A Blade in the Dark (1983) - full transcript

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.

We've arrived.

Let go of me!

I don't want to come!


It's so dark!

Here's the candle.
Don't you run away.

This way.

- Is that the door?
- Quiet, coward.

Okay, let's see,
show me you're not a little girl.

Go and get it.

Down there?

- Yes, go and get it back.
- Little girl! Go and get it!

Little girl!

- I'm sure you'll like it here.
- Yes, it seems like a quiet place.

I see you've already settled in.

So you're a film composer.

- And what are you doing now?
- A theme for a thriller.

A murder story.

But don't think it's always so exciting.

Sure, it all becomes routine.

But it's better than being in Kuwait
building roads with my father.

But those roads allow you
to buy a villa like this.

You're kidding.

Then you never live in it and have to
rent it, just like we've done with you.

- Where's your car?
- Round the back.

Listen, I was thinking,
I really like music.

Why don't you call me when you play?

It's difficult because I don't know
when I'm going to play.

I can record a cassette for you.


I like the music in giallo films.
So who's the killer?

What a fool, you probably
can't tell me, right?

The director won't let
anyone see the ending.

She says it's going to be
a big surprise.

I guess I'll have to watch it.

Bruno, you've seen Giovanni, the
gardener, he lives in the outhouse...

He has all the keys.
Any problems, just ask him.


- I'll do that cassette straight away.
- Okay.

What do you think, Bruno?

What can I say, Sandra?

It's the third time I've seen it
and it scares me every time.

Really? This is nothing
compared to the final reel.

The one you still haven't seen.

The end of the film you're
keeping a secret.

I'm curious, where did you get
the idea for the story?

I don't know if you'll understand.

When I was young I couldn't sleep
because I was afraid of the dark.

In the dark any sound is a threat,
a danger.

The dark invites monsters, killers.

In the dark it's like death's
waiting in ambush.

Maybe we don't think about it because
we're distracted by other things...

Or perhaps because the sun cancels
out the nightmares of the night.

Who knows?

But death is always watching us and
it's only the darkness that can see it.

- Are you trying to scare me?
- No...

I just want you to get into
the spirit of the film...

because the music is
enormously important.

It has to express the anxiety,
the fear, the terror.

It has to underscore the breathing
of the killer and his victim...

and it has to involve the audience
and make them participants.

Are you sure you made the
right choice calling me?

That's precisely why I chose you.

I don't want something predictable.
You're new to this genre.

That villa I rented for you...

It's a villa where you
might feel scared.

So big, so isolated.

There's an insect!
A beetle, a spider!

I don't know!
It's horrible!

- How are you feeling?
- It's stronger than me.

I can't stand those creatures.
They make my skin crawl.

I've still got goose bumps.

I must look horrible.

Have you got a cigarette?

I haven't seen you before.
Are you a friend of Linda's?


- What is it now?
- Your face!

- What about it?
- Nothing! Τhat expression!

You must have had quite a fright.

I bet you're wondering who's this
lunatic who jumped out of the cupboard.

You must have very special skills...

because that's exactly
what I was thinking.

- You're cute.
- So are you.

My name's Katia.
I live over the road.

And you like sneaking into
your neighbours' homes.

Not always.
Only if the tenants are nice.

- Are you staying long?
- I've only rented it for a month.

Pity, you won't be staying long then.


I adore musicians,
they're good at making love.

- How do you do it?
- Depends on the answers.

The answers to what?

The reason you were hiding
in the cupboard, for example.

Would you settle for a simple lie,
or something more elaborate?

You know you really are cute.

Troublemakers have a gift; timing.

Just think about the lie
you're going to tell me.

It's Tony Rendina.
How's it going?

I wanted to ask you,
have you recorded that cassette?

Sorry' I haven't had time.
I'll do it tomorrow.

You know half the electrics don't work?

Where's the bathroom?

Hold on.

Behind that door on the right,
the end of the corridor.

Sorry, you were saying?

You were telling me the
electrics don't work.

Perhaps the light bulbs are missing.

Sorry about the inconvenience.

The last tenant, Linda,
was a bit strange.

She liked the dark.

Ask Giovanni, there should
be some light bulbs somewhere.


- Any other problems?
- No, thank you.


Where are you?

I've discovered Linda's secret.

Something disturbing and terrifying.

But it also fascinates me.

I don't know if I should tell Angela,
she might not understand.

I'm scared to keep it to myself.
It's like a bad feeling.


"It's a secret, nobody must know"

"Yes... Linda!"

"Nobody must know"

"Yes... Linda!"

"Nobody must know"

"It's a secret"


Julia, is that you?

- What are you doing?
- Sorry if I disturbed you.

- What's in that sack?
- Nothing, newspapers and old magazines.

- Wait, I'll give you a hand.
- No, I can manage.



I'm curious what was
the previous tenant like?


I didn't see her very often.

She wasn't here long,
then she left.

Tony doesn't like renting
the house out for very long.

And I mind my own business.

- Then you don't know Katia.
- No, not at all.

Goodnight, Giovanni.

What's wrong?
Don't you recognise me?

Sorry, Julia'
I was lost in thought.

But what are you doing here?
Shouldn't you be in Naples?


Sorry if I drove 200 kilometres
to spend a few hours with you.

But judging by your reaction maybe
I should have stayed in Naples.

- I'm sorry.
- I'll go, if you want.

No, what are you talking about?

I just didn't expect to find you here.

I didn't want to turn up unexpected.
I even tried to let you know.

I tried calling
but I couldn't get through.

- When?
- About an hour ago.

Before I left the motorway.

- It was you then.
- Why?

Nothing, because strange
things are happening here.

Strange, how?

Strange, very strange.

How do you untie this thing?

It unties,
it doesn't untie.

It unties.

Okay, let's forget about
the cut tape...

the torn-up diary'
the footsteps, the noises...

But how do you explain the
bloodstains? You saw my trousers.

Yes, I saw them.
It really looks like a bloodstain.

But why don't you also add that foul
smell from the pool to your list?

What the hell are you saying?
What about it?

You're starting to bore me
with this story.

Something happened here last night.

- That girl, Katia, disappeared...
- Was she pretty?

Don't joke, I'm really worried
something might have happened to her.

Yes, someone killed her while
you were playing, happy now?

Okay, okay...
You think I'm making it up.

Sure, I manage to get a night off,
I come running here to you...

and you waste precious minutes to
tell me a strange story about a girl...

who hates beetles but loves
locking herself in your cupboards.

To be fair, I wouldn't believe it
if you told me.

Now you're being reasonable.

Admit you spent your time
with a young admirer...

and I promise I'll settle
the score by tonight...

Then we won't talk
about it again, okay?

Actually, I'd prefer something else.

You'd have to break a record because
I'm leaving in exactly fifty seconds.

Why the hurry?

You're saying that
because it's about my work.

- That isn't work' it's fun.
- You still haven't come to see me.

You should, you know.
It's a great show.

Don't look at me like that.

I'll come and save you if a pretty girl
tries to seduce you before she dies.

What if she really is dead?

And that was her blood.

The diary!

Katia wrote that she'd discovered
something and she had a bad feeling.

Of course!

The killer must have arranged
to meet her here.

They wanted to know
what she'd found out.

Those phrases I recorded
would make sense.

Wait, I wrote them down.

"Secret", "Yes, Linda",
"Nobody must know".

And naturally the gardener's the killer.

You say that because you
haven't seen him.

My love I think Sandra's horror
films are getting to you.

I'll see you next week.

Look out for your admirers.

It's pointless.
It's locked.

There are still some things
from the last tenant in there.

But I can ask her to clear
the room if you need it.

No, thanks, if there's one thing
here there's plenty of, it's space.

- Can I offer you a coffee?
- No, thanks, I've had two already.

- I came about the pool.
- Yes, it's starting to smell.

I think it's the filter.
I've asked Giovanni to replace it.

- How are you settling in?
- Well, apart from a few surprises.

- I found a girl in a cupboard.
- Lucky you, was she pretty?

Why are you all so worried
if she was pretty?

Yes, she was.

But there were a whole series
of strange events last night.

I don't know if I should tell you.
My girlfriend thinks I'm making it up.

- I'm sorry about all that.
- Forget it.

Do you know that girl, Katia?

Yes, curly hair,
a bit crazy?

Yes, that's right,
the girl in the cupboard.

She used the pool when
the other tenant was here.

- Linda?
- Right, Linda lived here before.

The one who left her things
locked in that room.

What's she like?

Quite normal.
Rather young.

Also rather pretty.

Why all this interest in Linda?

It's not exactly her.

The fact is, I got the impression...

I don't know, that Katia came
here to meet Linda.

Does Linda still have the keys?

I don't know, you'll have
to ask Giovanni.

He's a strange one as well.

- The phone.
- Are you leaving or will you wait?

No, I have to go.

I'll see you when I get
back from Kuwait.


Yes, hello?

Listen carefully...

Everything you're doing is pointless.

I'm going to kill you!

Who's speaking?

I'll kill you!

You're the same old idiot!

But I scared you, be honest.

How did you recognise me?
Listen, Bruno...

I've had a great idea.

I want to see you.
Let's say at seven, at the studio.

Try to be on time.

Were you looking for me?

- Can I help you?
- I'm looking for Katia.

- Are you a friend of hers?
- I'm Angela.

- Didn't she mention me?
- We didn't have the time.

If you see her,
tell her I'd like to talk to her.

That's the point.
She hasn't come home.

She disappeared last night,
around eleven.

How come her diary's still there?

She came here to get it back.

Right, and someone tore it.
Do you know anything about it?

I haven't been back since Linda left.

She was so kind.
She let me use the pool.

- You can use it when you like.
- Do you mean that?

Then I'll use it right now.

Hold on.

- Second thoughts?
- No, it isn't that.

I just want to ask you
some questions about Katia.

It's not that I'm curious' it's just
that she suddenly appeared here...

and then she disappeared
without even saying goodbye.

Typical Katia.

- Have you known her long?
- We live together.

Just here, across the road.

We're models.

Well, we'd like to be.
For now we get by doing door-to-door.

You know what it is?
Doorstep sales.

Would you be interested in a series
of books on pre-Columbian culture?

There are tons of photos,
it doesn't cost a lot.

- No, thanks.
- It doesn't matter.

You're a little girl!

Little girl!

"I waited till eight for you.
You'll find me at home."

I'm almost certain I've
uncovered a series of murders.

There's still a possibility
it could all be in my head...

and I'm getting carried away.

But I don't think so.

There's too much evidence.

Something terrible happened
in this house.

What was Katia and Angela's secret?

Who is Linda?

I feel her presence,
and the presence of death.

And it's all around me.

But strangely it doesn't frighten me.

I find it almost fascinating...

because Katia and Angela
were killed here...

but what happened to their bodies?

Where are they hidden?

It's me, Bruno.

I found your message.

It's a good thing you came,
I've got something to tell you.

- Is this all the whiskey you've got?
- I'm sorry but I finished it.

There's milk, coffee, and yoghurt,
it's all I can offer you.

I could never live with you.

I'd never ask.

So you're saying two girls
were killed in this house.

- You don't believe me, right?
- It seems so strange.

- Why haven't you called the police?
- Because they wouldn't believe me...

- but it's the truth.
- And I'm meant to believe you?

- Of course you do.
- It isn't easy.

The thought that there are dead
bodies in here frightens me.

Why? Do you think they
could still be here?

The killer wouldn't have had
much time to get rid of them...

and there are so many places
where they could have hidden them.

Apart from the fact that they could
have buried them in the garden.

- Have you looked in all the rooms?
- No.

- Not all of them, one of them's locked.
- A locked room? Where?

Down in the basement.

The previous tenant keeps
her things there, Linda.

- What's her surname?
- How do I know?

I knew a Linda,
but it can't be the same one.

Besides, it would be an
incredible coincidence.

- What do you know about this Linda?
- I already told you...

Her name was on the torn-up diary
and it's on the recording.

- Who's the Linda you know?
- I just know it can't be her.

Let's have a look at the room.

This is the room.

We'll have to figure out
a way to get in.

- It's open!
- I swear it was locked.

If someone opened it...

- You think that...
- The bodies are hidden in here?

You hold it.


Nothing here, either.

Tennis balls!

- It doesn't make sense.
- What are you saying?

- It's impossible!
- What's impossible?

It really is the same Linda.

What makes you think it's her?

- It's a strange story.
- You had no idea she lived here?

No, how could I?
I haven't seen her for two years.

But now I'm more than
convinced it's her.

What about these tennis balls?

They were her obsession,
her nightmare.

When she was young she would
hear them bouncing at night.

- Like in your film?
- Yes, Linda was my inspiration.

The story of a childhood trauma
that turns someone into a killer.

- You mean Linda...
- I can't say she's the killer...

but I got the idea for the film
from her memories.

The rest is the work
of my imagination.

The difference between
fantasy and reality...

is sometimes so small that
they cross paths.

You still haven't shown me
the last reel of the film.

How does it end?

Do you think there's a connection
between my film and what's happening?

I don't know, also because I don't
know what's happening anymore.

Did you hear that?

Someone's upstairs.

They're above us,
in the living room.

They sound like a woman's footsteps.


- The footsteps have stopped.
- What could they be doing?


- They must have heard us now.
- I don't know.

- I don't hear any footsteps.
- Sure, but I don't think they've gone.

- Why have they come back?
- You should know...

The killer always returns
to the scene of the crime.

- What shall we do?
- You're asking me?

You're the expert on these things,
I'm just a musician!

Be quiet!
Do you really want them to hear us?

- Where are you going?
- I can't stay here forever.

Wait for me!

Did you see that?

- Wait here.
- What are you going to do?

You saw the knife,
we should wait.

- My god, it's you!
- Who did you think it was?

I don't know.

After everything you
told me the other night...

Why were you hiding?

What are you talking about?

You're the one who comes and
goes waving a knife around.

Stop that,
we're all scared enough.

I don't think we need to continue.

It's obvious we all got a bit
too carried away.

My love, I'm so sorry.

If you knew how scared I was.

I saw a shadow behind the curtain,
I didn't recognise you, and...

You're telling me!
I was ready to strangle you.

Seeing as all's well that ends well,
I can go home.

It's been quite a night.

- This is yours.
- And this is yours.

If I still had some whiskey this would
be the right time to offer you some.

Keep the milk and yoghurt
for your breakfast.

Thanks for eνerything.

- Are you okay going home alone?
- I think so.

Even if I've discovered
I'm quite the coward.


My love.

- What is it?
- I'm just curious...

What were you doing
down there with Sandra?

- Don't tell me you're jealous.
- Who knows?

How come you're here?
What about the show?

If you're about to lie to me
it had better be good.

It's the second time you've
turned up unannounced.

The show's been suspended...

and if you don't believe me you
can read it in the papers tomorrow.

And why has it been suspended?

They charged us with obscenity.
Can you believe it?

A play by Mae West
is considered obscene.

I guess I should have seen it.

- What is it about?
- Female homosexuality.

I'm not surprised, people
don't want to know about it.

You know, for a moment earlier
I really thought you wanted to kill me.

And I'll always leave you
with that doubt.

I have a surprise.

Don't come straight away.


Can I come?

Where are you?

I thought you liked girls in cupboards.

Only if they're being chased
by black spiders.

Is it yours?

Are you forgetting we met
on a tennis court?

- Who are you?
- Who am I?

A young actress full of talent.

Who's going to be rich and
famous and have lots of lovers.

Even if' for now, she has to
settle for a simple musician...

full of dreams
but without a penny!

Ours really is a great love.

It won't last long
but it will be unforgettable!

Where are you?

Linda, is that you?

Why don't you say something?

No, don't cry.

Yes, I know, what's
happening is very strange.

I didn't betray you
I just used your story for the film.

The rest was all unnecessary.

Please, Linda.
You know, I haven't told anyone...

and we can meet if you want.
Please, say something!

Good morning.
Working already?

Good morning, Giovanni.
Have you seen Julia?

That blonde girl who was with you?

Sure, I saw her earlier.

- She was just by the outhouse.
- Are you sure? She got up early.


It's none of my business but your
friend must suffer from insomnia.

She's always around here at dawn.

She was by the outhouse
the other day as well.

But I shouldn't be surprised
I can't sleep myself, sometimes.

By the way, the new filter for
the swimming pool has arrived.

- What are you doing?
- What?

- How come you're already up?
- I needed to relax a bit.

I haven't slept, I had such a headache
after listening to your stories.

Yes, call them stories.

Two girls have disappeared and they
might have been killed in this house.

What are you talking about?
Don't start that again.

Please, not again.

You've changed since you
started working with Sandra.

I don't recognise you anymore.

- You see bodies everywhere.
- I haven't seen anything...

- I just have my suspicions.
- Enough!

If you really must know,
I don't like Sandra.

There's something wrong with her.

Seems to me there's something
wrong with you this morning...

and not just this morning,
when I think about it.

You come and go without
any explanation...

Don't trouble yourself,
just think of your murders.

Thank you.
I didn't want to trouble you.

God, it's heavy!


Like that...
Mind your hands.



Are you sure you've never seen
Julia in this house before?

Listen, I don't care who comes
in and out of this house.

- I just do my job.
- Really?

Then you also don't know that
Angela and Julia have disappeared.

What's happened to them?

How do I know?

They must be dead.

Sure, Giovanni, it wouldn't
be so unusual.

I hope you're kidding.

I'm not kidding at all.

I assure you I'll find out the truth.

You're blocking the sun.

Listen to me.

You look so worried, my love.
What is it now?

This is no laughing matter.

- I have to leave for a few hours.
- Go ahead, I'll stay by the pool.

That's exactly what I don't want,
I'd feel better if you came with me.

Don't start that again.

Do you have to be so inconsiderate?

All you know how to do
is stay here and sunbathe.

What else should I do?

Think about it...

If there really was a killer
wandering around the house...

wouldn't they have tried
to kill us by now?

The other night you were scared out
of your wits with a knife in your hand.

Yes, but the other night I was
scared and it was dark...

Today it's sunny
and I see things differently.

Do what you want,
but be careful.

Of what?
Of who?

I sometimes wonder why
we're still together.

You're not the only one.

Of course I love you.

I already told you.

A kiss.

Okay, okay.

Excuse me.

Hello? Naples?
Duze Theatre?

Speak up.

The Duze theatre?

Who's speaking?

I'd like to talk to the director
of the theatre company.

That's me, but speak up
because I can't hear anything.

Listen, I heard your show's
been suspended.

Is it true you've been
charged with obscenity?

Charged with obscenity?
What the hell are you talking about?

It's a show for schools,
sponsored by the Education Board.

Perhaps we're not talking
about the same show.

Does the actress Julia Rubini
work for you?

Are you a friend of that lunatic?


You tell her from me, we haven't
reported that little stunt of hers...

but it will cost her very dearly,
because we'll make her pay the fine.

What has she done?

You don't know?

She disappeared on the opening night
and we haven't seen her since.

When did it happen?

Last week, and if you're a friend
tell her not to call us, goodbye!


It's ready to be sent out.

I'd like to see the last
reel of the film?

You know Sandra won't let
anyone see it.

Does she ever get off the phone?

Yes, hold on...


Okay, mum, I'll be round
for dinner tonight.

I can't finish it unless I see it.
Sandra knows, I have to work.

Okay, tonight.

I don't know anything.
The reel's in the editing suite.

What is it?

What a mess!
Look at all this.

- Who was in here?
- How do I know?

But I know what will happen
when Sandra finds out.

Look at this,
they've cut it to pieces.

- It's the last reel of the film.
- It was, half of it's missing.

- Can you fix it?
- It's junk, how can I fix this?

Okay' let's give it a shot,
but lots of pieces are missing.

It will take a miracle to put
this back together.

But that's the same scene.

Are you sure it's the last reel?

Of course I'm sure,
this is what they left us.

Look at the state of it.

Would you mind rewinding it?

The key to everything was
meant to be in this reel.

- What was her secret?
- What secret?

I see the same kids playing
with a tennis ball.

But that's a woman!

Go back.

Who is she?
I haven't seen her before.

Do you know about this?

No, it's meant to have a twist ending
and that's the scene that's missing.

These frames just happened
to be left behind.

Who knows? That woman's
probably the killer in the film.

In the film?

I think I'm beginning to understand.

I thought of you as well!

Don't be afraid!

I don't want to hurt you,
I want your blood!

Don't be a little girl,
come out!

I'm not a little girl!

Poor Sandra, she'd figured it all out
without even realising it.

Yes' she knew Linda's secret
but she didn't know Tony was Linda.

The shock he suffered as a child
had traumatised him.

His female side had taken over
but Tony couldn't accept it.

He projected his hate on other girls
who reminded him of himself.

But what reason did he
have to kill them?

Perhaps for the simplest reason...

to prove to himself
that he wasn't afraid.