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A Blade in the Dark (1983)

La casa con la scala nel buio (original title)
Unrated | | Horror, Mystery | 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.



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Complete credited cast:
Anny Papa ...
Michele Soavi ...
Tony Rendina
Valéria Cavalli ...
Stanko Molnar ...
Julia (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


When the lights go out, the knife goes in.


Horror | Mystery


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 August 1983 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Blade in the Dark  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Lamberto Bava said in an interview that he liked the American title for the film (A Blade in the Dark) much better than the Italian title (House of Dark Stairs). Bava felt that particular title captured the film much better. 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 »


Referenced in Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered - Volume 1 (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty enjoyable Argento pastiche.
27 November 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Okay, Lamberto Bava isn't anywhere near as talented as his father Mario. Let's just accept that and move on. 'A Blade In The Dark' is a surprisingly entertaining giallo that is equal parts Argento and Hitchcock, though obviously not as accomplished as either at their best. If I specify which Hitchcock it is heavily inspired by it'll give the whole game away, so I won't, but I'm sure most viewers will have guessed the twist long before it is revealed. It doesn't really matter, it won't detract from your enjoyment. Andrea Occhipinti from Fulci's 'The New York Ripper' plays Bruno, a young composer who rents a villa while working on a horror movie score. Pretty soon assorted lovelies start disappearing and he fears the worst. He also begins to think the movie he's working on holds the key to the mysterious events around him. The version I watched of this movie was very badly dubbed but it was still effective and stylishly directed, with some gruesome touches. Occhipinti was more than adequate as a hero, there were plenty of babes, and Eurohorror buffs will get a kick out of seeing the kid from Fulci's 'The House By The Cemetery' in a bit part and Michele Soavi (Argento pal and director of cult favourite 'Dellamorte Dellamore') in a supporting role. While I don't think 'A Blade In The Dark' is quite as good as Bava's first 'Demons' movie I enjoyed it a LOT more than I expected, so if you like Argento and Fulci, check it out.

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One great giallo! LambertoBava
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