Review: A Blade in the Dark


Son of horror legend Mario Bava, Lamberto tries his hand at a very Argento style Giallo movie, and whilst his effort is by no means bad, it goes to show that some people are leaders whilst others merely follow.

The plot surrounds Bruno, a composer who is set the task of scoring a horror movie. Whilst he is left to work in an isolated mansion he continues to receive unexpected guests who then mysteriously disappear with little trace of the bodies, with only subtle clues left of their unsavoury end. Naturally no one believes him, as most think that he has just been spooked by the subject matter of the movie, he however believes that the answer lies in the mysterious final reel of the movie, which no one but the director has seen.

As the movie is a straight down the line Gailo we are left as much in the dark about the killers identity as the lead character, generating a natural mystery about the plot. Sadly, this is where the movie partly falls down. Now mystery is a good thing but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a lot going on at times aside from the lead running in and out of the house investigating various ominous noises, and so, as the story is slow to develop the pace seriously suffers at times. Considering the movies run time is hardly epic, there is a lot of dead space in the 1 hour 40. Sometimes these scenes do help to generate some atmosphere, helped along by the addictive score which is both simple and eerie, which when coupled by the maniacal noises made by the killer gives the movie a definite sinister edge, but at other times they are simply boring and feel like filler. 

As the movie progresses and the body count rises, and we get more clues into the killers identity we are treated to some real violent beauty; the bathroom scene in particular is probably one of my faviourite Gailo murders. This scene, indeed most of the effects are well done, with an emphasis on realism. Sure the blood looks a little off, but for the main part the few scenes of graphic violence within the movie impact strongly enough to make them memorable.

For everything else which hasn't been commented on, well it's because there is nothing to comment on!  This movie follows, to the letter, the text book formula for movies in this genre, and achieves them to an acceptable standard.

Overall, whilst many, like me, will simply view this movie by chance, some will view it hoping for some of the father's influence to shine through. If that's what you were expecting then I think you will feel a little sold short. This movie is nothing but adequate, carried into the limelight no doubt by the brutal bathroom scene. This scene does not fail to disappoint, however, with the slow pace at times it is a tough trade off. There are better, there are worse, this is simply average.

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