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Blood Relatives

(Les Liens du sang)

Year: 1978
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 101 min
Director: Claude Chabrol
Producer: Eugène Lepicier, Denis Héroux
Executive Producer: Julian Melzack
Writer: Sydney Banks, Claude Chabrol
Cinematographer: Jean Rabier
Editor: Yves Langlois
Sound: Patrick Rousseau
Music: Pierre Jansen
Cast: Donald Pleasence, Donald Sutherland, Micheline Lanctôt, Stéphane Audran, Aude Landry, Laurent Malet, Lisa Langlois, David Hemmings
Production Company: Cinévideo, Filmel, Classic Film Industries

A man with a knife assaults two teenage girls on a deserted street. Muriel (Lisa Langlois) is killed, but Patricia (Aude Landry) manages to escape. Inspector Carella (Donald Sutherland) is assigned to the case and becomes obsessed with catching the killer. After Patricia misidentifies a police officer decoy in a lineup of suspects, a frustrated Carella sets his sights on Patricia’s brother Andrew (Laurent Malet), who was very close with Muriel. The investigation is further complicated when Patricia admits to having lied all along and pins the murder on Andrew. But Carella, who believes that pieces of the puzzle are still missing, makes an unexpected discovery that leads him to uncover a shattering solution to the crime.

This minor whodunit, one of three films French master Claude Chabrol directed in Canada, is based on a book by American detective novelist Ed McBain. Chabrol can’t seem to get a firm grip on the material and the film never really gets out of first gear, but the director and his regular cinematographer, Jean Rabier, do manage to create an unsettling mood, effectively using the streets of old Montreal to create an atmosphere of doom and gloom.