Solamente Nero AKA The Bloodstained Shadow (1978)
Third in my four part review of Anchor Bay’s The Giallo Collection is The Bloodstained Shadow directed by Antonio Bido (Watch Me When I Kill). It stars Lino Capolicchio (Pupi Avati’s The House With Laughing Windows) as Stefano D’Archangelo and Stefania Casini (Dario Argento’s Suspiria) as Sandra Sellani.
Set in a fictitious Venice, a girl is murdered and the killer is never found. Years later we see Stefano coming back to this Venice to visit his older brother who happens to be the local priest Don Paolo (Craig Hill). Along the way he meets Sandra who is visiting as well. One night Don Paolo is awoken to a sound. He goes to his window to see something like a person being murdered. The body disappears but Don Paolo starts finding notes left for him, threatening notes.
Prominent people in the community start dying and police are baffled. Stefano decides to look in to the matter and enlists Sandra to aid him, unbeknown to them she holds a key to the murders in the form of a painting that depicts the murder of a young girl.
Who is killing all these people and how does it relate to the death of the little girl? And what is with Stefano’s spells which involve a memory of a little boy?
This is a good giallo but out of the four, including my next review (The Case of the Bloody Iris) it is the weakest and suffers from the lack of blood. But the plot is strong with red-herrings and an interesting but not completely original cconclusion.
There is an obvious rebellion against religion. There is a great scene depicting a statue of Jesus on the cross crashing down and breaking apart on Don Paolo. There are innuendos of pedophilia and blackmail. In the interview, director Antonio Bido makes mention of Dario Argento copying him in Argento’s film Trauma but I would like to point out that in 1972 (and remember The Bloodstained Shadow was made in 1978) Lucio Fulci directed Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino aka Don’t Torture a Duckling in which the end of the film mirrors that of The Bloodstained Shadow.
The music was originally supposed to be composed by Goblin (Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead) but due to complications it was composed by Stelvio Cipriani and arranged by Goblin. But I swear that some of the music sounds like music from a slasher film named Pieces directed by Juan Piquer Simón made in 1982. Don’t quote me on that, it is just an observation.
The picture and sound are good, widescreen, enhanced for 16×9 televisions, a 13 minute interview with the director, theatrical trailer and a filmography.
– By James