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Dario Argento's DEEP RED and INFERNO (Recommended)

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Dario Argento's DEEP RED and INFERNO (Recommended)

Old 05-04-00, 04:21 PM
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Attention Drive-In Mutants ...

There seems to be a lot of interest about two new Dario Argento films ... Deep Red and Inferno. Read all about them right here at DVD Talk.

Also reviewed: I Was A Teenage Zombie

MY DVD LIBRARY: A study in addiction
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Old 05-06-00, 06:49 PM
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hate to tell you this, but I compared my old VHS tape of INFERNO with the DVD and unfortunatly IT IS THE SAME THING! NO NEW FOOTAGES! I DONT KNOW WHAT ANCHOR BAY IS TALKING ABOUT!!!!! WHERE IS THE NEW FOOTAGES!!!! did they get lazy and used the US print??? Also unlikely the other Argento film this was matted, and i was losing soem images off the top and bottom! Who ever did the transfer should be ashamed of themselves for not only using the US print, and claiming its the uncut verson, but also cropping the top and bottom!!!! Argento shoots his films WIDE!!!!! beautiful colors though!
Old 05-07-00, 03:47 AM
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It's pretty common knowlege among Argento fans that the KEY Video release of Inferno incorrectly lists the time on the box and the film on the tape is indeed uncut. I don't remember Anchor Bay saying anywhere that there was new footage. They just said their release was uncut, which it is. Also, Inferno was shot in matted letterbox. Not all of Argento's films are 2.35:1 (I believe his segment in Two Evil Eyes was 1.85:1), though most are. Please remember that this transfer is Argento approved. You're getting it as he intended (well, as much as can be intended without a true theater experience). What you are also getting is a fantastic 5.1 remix of Keith Emerson's moody score and some beautiful non bleeding reds and blues.

I love this disc.
Old 05-07-00, 04:52 AM
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Schmilsson, on the DVD box, it says this is the FIRST TIME this film is presented UNCUT! Which it is NOT true, as Key video version was the first time, but I assume the theatrical release back in 78 was the first time....wait I guess its ALWAYS beent he same versioN! LOL!
Old 05-08-00, 02:52 AM
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(Checking my DVD keepcase...)I'll be damned if it doesn't say "The First Time" on it. Uncut AND Uncencored to boot!

For the record, Inferno was shelved back in 1980 when there was a corperate shakeup at 20th Century Fox, so it never got a theatrical release in the United States. I did manage to see a domestic 16mm print of it a few years back that was exactly the same as the KEY Video transfer. God, was that print beautiful.
Old 05-08-00, 05:30 PM
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I know there's already one review here, but you can never get too much of a good thing.


The mourning period is officially over. Don't get me wrong, the death of the laserdisc format and its subsequent replacement by smaller, swanky, oh-so-shiny DVDs left a bad taste in my mouth, too - like slipping your second-cousin the tongue at some family function. But the world has moved on. And for everyone except the money-grubbing parasites on eBay who demand
100 bucks for some Godzilla import (the profits from which they immediately funnel into their burgeoning asian-schoolgirl porn collection), Laser is now
six-feet under.

Thank god for Anchor Bay! Picking up the torch dropped by Elite, they've managed to become the premiere source for anything cool, cult, or campy; building an impressive library of lesser known collectible films that might've never seen the light of day. With the latest two additions to their Dario Argento collection, they've simultaneously erased any lingering laser guilt and raised the bar for Italian horror on any format.

DEEP RED is simply sumptuous. And although I've always been partial to bestowing SUSPIRIA with the masterpiece title, this director's cut comes damn
close to changing my mind. Aside from being Dario's most narratively coherent film (he co-wrote it with Fellini collaborator, Bernardino Zapponi) it marks
the fruition of his trademark visual style. From the fetishist close-ups, bizarre (yet carefully composed) camera angles, and pounding Goblin score, DEEP RED is an off-center, unpredictably intense horror experience.

Marc (David Hemmings, in a role that mirrors his performance in the self-reflexive Antonioni film, BLOW UP), an English pianist living in Rome, witnesses the murder of a renowned psychic at the black-gloved hands of a hatchet wielding psycho. Obsessed with a half-remembered clue from the scene, he sets off to ease his mind with the help of a pushy journalist (Daria Nicolodi) and his drunken piano buddy (Gabriele Lavia). And the more Marc uncovers, the quicker people start to die.

Suffering more cuts than any other Argento film in the overseas markets, this new print (widescreen, anamorphically enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1) is reconstructed with nearly 20 minutes of Italian footage that never made it to the States. The only downside being that the English audio tracks were unavailable - which means the subtitles kick on whenever a previously cut scene kicks in. But it's much less annoying than you'd think, and a small price to pay for such cinematic closure. There's also two trailers, talent
bios, and 25th anniversary featurette which includes some truly informative comments from co-writer Zapponi, the members of Goblin and Argento himself.

But in an age when DUSK TILL DAWN 3 gets a directors commentary, extras don't mean much if you have to sit through a crap movie. And DEEP RED quite
simply blew me away. Other than an ugly few minutes of speckling during Marc's investigation of the murder house, the print is eat-off-the-floor-clean. The menus have an eerie "Texas Chainsaw" vibe and showcase the Goblin score to maximum effect. DEEP RED doesn't just make you rethink Argentos career, it scolds you for not paying closer attention in the first place.

As a companion piece, INFERNO manages to showcase both Argento's strongest and weakest points as a director. But again, you cannot fault Anchor Bay's transfer (also widescreen, anamorphically enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1), which beautifully captures all the colors of death packed into the SUSPIRIA sequel. Argento calls it his purest film, which essentially means, "To hell with the plot, lets kill some people!" As crude as the narrative is constructed, INFERNO plays like a successful technicolor nightmare of sadistic proportions.

Rose (Irene Miracle) stumbles upon the home of one of the Three Mothers, an evil sisterhood that brings suffering onto mankind (the mythology is muddled to say the least). She sends her brother, Marc (Leigh McCloskey), a letter detailing her suspicions, only to have it find another recipient...who is murdered for her trouble. When Marc finally arrives to investigate his sister's sudden disappearance, he finds hell waiting for him.

Not so much a story as a sequence of set-pieces, INFERNO entertains ruthlessly; jumping from murder to murder...victim to victim...with malevolent momentum. A bookseller eaten alive by rats, a stabbing set to
opera. But its obvious Argento enjoys the anticipation of these moments much more than the payoff. Several sequences (the flooded ballroom of the film's opening in particular) rival anything he's ever committed to film. But their connection as a whole never fully materializes. Its the first film where the "Argento style" seems like braggadocio rather than an artistic choice; a public-pleasing sell out splashed with color instead of painstakingly inked.

Then there's the music: a Goblin-esque cacophony by Keith Emerson of the organ-heavy group Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. It's like the worst episode of Starsky & Hutch you ever saw...turned up to 11. But for fans, ignoring flaws in Argento films is a well-practiced skill, and INFERNO offers much more bang for your buck than anything Fulci has to offer. For extras, you can wander through another Argento interview (which discusses Mario Bava's contribution to the film), the theatrical trailer, and a relatively sparse still gallery.


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