21 December 2014

Deep Red (1975)
126 min.
Directed by Dario Argento.
With David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Clara Calamai, Macha Meril, Glauco Mauri, Eros Pagni, Nicoletta Elmi, Piero Mazzighi, Giuliana Calandra.
A superior giallo on every level, and one of Argento's best horror films.

After deadly premonitions of her own death, a psychic is violently murdered by an unknown assailant.

But a jazz musician (Hemmings) happens to be wandering by at that very moment, and witnesses the brutal murder.

Soon, he's drawn into a complex web of questions, motives...and horrible danger.

Superb from start to finish, Deep Red is highlighted by some of the most memorable death sequences in Italian horror cinema. There's the medium's nasty end by hatchet, a brutal 'death-by-scalding,' and a terrible tooth knashing/knife combo.

Hemmings gives an excellent performance - in what is in many ways simply a reprise of his role in Antonioni's 1966 masterpiece Blowup.

Meanwhile, Daria Nicolodi shines as Hemming's headstrong love interest.

The killer's identity (& motive) are generally workable. And Argento's use of gore really propels the plot, but just as importantly it's his obvious love of classical mystery that inspires Deep Red to greatness.

Also helped by another great score from Goblin, and an overall atmosphere of menace and suspense.

Known as The Hatchet Murders. Italian title: Profondo Rosso.

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