A Blade in the Dark

1983

Action / Horror / Mystery / Thriller

5
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 37%
IMDb Rating 6 10 2362

Synopsis


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881.92 MB
1204*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 12 / 42
1.68 GB
1792*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 24 / 40

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Anonymous Andy (Minus_The_Beer) 8 / 10

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

As the son of the godfather of giallo, Mario Bava, director Lamberto Bava had a lot to live up to when he entered the film business as a horror movie director. Likewise, so did his second film, "A Blade in the Dark," coming on the heels of his undeniably strong debut effort, "Macabre." Despite a few misfires here and there, Bava's sophomore effort (mostly) cuts deep. Originally conceived as a four- part anthology TV series, the film has an unusual pace and generally off-beat vibe that may be off-putting to some viewers, but when the film gets going, it really knocks you off your feet (or couch?) with its prolonged and cruel death scenes and proto-meta plotting.

The film opens on two young boys -- who are as annoying as they are mean -- goading another boy to venture into a dark basement by incessantly chanting "You're a female!" at him. Sure enough, the kid takes the bait, and not long thereafter, a bloody tennis ball is thrust in the bullies' direction, sending them into a screaming frenzy. It's not the opening of the movie, per se, but the first scene of a new horror movie being scored by Bruno (Andrea Occhipinti), a film composer working alone in a rented villa that holds many mysteries. Among these mysteries are why beautiful women seemingly wander in and out, uninvited and unexpected, before succumbing to their grisly demises. Gee, a "No Trespassing" sign might suffice, no?

Bava milks the atmosphere for all its worth, turning a slightly padded plot into random bursts of pure shock. There are a couple of stalk scenes that walk a fine line between tense and patience- testing, but the payoff is almost always worth it. Likewise, there's enough mystery and intrigue to keep the whole thing from going off the rails. Perhaps a little tightening would make the film pop that much more (it badly needs 15 minutes or so shaved off), but "A Blade in the Dark" remains pretty darn razor sharp just the same. It's not the finest giallo with the name Bava attached, that's for sure, but it's definitely worth reaching into the dark for.

Reviewed by christopher-underwood 5 / 10

longest dragging of a body scene in cinema

There is much to enjoy in this film, not least the wild killings and surely the longest dragging of a body scene in cinema. The film is uneven, however, uneven in pace and in quality of scenes. I have just learned that this was originally intended as a four part TV series. This explains the stop, start nature of proceedings which would have made more sense with the movie plot up. Nevertheless there are some great moments and two of the most horrible and drawn out murders in giallo, its just that momentum is not maintained. It also doesn't help that the basement area of the villa used for filming is so vast with numerous rooms and closets, all a drab off white colour. Surely Lamberto's father would have had a field day here, cheering things up eerily with a full pallet of projected colours. Mario Bava would also have made sure that even if he was basically just showing a series of kills that we would be fully involved and feeling some concern and therefore horror as events pan out. So, some great moments but not a great film and for a film about a composer, the music wasn't particularly inspiring, maybe blame the 80s for that though!

Reviewed by Mr_Ectoplasma 6 / 10

Patchwork giallo

"A Blade in the Dark" follows a musical composer staying in a remote Tuscan villa to work on the score of a horror movie. A series of murders begin to occur in the villa after his arrival, sparking local interest.

Directed by Mario Bava's son, Lamberto Bava, "A Blade in the Dark" is one of the later giallo films to come to fruition, debuting in 1983. Haphazardly dubbed in English (which, as others have noted, is some of the worst dubbing you're likely to ever see), the narrative twists and turns in relatively predictable ways, though there are a few nice surprises to be had, and Bava toys with the movie-within-a-movie trope by having the protagonist scoring a horror film.

The film does succeed at achieving a relatively strong atmosphere, and the hilltop Italian villa locations are breathtaking and eerie. There are some great murder sequences as well, and the film strikes a nice balance between suspense and violence. The performances are decent, although the aforementioned dubbing does distract a bit. The ending is clever and very much in line with the film's giallo dedications, as absurd as it may be.

Overall, "A Blade in the Dark" is, like many films of its type, atmospherically and visually interesting, but narratively convoluted. As an early-eighties entry into the giallo subgenre, it doesn't do much to distinguish itself, and that is where its biggest problem lies. It is reasonably suspenseful, however, and warrants a view from genre fans. Just don't expect Lamberto to live up to his father's legacy. 6/10.

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