Bloodline

No, not the American TV series, the Italian movie... Bloodline
No, not the American TV series, the Italian movie... Bloodline

Director: Edo Tagliavini
Writers: Mario Calamita, Virgilio Olivari,, Edo Tagliavini, Taiyo Yamanouchi
Stars: Francesca Faiella, Virgilio Olivari, Marco Benevento

Not content with merely harking back to the golden days of the 1960s and 1970s, it seems that Italian filmmakers are now also drawing inspiration for the less celebrated horror films of the 1980s. If this smacks of desperation it is: there hasn’t been a truly effective Italian horror film for some years now and when the likes of Delirium and Murderock are retrospectively held up as classic productions, well, then you really are starting out from a low benchmark. How else to explain Bloodline, a 2010 film directed by Edo Tagliavini which has gained a few half decent reviews since it was released.

The plot follows a pair of rather hapless reporters, Sandra (Francesca Faiella) and Marco (Marco Benevento), who work for a sleazy internet-only news company. Their latest ‘scoop’ is getting rare behind the scenes access to a pornographic movie directed by the legendary Klaus Kinki (!) (Paolo Ricci) and starring celebrated adult stars Tony (Virgilio Olivari) and Victoria (Valentina Del Rio). Sandra has some doubts, not least because many years earlier her twin sister went missing in exactly the same woods where this film is due to be shot, one of the very final victims of a serial killer called The Surgeon, who was notorious for removing the organs of those he killed. Needless to say, almost as soon as the the crew arrives on location people start being killed off by a copycat killer; and in the meantime Sandra keeps on seeing the ghost of her sister, which also makes a habit of possessing any handy corpses in the vicinity and wreaking yet more carnage.

Bloodline
Bloodline

Hmmm, yes. This is an exemplary case of the proverbial Italian tendency to chuck everything into the mix in the hope that some half decent might come out in the end. And, as usually happens, the result is a huge and almighty mess. So you have zombies, ghosts, a not ineffective serial killer, porn movies, torture sequences and a bloke with a hideous pony tail who’s a dead ringer for Miles O’Keefe (as he was in the extremely forgettable Fashion Crimes). Unfortunately, none of which means that it’s any good: the story is a grab bag of cliches and exclamation marks, a kind of Bloodsucker Leads the Dance or The Playgirls and the Vampire for the Twitter generation. It took four writers to come up with the script for all this and it certainly looks like it: unfortunately none of them appear to have actually talked to each other during the writing process.

Tagliavini’s direction is basic but not exactly terrible: this isn’t really any worse or better than the poorer films made by Lamberto Bava or Umberto Lenzi in the 1980s. His inexperience shows, however, in the fact that he doesn’t seem to realise that it might be an idea to concentrate on doing one thing well rather than doing twenty different things badly. Furthermore, it suffers from the cheesy ‘alternative culture’ viewpoint which is so rife in Italian horror films today (see also Tulpa, perdizione mortale), exhibiting a fascination for ‘deviant culture’ which would have been contemporary twenty years ago but seems old hat nowadays. The acting is extremely variable, with most of the of the supporting cast being a shade of terrible. Old hands Claudio Simonetti and Sergio Stivaletti contribute a decent soundtrack and special effects respectively.

About Matt Blake 845 Articles
The WildEye is a blog dedicated to the wild world of Italian cinema (and, ok, sometimes I digress into discussing films from other countries as well). Peplums, comedies, dramas, spaghetti westerns... they're all covered here.

4 Comments

  1. Cioa, sorry for my terrible english, I hope you can understan… I am Bloddline’s director and I agree about some of your critics, because I am the first to know the limit of my movie: but I don’t understand why if in Italy somebody try to make a ironic mix, with intention, and put the line of the movie in a clear “omage” to the ’80, that have to be an “big error and inexperience…4 scriptwriter in 2 years is not the same thing than say “4 screeptwriter”: I was the last of this crasy chain of screeptwriter and of course, in watching the budget and the cast I chiised the way of the “pastiche” in mixing with irony everythink… and if Stvilaette effect like good is just because with the editor and during the shooting we make a supergood job: belive me, he was the most unprofessional guy on the set… so, the cinema world is 360° and of course peolple like more or less some movie, so, corectly you din’t liked the mix, but that don’t mean this is an “error” or enexperience: peolple liked that mix, all is question of taste :)
    Anyway, thanks for your attention, and for everythink, I will be at your service :) have a supernice day :)

    • Ciao Edo, thanks for getting in touch! Believe me, I have endless admiration for anyone who is able to get a film of the ground and made, so I wholly support you and would always encourage other people to watch films for themselves rather than be too swayed by my judgement because, as you say, it’s all a question of taste. Hope everything goes brilliantly in the future – any projects in the pipeline?

  2. :) superthanks for you superkind answer :)
    Yes, one project is in praparetion, with a budget can give to me breath 😉
    a thriller paranormal with EVP voice… :) I will write to you when I have more sure news about timing and cast :)
    Superthanks again, let’s stay in touch :)
    EDO

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