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A Blade in the Dark (1983)

La casa con la scala nel buio (original title)
Unrated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 6 August 1983 (Italy)
A killer stalks a composer staying at a posh Tuscany villa while writing the score to a horror film which has an incriminating clue to the killer's identity.


Lamberto Bava


Dardano Sacchetti (story and screenplay), Elisa Briganti (story and screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Andrea Occhipinti ... Bruno
Anny Papa Anny Papa ... Sandra
Fabiola Toledo ... Angela
Michele Soavi ... Tony Rendina
Valeria Cavalli ... Katia (as Valéria Cavalli)
Stanko Molnar ... Giovanni
Lara Lamberti ... Julia Rubini (as Lara Naszinski)


A composer, working in isolation on a score for a horror movie meets two women who used to know his house's former tenant. When the women disappear, he's forced to look into the film he's working on to determine what happened to them, and who's responsible. Written by Brian J. Wright <bjwright@acs.ucalgary.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Classic Italian Horror Movie See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Lamberto Bava worked as an assistant to Dario Argento on the film Tenebrae (1982) two years before making A Blade in the Dark. As many critics noted, Tenebre was an influence on this film in terms of both plot and visual style. See more »


Near the beginning of the movie the blade is seen cutting an adult magazine across the woman's right breast (from our point of view). Shortly afterwards when the composer examines the mysterious cuts in the magazine the slice marks appear across the left breast (from our point of view). See more »


Bruno: Tennis balls?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2001 UK release is 13.5 mins longer than previous version. The BBFC site says that 2mins of cuts have been restored and the rest is additional material See more »

User Reviews

This Giallo film from director Lamberto Bava is first-rate
13 December 2003 | by blownout2002See all my reviews

This film is why I worship and adore Italian Giallo films. For one, it has beautiful women in the cast. It is shot with a love for the film art, and is filled with evil and graphic violence that caused it to be censored in many countries. The violence is never ending, with fountains and fountains of the red stuff. The knife attacks are brutal, pull no punches-style of showing the knife entering the flesh. The shock ending will have your blood pumping and adrenaline going. Don't buy the over-hyped commercial garbage out there. Grab the UNCUT Anchor Bay DVD of this awesome display of Italian-made carnage. You will NOT be disappointed!

Rated: 9.5/10 because of the cool plot, the shock ending, and the bloody and graphic murder scenes.

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English | Italian

Release Date:

6 August 1983 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A Blade in the Dark See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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