definition of the word "breviary" before venturing in....

Reviewed by Red-Barracuda 8 / 10

A very good late 70's giallo

The Blood Stained Shadow is the second – and last - giallo that Antonio Bido directed. His other one was Watch Me When I Kill (a.k.a. The Cat's Victims). While Bido may never be considered one of the masters of the genre, I actually think his two efforts are rather good and at the very least he should be considered one of the best purveyors of the genre in the late 70's. There are some aspects that do stand out in Bido's gialli, making them distinctive. Firstly, there is a somewhat slightly more serious tone and secondly, and most significantly, both films dispense with young sexy women as murder victims. In fact, in both movies it's middle aged characters that end up as the killer's targets. It might not sound like much to some but it is highly unusual, and both of Bido's gialli follow the same pattern. So hats off to the director for being a little bit different. Other than an obligatory sex scene, The Blood Stained Shadow has really no sleaze factor at all.

The story begins with a mysterious slow-motion murder of a young girl. Several years later a maths teacher returns to his home town, where upon a series of murders ensues. Events seem to revolve around a séance group of local bad eggs.

This is another one of those occasional gialli that is set in Venice. The off-season spookiness of the canal streets was also used to good effect in films such as Don't Look Now and Who Saw Her Die? This city does give off a unique ambiance, which is once again utilised well. The film also includes several other odd details in its plot that will be familiar to fans of gialli, such as the weird painting, the retarded boy in the cellar and the present being governed by a terrible event from the past. All of this is put together to construct a film which, while possibly a bit overlong, has a mystery that does actually work in that it isn't too obvious where it's going and there are some decent red herrings sprinkled throughout.

Lino Capolicchio leads the picture. Many of you will be familiar with him from his turn in Pupi Avati's stand-out giallo The House with Laughing Windows. He's an interesting leading man. He's doesn't have the machismo of a Franco Nero, or the shiftiness of a Tomas Milian nor is he as suave as Jean Sorel. He plays characters a little more nerdy, which isn't so common in giallo leading men. He's good and is definitely a good choice for this more serious minded example of the genre. His leading lady is Stefania Cassini, most famous for her turn in Suspiria. I find her really very attractive and a good enough actress. Unfortunately, like here, she is normally dubbed into English by voice actresses. This is a mistake, as anyone who has seen the cult movie Blood for Dracula can confirm she has a beautiful, extremely heavy Italian accent that sounds simply divine. Ah well! The other significant contribution is the music. Stelvio Cipriani is the named composer but seemingly the legendary prog-rock outfit Goblin were key collaborators. It does sound a little Goblinesque at times - though not as good as their usual output to be fair. Still, it's a good soundtrack overall.

The Blood Stained Shadow is definitely recommended to giallo enthusiasts.

Reviewed by Hey_Sweden 7 / 10

Good of its type.

In this heavily plotted Giallo from director / co-writer Antonio Bido, two brothers have a reunion that unfortunately goes sour when graphic murders begin to take place. Stefano D'Archangelo (Lino Capolicchio), the professor, works the clues while taking the time to romance Sandra (Stefania Casini), a new acquaintance, while his priest brother Don Paolo (Craig Hill) is worried that he will be among the victims when he witnesses an assault and soon starts receiving threatening notes. Not all fans of Italys' Giallo genre may be too enamoured with this one as it simply isn't as trashy as some of them. The murders do get fairly intense (one victim has their head shoved into a roaring fire) but the amount of bloodshed is minimal (title of the film notwithstanding). There is also a sex scene and nudity from Casini, but these are done in a tasteful manner, perhaps too tasteful for some of the viewers. While Bidos' direction is good, he never lets style take over, preferring to concentrate first and foremost on telling the story. He lets his film unfold at a very deliberate pace; he devotes a fair amount of time to Stefanos' courting of the lovely Sandra, who works as a painter. As a result, one might grow impatient waiting for the next major set piece. Still, when these set pieces come, they prove worth the wait, such as a sequence of Sandra being stalked as she heads home. The twists are decent and keep the audience guessing; there are of course red herrings and the identity of the disturbed killer might come as a shock to some. One of the strongest assets here is the way Bido utilizes the Venice setting; the sights and sounds are a pleasure to take in. The music score by Stelvio Cipriani runs hot and cold - sometimes it's quite atmospheric, at others it's just too offbeat to really work, especially when it's used for suspense sequences. The cast is solid, with Capolicchio and Hill making for a likable sibling duo; Capolicchio is also a refreshingly different sort of hero as he has a real average Joe quality. This isn't among the absolute best of its kind but it's still pretty good; aficionados should be reasonably satisfied. The ending is awfully abrupt, though. Seven out of 10.

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