A Blade in the Dark (1983)


Produced, Edited & Directed by: Lamberto Bava

Written by: Dardano Sacchetti & Elisa Briganti


Andrea Occhipinti .... Bruno
Lara Lamberti .... Julia
Anny Papa .... Sandra
Stanko Molnar .... Giovanni
Michele Soavi ....Tony Rendina

Release Dates: Mystfest: 1983 (Italy); Theatrical: August 6, 1983 (Italy); Limited Theatrical: March 7, 1986 (USA)




A filmmaker/composer Bruno (Andrea Occhipinti) is trying to finish up a flick but some of his actresses and other people working at his studio are being hunted and killed off by a mysterious killer with a box cutting knife.


The beginning of the film was off to a great start with three little boys entering a dungeon and one of them peer pressuring the other one to go down the stairs after throwing a tennis ball to bring it back else he's be labelled a girl and a spooky moment happens with the tennis ball being thrown back to the other two kids after the one being pressured to went down the stairs.
Then the opening credits occur and was excited to see more on what happened afterwards but the opening credits took too long as it needed to have been trimmed short a bit.
It was a disappointment later on as the beginning was a film in a film but some nice presences of Bruno composing some scores on his synthesizer as well as meeting a flirtatious woman named Katia who jumped out of a closet to talk to him later on in the story.
Later on when he plays more of his music for the score of his film which was an attention grabber, Katia is on the run from the killer as there's nice shots on this maniac using a cutting box blade trying to slice and dice her when she is on the run which adds alot of powerful energy when she tries to run away and so fourth.
Another young lady by the name of Angela swims laps in her pool with a camera shooting up underneath the water on her doing so as this leaves a hint that this killer is going to do her in next but the scene was a little bit too long.
When she walks into the bathroom to wash up the terror happens to her big time which is a major attention grabber and intense too on what happens to her which was carefully concentrated and even carries a tribute to a moment with Black Christmas on what happens to this poor innocent gal.
Things look miildly suspenseful when both Bruno and Sandra look around in the studio where the film and music is being made to track down the killer in which they see boxes of stuff wondering if body parts are inside it or not and then they spot a shadow of someone upstairs holding a knife and they cautiously go upstairs to see who it is but a disappointment to anyone afterwards as we think that they may meet their maker.
The suspense was supposed to pile up when the killer is revealed which pays a tribute to Hitchcock's Psycho flicks but just doesn't cut it at all since it needed to look more terrorising. Plus we've seen events in other horror films like this many times beforehand.
Bottom line is that this is a crafty italian slasher flick with some fun touches now and then but some bland moments too as it tried so hard to look mysterious and intense but it misses on both ends which isn't scary enough but not a bad film at all as it can be entertaining if you're in the mood for an aboive mediocre flick like this one.

The acting is spoken in italian with american voice's overdubbed and will try my hardest as usual to review these actors from a foreign flick. Andrea Occhipinti (Bruno) seemed to know his stuff quite well as a composer and producer on horror film's in which he brought on a nice seriousness to his part and offered a good charm to his persona. Shows off good energy when the suspense and terror piles up. Was quite energetic in his role.
Lara Lamberti (Julia) does well as his wife as she shows good fearful expressions whenever necessary as well as coming across outgoing or assertive. She had alot of energy within whatever she did here. Had the right looks and pretty girl appeal for this role which was a nice bonus.
Anny Papa
(Sandra) was another one with a nice girl type and having an outgoing attitude. Really got into her part when trying to solve some missing clues in which she brought that to life pretty good. Plus does well with her intensity when she is attacked showing great intense expressions.
Stanko Molnar
(Giovanni) as a caretaker came across well as a suspect to the muders with his creepy type of appeal and his big guy looks since we often have these types in a slasher flick but for the most part they are the innocent one's. But he does a nice job for what he did here.
Michele Soavi (Tony Rendina) seemed to breeze through okay with his supporting role coming across as someone decent and innocent but was another one who seemed a bit mysterious. Does an okaty job near the end of his performance by acting whacked but is a little over the top with his crazed expressions and how violent he reacted.

A barebreasted woman is revealed in a magazine.
Another woman takes off her top while someone is peeking in a window before changing into her swimsuit breasts fully exposed.

Lots of bloody stabbings, slit throats and slices from the killer doing someone in.

The composing by both Guido and Maurizio Angelis was top shelf as they knew on how to compose for a myusterious slasher film such as this one. They were marvellous with the high pitched synthesizer music played out through most of the plots but sometimes it was too much. There's perfect deep tones and heartbeats for the real creepy moments especially though some dark hallways when Bruno and some other of his workers tries to look for clues or catching the killer. Also terrific sharp composing with a woman swimming lapsat a pool as they for sure left a clue that this poor woman is about to being done in.

Bruno: Tennis balls?