Blade in the Dark (1983)
Directed by Lamberto Bava

Starring Andrea Occhipinti Anny Papa

Decent early '80s giallo film from the director of "Demons," written by the scribes of Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond" and Mario Bava's "Bay of Blood," and co-starring Michele Soavi, who would go on to direct the classic "Cemetery Man." In short, this is a must-see for any fan of Italian horror.

Considering how low the budget obviously was, Bava does a great job crafting a classic giallo mystery. The film may even have inspired Wes Craven's "Scream 3," which was also a horror movie about the making of a horror movie.

Occhipini is a horror movie music composer who rents a house so that he can compose the music to a new thriller, based loosely on the life of a friend of the director. The film opens with a scene from that movie a group of children are playing in what looks like an old haunted house. (One of the kids is played by Lucio Fulci actor Giovanni Frezzi, who was seen in "House by the Cemetery" and "Manhattan Baby"). When one of the boys goes to fetch a tennis ball, the only thing that comes back is the ball, covered in blood.

We learn moments later that this is actually a scene from the film. As Occhipini begins work on his score for the film, he's visited by a series of beautiful young women. Each of them is murdered by a mysterious killer carrying a small blade (hence, the title of the movie). The disappearances start worrying the composer, who begins trying to piece together a possible connection between the disappearances, and the former tenant of the home: the director's friend, whose life was the basis for the very movie he's working on.

Originally shot as a miniseries for Italian TV, this great little movie was recut as a feature, and badly dubbed for American release. It eventually made its way to video thanks to Anchor Bay Entertainment. It was one of the last decent non-Argento helmed giallo movies. The ending is a bit predictable, but the mystery still delivers a fun ride.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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