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Simon Donati is the main character of the 1971 Italian horror film Twitch of the Death Nerve (also known as A Bay of Blood, Ecologia del delitto, Blood Bath and Reazione a catena). Although he is the killer in the film, he is not the sole or main antagonist of the movie. He is the illegitimate son of Countess Federica Donati who owns a a large bayside mansion and the surrounding land. Her murder causes the events of the movie to start, and turns Simon into a murderer.
He was portrayed by the late Claudio Camaso.
Simon lives in a small house on his mother's property, and lives as a fisherman, mainly fishing for squid in the bay. He usually keeps to himself, but occasionally talks to people who live around or visit the area.
Simon's mother, Countess Frederica Donati, owns a large portion of land near a bay in Italy. Many businessmen have come to her and offered to purchase the land from her in order to start a resort. The Countess refuses to sell, saying that the land is very important to her. Meanwhile, Frederica is also having marriage trouble with her husband, Fillippo Donati. Writing in her diary that she is so filled with sorrow, she often prays for death.
When two realtors named Frank Ventura and his wife Laura see her suicidal diary entries, they hatch an scheme: bribe Filippo Donati to murder his wife and make it look like a suicide, using her diary pages as a suicide note. Donati will become owner of the bay and will sell. Donati murders his wife as planned. However, soon after, an unseen attacker stabs Donati to death with a butterfly knife.
A few days later, four teenagers drive to a small cottage down by the bay. One of them decides to go swimming and discovers Donati's body in the bay. The killer chases the teenager down and murders her with a billhook, and then murders the other three teens at the cottage.
When Donati fails to respond to the realtors, they decide to investigate. Simon's stepsister, Renata and her husband Albert, also go to investigate. When Renata and Albert see Simon, they start to question him about Donati, only to find his corpse in Simon's fishing boat. Simon claims that he simply found Donati in the bay and had nothing to do with it.
However, Simon later admits to killing Donati, saying that he was angered after Donati abused and murdered his mother. He also reveals that he murdered the four teenagers to keep them from reporting his crimes to the police. When he learns that Frank and Laura were behind the plot to kill his mother, Simon strangles Laura to death in a fit of rage. As he walks out of his home, he is stabbed to death with a spear by Albert.
- Filippo: Stabbed with a knife.
- Brunhilda: Throat slit with a billhook.
- Robert: Impaled in face with a billhook.
- Duke: Skewered with a spear.
- Denise: Skewered with a spear.
- Laura: Choked.