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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Bloodstained Shadows aka "Solamente nero" [Blu-ray]

 

(Antonio Bido, 1978)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Produzioni Atlas Consorziate (P.A.C.)

Video: 88 Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:48:53.360

Disc Size: 31,348,469,821 bytes

Feature Size: 29,676,779,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 25th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (only when Italian track is selcted), none

 

Extras:

Original Italian Opening (1:19)
Original Italian End Titles (1:40)
• Trailer (3:24)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: When a young college professor (Lino Capolicchio of THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS) returns home to visit his Catholic priest brother (Craig Hill of DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN), prominent members of the community begin to be stalked and slaughtered by an unknown killer. Can the brothers uncover the identity of this deranged fiend, even while they are being tortured by their own nightmares of an unspeakable childhood trauma?

Directed by Antonio Bido (WATCH ME WHEN I KILL) and known in Italy as SOLAMENTE NERO, this suspenseful Giallo co-stars Stefania Casini (SUSPIRIA) and Massimo Serato (KILLER NUN), and features one of the last scores arranged and performed by the legendary band Goblin (DEEP RED,
SUSPIRIA).

 

 

The Film:

Antonio Bido ("Watch Me When I Kill") helms his second and last Giallo (Italian for yellow, which is derived from the covers of the pulp paperback thrillers on which many of these films from the 1960s through the 1970s were based on), and co-writes with Marisa Andalo and Domenico Malan this set in Venice twisty suspense story, that's neither good nor bad. It suffers from a poor script, a poor dubbing translation and a lack of character development. But it's well-crafted, features one of the last scores by the noted jazzy state of the art Giallo inspired musicians called Goblin, is adequately paced (though it could have trimmed 20 minutes, including an unnecessary soft-core sex scene and been the better off for it) and its photography of Venice's labyrinthine streets and canals and the eerie rustic island village are eye-catching.

Excerpt from Ozu's World located HERE

The film opens very strongly with the murder of a young woman in the Italian countryside, shot in jerky slow-motion and framed in front of an ancient castle/monastery. It doesn’t show us much but it sets the scene perfectly, letting us know that there is a killer on the loose and that there is possibly a religious connection, or at least the influence of religion, which is cemented when we fast forward a few years and are introduced to Don Paolo (Craig Hill), a priest who is welcoming his brother Stefano (Lino Capolicchio) to the town as Stefano is taking a break from life in the big city. But as Stefano arrives in town a new wave of murders begins, the victims being members of a cult, and Paolo begins to receive threatening messages, forcing Stefano and his new girlfriend Sandra (Stefania Casini) to investigate what is going on and how Paolo is involved, and what the connection to the opening murder is.

Excerpt from FrightFest located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Bloodstained Shadow gets a transfer to Blu-ray from 88 Films in the UK.  It sneaks into dual-layered territory and has a strong bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. It has a consistent thickness and a bit clunkier in-motion than we usually see, but overall I thought the presentation was very watchable. Colors are solid, detail in close-ups reasonable and there are examples of depth. It is actually slightly picture-boxed but in and around the 1.85:1 ratio.  It's clean without speckles - a shade waxy but I don't suspect DNR. This Blu-ray is probably an adept replication of the original theatrical appearance.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Strong 24-bit linear PCM tracks in both English or Italian with a healthy 2304 kbps advancing some depth in the infrequent aggression. Notable is the film's music. The ' Giallo-atmospheric' score is by Stelvio Cipriani (Voices From Beyond, Killer Cop, Rabid Dogs, Baron Blood, A Bay of Blood) and it sounds clean with some impressive depth. There are optional subtitles for the Italian version and my Oppo has identified it as being a region region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Not too much in terms of extras - we can see the original Italian opening including title ("Solamente nero") and the original Italian end credits. There is also a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I should have reviewed this sooner, but I significantly warmed to The Bloodstained Shadow after a second viewing. I don't know why the second time was better but perhaps I began to appreciate the aura. The style here is a strong component of the experience plus other bonuses like the priest-brother angle and its uncharacteristic tame nature considering the genre. The 88 Films Blu-ray provides supports the film in 1080P. I am glad to have seen it and proudly add to my Giallo Blu-ray shelf. Thanks 88 Films! 

Gary Tooze

September 1st, 2015


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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