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us title: The Bloodstained Shadow
italian title: Solamente nero
year: 1978
director: Antonio Bido
composer: Stelvio Cipriani
full details: IMDB
overall score: 86

Bottom Line: Entertaining
Nothing ground breaking here, but a fun time nonetheless.

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

If you feel a very strong sense of deja vu while watching Antonio Bido's The Bloodstained Shadow, you're not alone. This 1978 Giallo has very little going for it in the category of originality. The film stars Lino Capolicchio as Stefano, a professor from Rome who comes to rural Italy to obsess over a painting and solve a murder. But that one-line synopsis could be used (word for word) to describe Pupi Avati's The House with the Laughing Windows released two years prior.

Beyond this obvious similarity, the film employs all the normal tropes of the genre and even a soundtrack written by Stelvio Cipriani which sounds remarkably familiar to the score he wrote for the slasher film Pieces five years later. Needless to say with all this imitation, the film scores high on the Giallo Score, keeping it out of the 90s simply because it was late to the party.

Despite its later entry in the genre history, the film is very watchable. In a post Deep Red era it almost feels like a lost classic that could have been made in six years earlier. Surely the film doesn't break any new ground, but I would argue that it doesn't need to. The film is well photographed, the characters are likable and the mystery aspect of the story is not obvious, although you'll probably play the odds and decide at the beginning that the priest is the killer!

So, if you can manage to forget everything you already know about Gialli for the 90 minute running time and watch The Bloodstained Shadow with temporarily fresh eyes, you're likely to get some enjoyment from it.

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 50/60
Italian Director10 points
Hidden Identity10 points
Black Gloves5 points
Amateur Detective5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Avoid Capture: Acciental Death/Suicide10 points
Director > 15 points
Standards : 27/30
Body Count >= 34 points
Flashback Revelation3 points
Italian Location3 points
Mistaken Identity2 points
More than one killer or accomplice4 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Suspects >= 34 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 9/10
Dolls/Dummies1 point
Gay/Lesbian1 point
Foreigner1 point
J&B1 point
Odd Clue1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Priest1 point
Spiral Stairs1 point
Taunting1 point
Total Points : 86/100



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Published: 2016-03-22