Day 14- 31 Days of Halloween- Inferno (1980)

Day 14- 31 Days of Halloween- Inferno (1980)

A young man travels from Rome to New York to investigate his sister’s disappearance after she was living in the same apartment building where an ancient witch resided.

This was Argento’s second instalment of his much lauded ‘Three Mothers’ trilogy.

INFERNO-review

All of the Giallo elements are here as are Argento’s striking visuals as a backdrop to some very brutal murders and bizarre goings-on. With all of the twists and turns in the narrative I didn’t fully know what the hell was going on but such was the film’s power. I let the visuals, Keith Emerson’s great score and Dario’s masterful direction wash over me like a great big Giallo tidalwave. And I loved it! Apparently when this was first released the critics on the whole hated it. More fool them. This film is gorgeous and brilliant on so many levels.

There are other Argento films I like more but Inferno is still horror by a true artist and auteur.

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The BBFC cut the cat cruelty scenes.

4 out of 5 stars

Tenebrae – Day 24 – 31 Days of Halloween

Tenebrae – Day 24 – 31 Days of Halloween

Probably Argento’s best movie in my opinion.

A successful writer Peter Neal is visiting Rome from America. He becomes aware that a serial killer is on the loose and strongly influenced by his work.

This film is staggeringly good. Prepare to be astounded by the tracking shot of the outside of the apartment block- one of the best shots I’ve ever seen in a film. Also, the scene where a characters arm is chopped off with an axe and her blood completely redecorates a wall. Directed with the usual flair and attention to detail and aesthetics that you’d expect from The Master.

This film also features an amazing turn by the legend John Saxon. Argento manages to coax a wacky, insane performance out of the actor which steals the show. Look out for the scene where he shows how his hat stays on no matter what.

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The ending is a master stroke also. I’m certainly not going to spoil the surprise here but its a corker and doesn’t feel forced or contrived.

This film came a cropper in Britain- it was mixed up in the 80s Video Nasties moral panic and was banned for years. There seems to be three vile repercussions of the DPP list- obviously the fact that it prevented the viewer watching what they wanted but also that masterpieces like Tenebrae were banned and much lesser films were immortalised. Wrongly so- some of the films on the lists should have disappeared without a trace otherwise.

Even the poster for Tenebrae caused a commotion. The original poster features the blood from a neck wound on a female victim. This was too much for London Underground who said that they wouldn’t display the posters as they were too graphic. Hence the red trickle of blood was instead replaced by a red ribbon for the UK posters and even the soundtrack art here.

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The original poster
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The altered poster- now fit for London Underground
If you love horror, see this film. If you love giallo, see this film. Damn- if you love cinema full stop- SEE THIS FILM.

5 out of 5