Saturday, November 7, 2009

review: The Bloodstained Shadow

Bido's The Bloodstained Shadow certainly doesn't have the visual flair of Bava or the elaborate set-pieces of Argento, but if you're a fan of the giallo as a type of mystery (as opposed to giallo as baroque) there's a lot to like here, with some fun digs at the church, a satisfying plot and a nice synthy score by Goblin (along with a shameless steal of John Williams' theme from Jaws!). A few people compared this film to The House With Laughing Windows (one of my all-time faves), which I suspect has more to do with Lino Capolicchio than anything, and you can definitely see how Bido was one of the second generation of gialli directors, with nods to his forebearers -- by 1978 this was an established genre, and Bido knowingly tweaks that genre in interesting ways, though he pulls off a better attempt at this with Watch Me When I Kill. It's also worth mentioning that the ending is actually pretty satisfying. It's definitely not one for Fulci gorehounds, and it's pretty skimpy on the nudity, plus the Blue Underground dvd, while a great transfer with clean mono sound, is only available in an English dub and no original Italian. I'm pretty sure I'm not as critical of subtitled films as I am of dubs, regardless of quality, so the acting feels a bit broad even by these standards. More of a Sunday afternoon film than a Saturday night film, but considering I got my copy for eight bucks on Amazon it's definitely worth the price.

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