Director Angelo Bido says he was inspired by Dario Argento in this giallo, but tried to only insinuate the supernatural aspects, where Argento usually goes all-out. Without being quite on par with Argento’s best gialli, supernatural or not, The Bloodstained Shadow (aka. Solamente nero) is a complicated puzzle of a giallo, atmospherically set in an imagery city resembling Venice. A young college professor Stefano (Lino Capolicchio who also stars in Pupi Avati‘s great and mysterious giallo House with Laughing Windows) returns to his childhood city to visit his brother – a priest played by Craig Hill. After Stefano arrives, different persons in the community get murdered one by one in various gruesome ways – and Stefano starts getting anxiety-ridden flashbacks of a young screaming boy seeing a girl getting strangled.
The plot sounds somewhat simple, yet the execution is at times confusing, with many strange characters leading up to a great “aha”, but ending with puzzlingly small roles in the final revelation of the murderer. Though sometimes dragging a bit, The Bloodstained Shadow is very watchable and one that every giallo fan could add to their collection with confidence.
The score was composed by Stelvio Cipriani, and arranged/performed by Goblin on order to save money since the latter were so succesful soundtrack-material at the time.
5 out of 10