Dario Argento

Synapse

The ’80s marked the waning days of Italian cinema’s mastery over the genre film, but there were still quite a few gems released during the decade. Lucio Fulci (The Beyond, City of the Living Dead) and Dario Argento (Tenebre, Phenomena) each managed to direct some memorable titles, but overall the quality of the output was decreasing even as the quantity raced in the other direction. One of the most popular Italian horror films of the ’80s — Lamberto Bava’s Demons — embraced both Argento’s color schemes and Fulci’s gore addiction and combined them with an anything goes narrative and a rock and roll soundtrack. It was followed a year later by an underwhelming sequel, but even that film manages a few fun surprises. Synapse Films released both movies to Blu-ray last year in limited run steelbooks loaded with extras, but next week they’re putting out standalone Blu-rays for folks whose sole interest is the movies themselves. Both films received brand new HD transfers, color correction and additional work, and they look spectacular. I watched a double feature of both films last night — it was my fifth or so viewing of Demons and my first of the sequel.

read more...

Argento Deep Red

Not only is this week the 10th anniversary of the release of Saw, but the movie is also back in theaters as of today in commemoration of the occasion. Conceived by James Wan and Leigh Whannell, who met in film school as students at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and directed by Wan, this original installment of what would become a seven-movie franchise is also one of the most influential movies — not just horror movies — of the past decade. Like most seminal movies of the past few decades, though, it’s also a highly influenced movie. To discuss the inception of an idea like Saw is to discuss earlier movies that inspired Wan and Whannell. In honor of both the anniversary and the re-release, I’ve compiled the latest Movies to See… list as a retroactive primer for fans of Saw, or just for anyone who has or does see the original and wants some great precursors to check out afterward. Not all are horror movies, but the ones that aren’t technically of the same genre are relevant for their darker elements. Some are directly acknowledged as being actual influences and inspirations for Saw while others are just obvious predecessors in some way or another. Only one of this week’s picks, however, is included primarily for being an earlier movie starring one of the members of the cast. If by chance you haven’t seen Saw yet and have been able to go 10 years without it being spoiled for […]

read more...

IndieGoGo

There are things that are spooky and scary and go bump in the night, monsters and demons and specters and whispering voices– the things that haunt your nightmares as a child and give you that foreboding feeling that you’ve tried to get rid of as an adult. And also there’s Iggy Pop. He’s definitely in there somewhere, probably between the boogeyman and saying “Bloody Mary” three times at a slumber party. That sounds about right. The Godfather of Punk, who is no stranger to the film world, has teamed up with Dario Argento to morph into a monster that probably hasn’t crossed most of your minds for some time, given the fact that there have been approximately 8,000 Dracula and Frankenstein adaptations to digest. Argento has launched an Indigogo campaign to turn Iggy Pop into the titular monster of The Sandman – a “Christmas horror” film, which they are careful to remind readers is about the “REAL Sandman” (possibly a pointed reference to a little Neil Gaiman project?)

read more...

dracula

The newest cinematic take on Bram Stoker’s tale of the cursed, blood-sucking Count Dracula—which seems to be capitalizing on the fact that it was directed and co-written by legendary horror filmmaker Dario Argento by officially calling itself Argento’s Dracula 3D—is all ready to get a simultaneous VOD and limited theatrical release on October 4, so it’s put out a new trailer on Apple’s site to get everybody ready for the occasion. In addition to having the old Italian guy who freaked everyone out with visually inventive horror like Suspiria’s name plastered all over it, the new trailer for Dracula 3D is also worth giving a look to because it takes vampires back to their gothic, creepy roots, where many fans of monster movies feel they never should have left. There isn’t any kung-fu or leather pants in this movie, and there certainly isn’t any sparkling skin or relationship drama. Instead, Dracula 3D puts its focus squarely on sex, blood, old-timey costumes, obvious sets, and genre legend Rutger Hauer driving stakes through people’s hearts as everyone’s favorite vampire hunter, Abraham Van Helsing. Watching it almost feels like stepping back in time.

read more...

Dario Argento

The word “Giallo” is Italian for “Yellow” which was the color of the covers of old pulp novels from the Mondadori publishing house. It’s also the color of the urine that’s scared out of you while watching the best horror flicks. There are a lot of names associated with the film movement (which usually focuses on the very stylish, very violent removal of blood from someone’s body), but at the top of the list is Dario Argento (sorry, Fulci fans). The Italian filmmaker has delivered the truly bizarre and beautiful, making movies like Suspiria and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage amongst many, many others. He was also instrumental in bringing Dawn of the Dead to life and influenced a new generation of horror directors (not to mention leagues of fans). So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the master of Yellow.

read more...

Sitting in a theater watching a fair few people walk out in protest at the poor quality of Dracula 3D, you have to wonder whether they knew anything about horror legend Dario Argento, and if so what exactly they expected from the director whose name alone guarantees an audience. Because Argento has a certain set of skills, which aren’t necessarily reconcilable with what is great about film these days, but to give due credit, he hasn’t really deviated from the same tracks for decades, and the result is generally an entertaining affair all the same. This time out he’s taken the iconic Dracula story on, giving horror’s most famous character (played here by Thomas Kretschmann) his first 3D treatment, and adding a few other brand new touches to the iconic story of how the Count tricked Jonathan Harker (Unax Ugalde) into working for him in order to take his wife Mina (Marta Gastini) for his own. Along the familiar path we meet jealous and mostly naked vampire Tanja (Miriam Giovanelli), the infamous Dracula servant Renfield (Giovanni Franzoni), and the various pawns in the game, both victims and servants of the Dark Lord, with the prominent role of Lucy going to the director’s daughter Asia Argento. And of course, in the final third we are invited to enjoy the many pleasures of Rutger Hauer as Abraham Van Helsing.

read more...

David Gordon Green has been talking about helming a remake of Dario Argento’s warped ballet-academy-turned-witch-coven horror movie classic Suspiria for so long that it started to sound like a project that was never really going to happen. But then, a little over a month ago, a press release came out officially naming it as the director’s next project. Suddenly the idea that there was actually going to be a new take on Suspiria coming our way looked a lot more likely. And now that the first round of casting on the film has been completed, cold hard reality has set in. Variety reports that the film’s lead role, that of a young student from America who travels to a well-respected, European ballet academy, has gone to Isabelle Fuhrman. At only the age of 15, Fuhrman is an actress still at the very beginning of her career, but many people might already know her as the creepy little girl in Orphan, or for playing the side character of Clove in this year’s smash hit The Hunger Games.

read more...

Director David Gordon Green has been trying to get a remake of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento’s horror classic Suspiria off the ground for several years now. But in the last year or so he’s finally seen quite a bit of movement on the project. Back last March he was hopeful that he would be able to make it his next job, and as recently as December he was saying that things were looking good. He had a script turned in, a budget was being calculated, and he just needed to find the funding in order to go ahead with filming. Finally that day has come, because Crime Scene Pictures has sent out a press release announcing that their next project is David Gordon Green’s Suspiria. According to the release, Green adapted Argento’s film into a new screenplay alongside Chris Gebert, casting is currently ongoing, and shooting on the film is scheduled to start in September. Producers Adam Ripp and Rob Paris said of the project, “We love the style and energy of the original film — and David’s script brilliantly updates the world, presenting a rare opportunity to create an elegant, classic horror film.”

read more...

Foreign Objects - Large

Last week’s installment of Foreign Objects took a look at the third film in Dario Argento’s so-called “animal trilogy,” Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Why start with the third film and not the first? No reason. But today we’re continuing with the theme and covering the second film, The Cat o’ Nine Tails. Don’t worry about continuity though as the three movies are in no way related. A burglary at a local genetics institute catches the eye ear of a blind retiree, and when people associated with the incident start dropping dead he teams up with a reporter to try to crack the case. The duo discovers an elaborate chain of events surrounding the lab’s recent discovery of a genetic marker that may indicate criminal tendencies and a drug that may cure it. Is someone killing to protect the discovery… or are they killing to hide the fact that they’re a killer?

read more...

Foreign Objects - Large

I’ve spoken before about the highs of Dario Argento’s early career and how it sits in direct contrast to the abysmally depressing filmmaker he’s become in the last two decades. But his filmography doesn’t have a timeline clearly separating the good from the bad. His best work remains the five features he made from 1975 to 1985 with everything before and after that period being a major mixed bag. And that includes 1971’s Four Flies on Grey Velvet. A rock drummer finds himself stalked by a masked killer out to frame him and make his life miserable, but who’s doing it and why? And more importantly, how will it affect the sales of his upcoming album?

read more...

Indie director turned studio comedy director David Gordon Green has been talking about doing a remake of Dario Argento’s cult horror classic Suspiria for a couple years now. Back in March of this year, he insinuated that he would be making the remake his next film after the release of The Sitter. Well, The Sitter is out now, and it’s time for Green to move on to his next project, so what’s the deal with Suspiria? The director recently told IFC, “I’ve turned in the script. We’re just looking at casting and locations and trying to figure out budget and if it works.” Fans of remakes all over the world probably just let out a cheer at the news that the script is finished, but what is that about figuring out budgets? Does it seem likely that an agreement on the price of this thing will be reached, or is this a script likely to sit on the shelf because it can’t get financing? “I’ve been trying to make it for four years and trying to find the support entity to finance it,” Green says. “It’s a very specific movie and the horror genre is in a very specific place right now that’s very much inspired by the success of movies like Paranormal Activity that show you can make a very economical killing at the box office, so to speak.” That doesn’t sound good to me. Any remake of Argento’s work is going to have to be pretty visually astounding […]

read more...

31 Days of Horror - October 2011

We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: Miriam and John Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie) share a passionate longtime love affair, traveling the world and indulging their mutual taste for classical music and the blood of the living. Although John’s love for Miriam might last forever, his youthful vigor will not. After centuries at Miriam’s side, he begins aging at an accelerated rate. Like Miriam’s many past paramours, John seems doomed to a fate worse than death. Under the guise of finding a cure, Miriam begins courting her next conquest – sleep researcher Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon).

read more...

Another month, another Dario Argento Blu-ray release from Arrow Video in the UK. This time it’s a film considered by many to be among his best works in general as well as one of his finest giallos. Tenebrae features all the hallmarks of Argento finest films including a twisted killer in gloves, spectacular set pieces, a pulsating electronic score, and people meeting some very violent endings. It also happens to be the bloodiest of his films from that period. Like, ‘paint the wall red with the crimson arterial spray spurting from a severed arm’ bloody…

read more...

After seeing Rutger Hauer in Hobo With a Shotgun, there’s no doubt that he’ll be a complete badass as Van Helsing for Dracula 3D. After all, Van Helsing is effectively a drifter with a 19th century shotgun. How will he stack up against Peter Cushing, Christopher Plummer and, gulp, Hugh Jackman? There’s no telling, but with horror icon Dario Argento at the helm, the movie will at least promise to be absurd and full of the red stuff. These first shots from the film show off just a little blood, a lot of Hauer, and more proof that Argento is unafraid to make a maiden go bottomless in a barn. Here are 6 of the many, many images over at the film’s official website.

read more...

The Dario Argento Blu-ray train keeps right on rolling over in the UK thanks to the fine folks at ArrowVideo, and their latest release just so happens to be my favorite feature from the Italian director. Common perception would argue that Suspiria is Argento’s finest hour while purists might point to his earlier giallo work with Deep Red or The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (and those of you with a predilection for wild women may claim that Asia Argento is the man’s greatest creation), but none of these are correct. No, Argento’s most entertaining movie is Phenomena, aka Creepers, aka the one where Jennifer Connelly fends off a maniacal killer thanks in large part to her ability to communicate telepathically with insects.

read more...

Do you even need to read the rest of this post to get more excited? As we all know, Dario Argento is prepping Dracula 3D to shoot this Spring, and according to Twitch (via Italian media), Rutger Hauer will be moving on from playing a Hobo wielding a two-barreled firearm to Van Helsing – the iconic vampire killer. Hopefully a two-barreled crossbow will be involved. This is just one more step in Hauer’s Rourke-like return to prominence. Although he didn’t land hard with an Oscar nomination, he’s in his Sin City phase (which oddly enough didn’t come when he was in Sin City). He’s got five total films set to come out this year, a few more indies on the docket, and if he can land a high profile dramatic gig, we could see him acting crazy on an awards dais as early as 2012. Hope spring eternal. The idea of Hauer as Van Helsing is inspired. He’s grizzled yet refined in that way only European actors can manage. He also does wonderful, unspeakable things in Hobo With a Shotgun, so the violence he could perpetrate against those damned bloodsuckers might almost make up for Dracula III: The Legacy. Where, of course, he was on the other end of the stake.

read more...

Dario Argento is a legend in the horror genre, but he’s also an incredibly hit or miss director. (Unless you’re someone who needs cohesive plots in movies, then all of his films are probably misses.) The label is probably befitting of many film-makers, but Argento stands apart in a singular way. The quality of most directors’ work ranges film to film with their best and worst mingling side by side throughout the years. Argento on the other hand created a string of brilliant films up through the mid eighties… and has been releasing garbage ever since. UK label extraordinaire Arrow Video has been collecting, gussying up, and releasing editions of Argento’s work for a short while now. Their catalog includes DVD releases of his later (and therefore lesser) works, but they’ve also started producing sharp and beautifully packaged Blu-rays of his older classics. Inferno hit shelves last year (my review here), and Arrow has now followed it up with Argento’s 1975 serial killer thriller, Deep Red (aka Profondo Rosso).

read more...

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis: An American girl named Suzy (Jessica Harper) joins a prestigious dance academy in Germany only to find that it’s run by a coven of witches who enjoy making the technicolor blood run from the still-beating hearts of their victims.

read more...

Arrow Video recently released Dario Argento’s Inferno onto Blu-ray for the first time. They’ve brought their trademarked kick-ass presentation, in both packaging and content, to Dario Argento’s film about murderous and mystical happenings in New York City. The Movie: Inferno is the middle film in Argento’s well known Three Mothers trilogy. Thankfully it sits closer in both style and quality to the first of the trilogy, Suspiria, and far from the ugly disaster that is part three, Mother Of Tears. Set in New York City, the story finds a young poet named Rose (Irene Miracle) researching the history of her building because she’s grown bored trying to find a word to rhyme with orange. She discovers a mystery surrounding the building’s origin and owners and traces it to a trio of evil wenches. Or maybe they’re witches. Regardless, the second of the three mothers has made her home in the Big Apple and people are going to die in some grotesque and overly elaborate ways.

read more...

When I first heard that George Romero was going to remake Dario Argento’s Deep Red in 3-D, I was pissed. My initial reaction was a typical knee-jerk lament: “Hollywood has run out of ideas.” That’s my usual statement whenever I hear that yet another classic horror film is slated for a remake.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3