HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Deep Red You have killed before and will kill again!
Year: 1975
Director: Dario Argento
Stars: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Carla Calamai, Macha Meril, Glauco Mauri, Eros Pagni, Nicoletta Elmi, Giuliana Calandra, Piero Mazzinghi, Fulvio Mingozzi, Vittorio Fanfoni, Dante Fioretti, Geraldine Hooper, Aldo Bonamano
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 2 votes)
Review: At a parapsychology conference in Rome, renowned psychic Helga Ullman (Macha Meril) recoils in horror when she senses a murderer amidst the audience. “You have killed and you will kill again!” she intones ominously. Later that night, Helga is viciously murdered in her apartment by a mystery maniac wearing a trenchcoat and leather gloves. Across the street, jazz pianist Marc Daly (]David Hemmings) witnesses the whole thing alongside his troubled, alcoholic colleague Carlo (Gabriele Lavia). Pushy reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi) realizes Marc is onto something when, certain he has overlooked a crucial detail in Helga’s apartment, he begins piecing together the labyrinthine trail of clues that lead to the killer, who is ruthlessly eliminating anyone who can reveal his/her identity…

Deep Red (or Profondo Rosso to use its more poetic Italian title) ranks alongside Blood and Black Lace (1964) and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1969) as a key giallo and is arguably the definitive expression of the form. Following the proliferation of genre titles throughout the early Seventies and the lacklustre reception given his historical comedy-thriller The Five Days of Milan (1973), maestro Dario Argento seemingly set out to show everybody how a great horror-mystery should be done. The result was this intricate, artfully woven masterpiece whose nightmarish set-pieces, satirical asides (note the police inspector who dismisses Marc’s jazz career as not being ‘a real job’), and multilayered plot display a remarkable thematic consistency.

Throughout the unfolding narrative, Argento repeatedly points to art, literature, music, even a child’s mural as keys to unlock the human soul. Combined with an intuitive performance from David Hemmings (whose presence surely alludes to Blowup (1966), confirming that Michelangelo Antonioni is as crucial an artistic influence as Alfred Hitchcock or Sergio Leone), Argento virtuoso cinematic style makes the process of crime-solving as enlightening as scrutinizing an artwork, savouring a piece of music, losing yourself in a good book or - hey! - watching a really great movie.

Accompanied by Goblin’s alternately unsettling and beguiling rock score, Argento’s acrobatic camera plunges us into a world of irrational, often childlike terrors (creepy cackling dolls, malevolent birds) where the killings are extraordinary brutal (a victim’s face plunged into a tub of scalding hot water) and often foreshadowed by sly, throwaway remarks. Note how Marc’s statement that playing piano represents a symbolic bashing of his father’s teeth prefigures the unforgettably gruesome set-piece wherein one character has their jaws repeatedly smashed against a fireplace.

It is that rare Argento movie that plays just as well in an English dub, maybe even better. Countering past (and future) criticisms that his characters are paper-thin, Profondo Rosso features his warmest, most faceted protagonists. Both the Marc-Gianna and Marc-Carlo relationships are well drawn, the latter encompassing a sympathetic portrayal of homosexuality. Daria Nicolodi’s cute, sparkly performance contrasts disquietingly with her later Argento roles, where their real life romantic relationship was on the rocks, but watching Marc and Gianna bicker about gender roles and his nervous artistic temperament plays like a warm portrait of domestic life chez Argento. Some find the comedic subplot hit-and-miss - and large sections were edited out for the international version - but moments like the arm-wrestling scene and the malfunctioning car have their charm and it remains refreshing how she is the sexual aggressor while he is hesitant.

Although the blood and gore are suitably shocking, it’s the peripheral details that really unsettle: surreal episodes of possibly supernatural foreboding (that inexplicable wind-up doll); the haunted mansion where Marc finds and misinterprets a vital clue; a cameo from Nicoletta Elmi, that ubiquitous red-haired little minx of Seventies Italian horror, as another terror tyke; and most disturbingly, the school that seemingly churns out generation upon generation of psychotic killers. Equally worthy of note are instances of Argento’s subtle wit, e.g. the moment psychic Helga recoils in horror before the killer bursts through the door; the camera that dollies past the killer’s lost marbles (geddit?) and the climactic identity reveal that must have tickled the cinefile inside the maestro.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4524 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Dario Argento  (1940 - )

Italian horror maestro who began his film career as a critic, before moving into the world of screenwriting, collaborating most notably with Sergio Leone and Bernardo Bertolucci on the script of Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West (1968). Argento's first film as director, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) set the template for much of his subsequent work - inventive camerawork, sly wit, violent murder set-pieces, and a convoluted whodunnit murder plot. He perfected his art in this genre with Deep Red in 1975, before proceeding to direct the terrifying Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980), the first two parts of a loose trilogy of supernatural chillers that were finally completed with Mother of Tears in 2007.

Since then, Argento has pretty much stuck to what he knows best, sometimes successfully with Tenebrae and Opera, sometimes, usually in the latter half of his career, less so (Trauma, Sleepless, Dracula), but always with a sense of malicious style.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: