A Review by Hugh Robertson ©2013
IMDb Synopsis: Two journalists, Sandra and Marco, are sent to film a behind the scenes expose on a hardcore movie set. The set for the film is in the exact same location where, fifteen years before, Sandra’s little sister was murdered by a serial killer called The Surgeon. Reluctant at first, Sandra will eventually face her fears by accepting the job, only to find herself involved in a new line of murders: who is the Surgeon copycat? And more important, why are his victims coming back to life only to kill again? Written by Official Source
“The Italian Giallo Is Back!” At least that’s the review tag line I’m sure the producers of this film would like to see and in some sense it is true, but Giallo purists may have difficulty with one aspect of this movie. “Bloodline” begins with twin girls, Guila and Sandra, on a picnic with their parents in the woods of an estate. The girls run off to play “Hide & Seek”, but Guila gets scared and uses a psychic connection with her sister to tell her to come out of hiding.
Meanwhile another couple in the woods are being stalked by a masked man in a surgeon’s outfit. The “Surgeon” shoots the couple with tranquilizer darts and then sees the twin Guila. Sandra gets stuck in a trap trying to get away and Guila tells her to stay hidden. She runs away from the “Surgeon”, but he finally shoots her with a tranquilizer dart.
Fifteen years later Sandra (Francesca Faiella) is a reporter for Jump Web TV. Sandra’s boss tells her and the cameraman Marco (Marco Benevento) that they will cover a pornographic film being made by an “artistic” adult filmmaker. Unfortunately the film is being shot in the same estate where Sandra’s sister Guila disappeared fifteen years ago. Angry and hesitant at first, Sandra eventually decides to do the assignment with Marco . During dinner with the film crew at the estate the Producer’s friend tells the story of the “Surgeon” who lived there.
Twenty years ago the doctor’s wife died because an organ tranplant could not be found for her. Vowing that he would never be short of organs again, he kidnapped people, brought them back to his laboratory, and removed their organs one by one while they were still alive until her finally took their heart. Shortly later the doctor hung himself. Naturally Sandra becomes rattled with the story and even more unnerved when she sees the ghost of her sister. She believes that her sister is back to harm her for abandoning her in the woods years ago. To make things worse, the “Surgeon” suddenly makes a reappearance and tranquilizes, dissects, and kills two of the adult film’s actors.
Director Edo Tagliavini constructs a well paced mystery thriller starting with a slow mysterious build up that remains tense throughout the film and sets up the frenzy of climactic scenes and plot twists at the end where the meaning of the title takes further depth. Though without the cinematic flourishes of a Bava or Argento, and some scenes that are shot too dark, Tagliavini keeps an adequate cinematography moving with well timed editing. The music generally works well to set the mood of the film, but in some parts is jarringly out of place. Also the encoding and authoring of the DVD could have been better produced with some dark contrast levels, some shots with excessive grain, and English subtitles that sometimes get cut off on the bottom of the screen. Fransesca Faiella and Marco Benevento do an excellent acting job as the haunted, yet competent Sandra and her compassionate, slightly goofy cameraman and friend Marco.
Virgilio Olivari is also charismatic as the Producer/Actor Tony. Although the film has the salacious setting of a pornographic film shoot there is almost no nudity in the movie and the gore is kept to a minimum, mostly involving surgical dissection scenes and a couple of attacks near the end. While not a detriment to the film, it is much less than the overt nudity and violence of other Giallo films. Tagliavini also throws a supernatural element into his Giallo with the ghost of the twin girl.
When this supernatural element gets elevated near the end, however, Giallo purists may find it off-putting and ridiculous. I initially had my own qualms about the supernatural element at this point, but upon reflection I enjoyed the originality of it and the refreshing sense of something different that made this film stand out. If you are a fan of the Italian Giallo then I would highly recommend that you seek out this mystery/horror thriller to enjoy a unique take on the Giallo genre. The Italian Giallo is back in this quality film with a different, original twist.
On the Smash or Trash scale I give this film a 7 out of 10.
You can buy this well done Giallo HERE.