The Bloodstained Shadow

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Bloodstained Shadow
Directed byAntonio Bido
Screenplay byMarisa Andalò
Antonio Bido
Domenico Malan
Story byAntonio Bido
Domenico Malan
CinematographyMario Vulpiani
Edited byAmedeo Giomini
Music byStelvio Cipriani
Distributed byAnchor Bay Entertainment (USA) (DVD)
Release date
Running time
109 minutes

Solamente nero (Only Blackness), internationally released as The Bloodstained Shadow, is a 1978 Italian giallo film co-written and directed by Antonio Bido.[1] The film follows a professor returning to his home of a coastline Italian village, where a woman is strangled like a young girl who was murdered years ago, before sinners in the town start dying as well.[2] The film was referred to as "a fine example of a competent giallo, as it contains all of the requisite elements".[3] Paul Simpson wrote about the film: "The pacing goes awry, but Bido uses the unusual setting well and the murders are memorably gory."[4][5][6]


An unseen figure strangles a young girl in a field, and the murder goes unsolved. Years later, college professor Stefano returns home from Venice to visit his brother Don Paolo, a priest who has been ranting against the immoral people in his village...a group of ne'er-do-wells including a gambler, a pedophilic count, a fake medium, and an illegal abortionist. One night, the medium is strangled to death outside the church, with Paolo witnessing the murder but not seeing the killer's face. It resembles the strangulation murder from years before, and at the scene, Stefano has flashbacks from his childhood that give him dizzy spells, but the memories are incomplete.

The medium's office is burglarized, with a disc and some notebooks stolen from her cupboard. on Paolo receives threatening typewritten messages, which show pictures and documents pertaining to the unsolved murder of the girl. Stefano meets writer Sandra in town and starts a relationship with her. They go back to Venice to meet her mother-in-law, who's confined to a wheelchair, and in her apartment is a painting. Not only does it cause more of Stefano's reactions, but it closely resembles the unsolved murder of the young girl.

The members of the medium's circle begin to die. First, the count is impaled with one of his own rapiers. Then, the local doctor is thrown into a canal and drowns. In between them, Sandra's mother-in-law is wheeled to her fireplace and burned alive, her painting stolen. Don Paolo continues receiving threats, from a skinned goat's head in his pulpit to the wire of his large crucifix cut to nearly crush him to death. Stefano believes the same killer strangled the young girl years ago. The abortionist, Elizabeth Nardi, hides an invalid, challenged son in her home who she primarily supports.

Sandra's home is broken into to steal a copy of the painting in her scrapbooks. She narrowly avoids death when the killer escapes. Don Paolo is then stabbed and nearly murdered in the cemetery, but he and the killer run in separate directions. Stefano has an inkling and gets into Signora Nardi's house, where she finds her son's bedroom and a typewriter. The distinctive style of the letters reveals she wrote the threatening notes and could reveal her as the killer. But Nardi is found in her closet with her throat slashed.

Her son tries to strangle Don Paolo, but he is subdued and taken away. Stefano goes through notebooks, realize a missing page was the one the murdered girl grasped in her hand when she was murdered. Stefano rushes back to the church and confronts his brother. Nardi strangled the medium to not report her abortions practice, but when Paolo was blackmailed by her, he killed the coven members and targeted other witnesses to stop the blackmail. Paolo was the girl's murderer all those years ago, and Stefano's flashbacks reveal him as the only witness when he was a boy. Paolo voices his remorse for all his done, and when he hallucinates all the people he's killed, he rushes to the bell tower despite Stefano's pleas and commits suicide by jumping out.



  1. ^ Luther-Smith,Adrian (1999). Blood and Black Lace: The Definitive Guide to Italian Sex and Horror Movies. Stray Cat Publishing Ltd. p. 14
  2. ^ Luther-Smith,Adrian (1999). Blood and Black Lace: The Definitive Guide to Italian Sex and Horror Movies. Stray Cat Publishing Ltd. p. 14
  3. ^ Mike Long (June 25, 2002). "The Giallo Collection". DVD Talk. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  4. ^ Paul Simpson (26 May 2011). Movie Lists. Profile Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1847653550.
  5. ^ The A.V. Club
  6. ^ The New York Times

External links