Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 27th, 2015
BluRay released: May 25th, 2015
Approximate running times: 109 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono English, LPCM Mono Italian
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £14.99
The Bloodstained Shadow in the second of two giallo’s that where directed by Antonio Bido. With the other film in question being Watch me When I Kill. Key collaborators on The Bloodstained Shadow include, cinematographer Mario Vulpiani (The Grand Duel, La Grande Bouffe) and composer Stelvio Cipriani (Bay of Blood, What Have They Done to Your Daughters?).
Red herrings are an integral part to the giallo genre and this film does a remarkable job in this regard. Just when you thought you had figured out the identity, along comes a red herring that forces you to rethink your position. In fact the film starts off with its best use of misdirection as it shows the murder that is at the center of this film’s narrative. Without giving too much away about the killers’ identity, let’s just say that everyone in this film is guilty of some crime.
As mentioned before Antonio Bido’s direction is rock solid and when it comes to the death scenes. He delivers the goods and then some. Actually this film has two moments regarding its leading lady Stefania Casini’s character who is the first is being stalked by an unseen assailant as she frantically tries to unlock the door to her home. Another similar moment is a scene where she is all alone in her home and the killer shows up to remove evidence that she poses. Both of these moments are classic examples of building and sustaining tension to its boiling point.
From a performance stand point the cast are all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance coming from Stefania Casini (Emergency Squad, Suspiria) in the role of Sandra Sellani, it was her sister who is murdered in the film’s opening credits. Another performance of note is Craig Hill in the role of a priest named Don Paolo. The most disappoint performance comes from Lino Capolicchio (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, The House of the Laughing Windows) in the role of Stefano D’Archangelo, he is the younger brother of Don Paolo and this character is romantically linked to the Sandra Sellani character.
Content wise, this film has all the ingredients one would want and expect from a giallo. And where his previous foray into the genre, Watch Me When I Kill showed signs of a filmmaker with a firm grasp on the genre. The end result was still far from a one of the genres defining moments. Fortunately with The Bloodstained Shadow he has learned from his previous mistakes and the end result is a revisiting thriller that far exceeds expectations.
The Bloodstained Shadow comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen.
Over the last few years there are have numerous Italian film’s transfer that had been cropping up with an odd look in regards to the grain and due to the fact that there had been DNR applied to said transfers. Fortunately this transfer does not suffer from that aforementioned look.
For this release a brand new transfer / restoration was done Lucertola Media. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, contrast and black levels are consistently strong and details look crisp. Also there are no issues with compression and DNR has been kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, a LPCM mono mix in English and a LPCM mono mix in Italian. You can’t go wrong with either audio mix as they both sound clean, clear and balanced throughout. Range wise the film’s score benefits most from these audio mixes as it always sounds robust. Also inlcuded with this release are with newly created English Subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 26 seconds), opening (1 minute 19 seconds) and closing Italian language credits (1 minute 40 seconds), a Collectible 300gsm Original Poster Post Card and a reversible cover art option. Overall The Bloodstained Shadow gets a first rate audio / video presentation from 88 films.