Chris | Australia | 01/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Bloodstained shadow is a pretty decent giallo. As is usual for this genre a series of murders occurs and the race is on to find the killer from among a wide cast of candidates - many of whom go on to become victims. To this end, a strangulation that is not well carried out is soon followed by some more spectacular murders. These take place with a medieval weapon and a powerboat among other things, but the biggest shocker is the old woman who gets pushed head-first into the fireplace and goes up like a roman candle (I know I shouldn't laugh). On the trail of the killer is actor Lino Capolicchio playing a Professor returning home for a break and his brother the local priest who's character is played spiritedly by Craig Hill. The action takes place primarily on an Island near Venice and this creates a very nice backdrop for the movie. The tempo is a touch uneven and one very well set up stalking sequence turns out to be a false alarm (this will disappoint most giallo fans). Less disappointing is the casual love scene with Stefania Casini doing her bit alongside Lino Capolicchio to put a tick in the nudity box and ensure the movie genuine giallo status. The soundtrack was arranged by the members of Goblin and sounds great as you would expect. Overall, there is plenty to like about this film. It doesn't have the artistic qualities of some other giallo movies, but it still manages to entertain. If you like giallo films this is worth getting hold of and I'd recommend buying it as part of the four movie boxed set put out by Anchor Bay."
Very good, suspensful murder mystery
Robert W. Grandcolas | Eatontown, NJ United States | 03/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Bad 1. Two overly romantic scenes - one in a boat with annoying 70s music and the other a love scene that is not only a bit embarrassing but distracting as well. Even the director regretted these scenes.
2. A very silly hat placed one top of our hero's head - but fortunately only for a one scene.
3. The climax (an important death scene) is too swift and somewhat unrealistic
4. The color seems a bit off - but maybe that is intentional. It seems every day of filming was very overcast.
5. The music is very uneven - ranging from very good and suspenseful to hokey and distracting especially in the synthesizer sounds and in the romantic scenes.
6. The opening scene has a cheap look, music, and sound - I'm sure trying to be artistic
7. One rather annoying and overplayed scene with a retarded man and his pet rat. The Good1. A very coherent, believable, engrossing mystery. Very well written.
2. Very good acting all around - every single actor for once is excellent... especially considering this genre of film.
3. For once - very good dubbing. If you tuned in at any point you would not know the film was dubbed.
4. The movie is actually scary and very suspenseful at times - and has a few high powered shocks. The suspense and shocks do not rely on gore...instead good direction, music, acting and editing.
5. Very compelling subject matter - touches a lot of bases including child abuse, murder, religion, the soul, guilt and the occult.
6. The movie is always interesting and has a more polished and professional look. The director shows his respect for his audience by not insulting the viewer's intelligence with ridiculous and unbelievable scenarios as some other Giallo directors have been known to do. I'm not sure that the average Giallo lover would enjoy this film for its lack of gore. But I really think that most everyone who enjoys a good suspenseful mystery, containing a few jumps and jolts would get a lift from this film.Id give this film more stars if not for but a few flaws. But know that the flaws are due to the dating of the Italian Cinema of the 70s."
Overacted, silly, and loads of fun-- in other words, giallo!
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Solamente Nero (Antonio Bido, 1978)Bido's second film (after The Cat with the Jade Eyes) is good, solid giallo. A bit raw in places, but that's defniitely not a reason to miss this one.Stefanio D'Archangelo (Lino Capolicchio, of The Last Days of Mussolini and The House with the Laughing Windows fame) takes some time off from his professorship to go back to his childhood home, an island near Venice, to unwind. On the way there, he meets Sandra (Stefania Casini, fresh off her amazing performance in Suspiria), a lovely young thing who gets him thinking about all sorts of fun diversions. They quickly take a back seat, however, to events on the island; a serial killer starts murdering the members of a circle of friends who are outcast from the community at large. The murderer believes Stefanio's brother, Paolo (spaghetti western staple Craig Hill), saw the first murder, and has been delivering threatening notes to try and shut him up, to no avail. Stefanio divides his time between wooing Sandra and trying to find out who the killer is to put a stop to the notes that are driving his brother nuts. And how does it all tie into a decades-old murder?Bido handles most of the movie with aplomb, keeping the tension at just the right level. The movie does slow down a bit, though, and as to be expected, both the setup and the climax are remarkably cheesy (really, can you imagine standing in front of a killer and explicating the route you took to figure out the crimes? It didn't work in Agatha Christie, and it doesn't work now). Pacing and dialogue issues aside, though, this is fine stuff. It's well-shot and well-edited, easily on a par with any of Argento's gialli (Argento was Bido's mentor, so this should come as no surprise). It is surprisingly not graphic (with the exception of one memorable scene), which may be a way to hook fans of regular mystery films into giallo. Both Casini and Cappolicchio are very good here. Soundtrack is (uncredited) by the giallo masters Goblin. All in all, a good hour and a half of pure entertainment. *** ½"
In This Stunning Giallo, Someone's Murderous Past Follows Th
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 03/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by Antonio Bido, "The Bloodstained Shadow" is a modern, gothic giallo. Though it imitates the works of Dario Argento, Mario Bava, and Lucio Fulci, it has a very original plot that is also complex. I didn't have a clue to the murderer's identity until the very end.
This movie was filmed in beautiful Murano, outside of Venice. Stone buildings, narrow alleys, and cobbled sidewalks are built next to numerous canals lined with small boats that serve as the main mode of transportation. Top notch acting, a great musical score by Goblin, and a good body count keep this film moving along.
The mist enshrouded graveyard and narrow alleys reminded me of a Mario Bava movie, especially "Baron Blood." The plot is similar to Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage" and "Deep Red" in that someone, a priest in this case, witnesses a murder. There are superstitious villagers and cases of child molestation as in Lucio Fulci`s "Don't Torture a Duckling."
I recommend that all fans of Italian gialli see "The Bloodstained Shadow" as well as the other giallo that was also directed by Antonio Bido, "Watch Me When I Kill." (See my review on this original, innovative giallo.) Both movies deal with murders committed in the past.