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Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) + Goblin live review

tn_deepredI hope this isn’t oversharing, but my first Dario Argento movie was PROFONDO ROSSO, which we call DEEP RED here in the states. I don’t think I knew anything about it when I rented it on a mysterious, seedy looking VHS tape that called it “DEEP RED HATCHET MURDERS.” That’s not the worst title because it is, in fact, about a series of murders, though some of them are done with knives and not hatchets. So the “hatchet” part is kinda misleading. The plural on the “murders,” though, that part was dead on. There’s a bunch of them.

The story begins in Cronenbergian fashion as psychic medium Helga Ulmann (Macha Meril) is doing a public demonstration of her skills, and is suddenly overcome when she senses evil thoughts by someone in the room. Our protagonist is David Hemmings (Dildano from BABARELLA) as British jazz pianist Marcus Daly, who happens to be walking beneath an apartment window as Helga is murdered in a genuinely shocking burst of violence (she’s hit from behind with… yeah, I guess it’s a hatchet, her head crashes through the window and then she drops-throat first onto the edge of the remaining glass. Ouch! And all up there on display like he’s watching an opera.

Whoever this unseen murderer is, he or she  begins a spree, playing a recording of a creepy children’s song before each attack. I guess maybe it’s helpful that Marcus knows about music, because he begins to investigate the song, tries to remember what he saw when he ran up to try to help Helga, things like that, eventually leading him to a house where he literally digs for clues, chipping through a wall with a pickax until he discovers hidden secrets.

mp_deepredIn many ways it’s a typical murder mystery story with a few extra creepy touches (example: the revelation of why he remembers the painting looking different right after the murder). But this movie knocked my socks off that first time I saw it because it has an aggressive style like I’d never seen before. There are beautiful shots, I’m not sure how they did it, the camera seems to be tiny and hovering along a table of small childish things like dolls and marbles until it gets to a knife. Also, extreme closeups of cassette tapes and turntables operating as they play the children’s song. In one shot the camera appears to be attached to a large knife as it drops, machine-like, into a guy’s neck.

The settings are beautiful: ornate theaters, red velvet curtains, a chair that seems almost occult in its geometric design. These sights are dirtied by the shocking violence, including but not limited to the scene where a man gets his mouth AMERICAN HISTORY Xed against a couple different mantles. And the blood looks like bright red paint. This Argento, I realized right away, treats fake murders as art. Always looking for a new and more stylish way to do it.

Keep in mind, this is 1975. If it was later I’d think it was an attempt at a more visually and aurally accomplished version of the slasher movie, but  it’s only a year after BLACK CHRISTMAS and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, and a few years before HALLOWEEN, THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, MANIAC, FRIDAY THE 13TH, etc. Instead I think it’s just Argento’s more violent and fetishistic take on the giallo genre of Italian murder mysteries. Most of the American horror directors probly didn’t know about his movies until later on, so they didn’t know he’d already upped the ante on them.

Having seen it a bunch of times now, and having fallen in love with Argento’s even more stylized and surreal later movies SUSPIRIA and INFERNO, DEEP RED seems a little slow at times, especially in the much longer original Italian version. I hate to sound like a Weinstein, but you do have to be a little patient sitting through some standard mystery stuff to get to the good shit. But the good shit is real good shit.

(And I’m not dismissing the connective material here either. It can be fun and even humorous, like the bit about driving around in a little car with a broken seat so Hemmings looks ridiculously short. And the door is broken so he has to climb out through the top. They beat EXPENDABLES 2 to the “smart cars are small” joke by 35 years.)

This killer doesn’t just jump right into it, this is somebody that has to set a mood first. In one scene, a woman finds a doll hanging from a noose in her house. Her bird is squawking out of control, and there’s a strange wind blowing, and then amidst the black shadows of her closet we see a single eye, and that children’s song starts playing again. Jesus, it’s too much! At least shut the bird up. You’re freaking me out, Argento.

It had been long enough since I last watched it that this time I actually forgot about maybe the craziest moment in the movie, when suddenly a door flips open and a terrifying clockwork doll mechanically runs toward a man, giggling. Frightened, he smashes its head with a hatchet and it falls broken to the ground, where its pieces continue to twitch around like a headless chicken. It’s an out-of-the-blue, never explained, amazing moment, so they put it on the cover of that first VHS version I rented:

mp_deepredVHS

And that’s gotta be the inspiration for that doll in the SAW movies, right?

I haven’t yet mentioned the most important aspect of the movie, the score by the band Goblin. They were an existing prog-rock band called Cherry Five, but they renamed themselves when Argento chose them first to perform the score for this movie and then to replace the original composer and write the music themselves. What they came up with is one of the most unique and badass of film scores. Here’s the scene I described above with the closeups of the dolls and the knife. See how it plays pretty much like a music video:

And here’s the giggling doll scene. I think the secret to its success is the music and the way it suddenly stops for an awkward silence before the doll appears.

Goblin’s driving rhythm section and weird, bombastic keyboards ended up creating many other great scores, most notably DAWN OF THE DEAD and SUSPIRIA. But one style I never heard them repeat after DEEP RED is this intense drum-heavy track that would work in a blaxploitation movie:

This may be the nerdiest shit I ever admitted to you guys, but all those years ago when I rented DEEP RED THE HATCHET MURDERS I was so obsessed with this music that I went through and recorded all the choice bits onto audio cassette. This was before the invention of the Best of Goblin CDs, so I didn’t know what else to do.

This latest viewing of DEEP RED was to prepare myself to see Goblin at Friday’s sold out Seattle date of their first ever tour of North America. That was an incredible experience that I gotta write down for posterity.

When I got to the club, Neumo’s, it was crowded and dark, lit only by red and blue lights, fog pouring off the stage, music playing relatively quietly, the smell of burning meat pouring in from a hot dog stand next to the entrance. It really seemed like some weird bar that could be in an Argento movie, or at least a DEMONS sequel. The opening band, the 5-piece instrumental group Secret Chiefs 3, were a good match. They played a set of weird, cut-and-paste experimental rock that included covers of songs from HALLOWEEN and, further research told me, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. For the closer their violin player switched to trumpet, which he played very well. It sounded like a western theme, possibly a Morricone, but it turns out it was from Otto Preminger’s EXODUS. They wore white hoodies with pointy, monk-like hoods draped over their eyes, and they never took them off.

Goblin were not as ritualistic. They all look like they could be in different bands. Claudio Simonetti, lead keyboard player and guy who does the creepy voice on SUSPIRIA, is a tall nerdy dude who was wearing a skeleton t-shirt like the guy in THIS IS SPINAL TAP. He looks like what he is, a guy who has composed alot of keyboard scores. The other keyboard player, Maurizio Guarini, is bald with a goatee, like a warlock. Guitarist Massimo Morante looks like Phil Spector, or some rocker who hasn’t let go of the ’60s, even though his heyday was the ’70s. The other two, drummer Titta Tani and bassist Bruno Previtali, look more like normal rock dudes. They’re a little younger because they’re not original Goblin members, but they come from Simonetti’s band Daemonia. Like many musicians visiting Seattle, Previtali was wearing a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt. So my fantasy of them coming out in terrifying leather masks carrying red velvet cases full of strange bladed weapons did not come true. But otherwise it was as amazing as you’d hope.

They started with one of their newer songs, then one of the lesser songs from DEEP RED. After that they played several songs that sounded vaguely familiar, because they sounded exactly like Goblin. I couldn’t figure out which movies they came from, but I enjoyed them.

Occasionally they would thank the crowd for waiting all these years to see them. Mostly in English, sometimes in Italian. They seemed charmingly happy and grateful to have an audience. Eventually Guarini explained that what they’d been playing were songs from an original non-soundtrack album called Roller, but now “we’ll play something more soundtracky. Let’s start… with zombies.”

This of course kicked off a medley of almost all the major themes from DAWN OF THE DEAD, or ZOMBI as they call it where they come from. And this was the first of several goosebump-type “I can’t believe I’m seeing this” moments. The thumping, hearbeat bassline. Ba-domp. Ba-domp. Ba-domp. Ba-domp. The weird electro-choir keyboards. It all sounded just like on the movie.

I determined at one point that DAWN OF THE DEAD is the movie I’ve dipped on the most times. I bought the original DVD of it. Then I bought a PAL code 2 import of the Italian version (not as good, but more Goblin music). Then when they came out with the new remastered version I bought the theatrical cut, knowing that was my favorite version, I didn’t really need the longer one sometimes incorrectly called the director’s cut. But then when the box set with all the versions came out I figured who was I fooling, and I bought that too. And then I got a blu-ray player, so, you know what happened next. And when I got rid of most of my old VHS tapes I discovered that I had two different versions of it on that format too, one a longer cut on 2 tapes. And of course I have the Goblin soundtrack CD, and the other one with all the library music like “The Gonk.”

And over the years as I obsessed over it in all those different formats, I bet I never once thought “You know what would be cool would be to see some of the guys who recorded this music performing it live.” Because of course that would never happen. What are the chances of seeing that for a 35 year old movie? What are the chances of seeing it for any movie?

So getting to see and hear something like that seemed like a miracle. Oh, those are the guys who make those sounds. That’s how they do it. There they are. I couldn’t believe it.

And then I felt that all over again as they played SUSPIRIA, which Simonetti presented as a singalong (the only lyrics are “la” and “witch”), and of course as they played songs from DEEP RED (pretty much everything except the one I linked above). They also played something from PHENOMENA (they also used the title of the not as good American cut, CREEPERS), and when it was time for the disco-y talkboxing of TENEBRAE I had a good “I forgot about TENEBRAE!” moment. I don’t really like that movie that much, but the music is great.

They didn’t really need any theatrics, but that had a few. During themes from the more famous movies like DAWN OF THE DEAD and DEEP RED they had a screen playing montages of clips edited and kaleidoscoped into psychedelic spurts of horrible violence. Seeing all the most fucked up parts while a shadowy crowd nodded their heads to the music was a little unsettling. They also had a dancer who occasionally came out to wildly jerk around or (in the case of SUSPIRIA) do some ballet.

Despite my love of the band I’d always kept them mysterious, never really learned the names of the members, other than Simonetti because I knew he’d composed other scores. I never knew what they looked like or about that Roller album they did. I liked thinking of them as some arcane secret society instead of just people I could look up on the internet and learn every nerdy detail about. Seeing them in person, of course, humanized them. But that didn’t ruin anything.

Man, if you like Goblin and you ever notice an opportunity to go see Goblin, go fucking see Goblin. You will not regret it.

And if you’re not into Goblin, go rent DEEP RED. That might get you started.


VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 21st, 2013 at 1:10 pm and is filed under Horror, Mystery, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

48 Responses to “Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) + Goblin live review”

  1. Love the passion in this review, Vern. Hope I can see them one day, too. To hear Suspiria live…what a mindfucker…

  2. I got this from the 99-cent store as a double feature. They also had tons of old Hitchcock and sonny Chiba DVDs. It was so cool for me as a 14-year old with no Netflix.

  3. Damn you, Vern. I am so fucking jealous. Goblin played Brooklyn a couple weeks ago, but the show was sold out by the end of June. I pretty much don’t ever go to shows because shows are annoying and the people that go to them are terrible, but I’d have shelled out for Goblin. I was even psyched to see Secret Chiefs 3, a Mr. Bungle offshoot who started out playing weird Middle Eastern music before morphing into a soundtrack band with no movies to play along with.

    DEEP RED is my favorite Argento. The fact that it makes just the tiniest bit of sense makes it more disturbing than the later ones that completely give in to dream logic. (I also think TENEBRE is underrated for the same reason.) Like you, Vern, I remember the first time I saw it being blown away by the camera hovering around the toys while the amazing soundtrack pounded away. That summer, I made a little camcorder horror movie of my own that ripped off that style shamelessly. It helped that pointing a camera at creepy shit and overdubbing spooky music was something I could do on my own without having to rely on any (ugh) actors.

    I think I’m gonna make it a point to rewatch this one in time for Halloween. It’s been too long.

  4. I’m catching them tonight at the Egyptian in LA. Can’t wait!

  5. I’m really jealous, Vern. This is the kind of situation I’d be really scared to go into for fear of being let down and having some of the best movie music ruined. I’m glad it wasn’t like that at all, though.

    Really good words you typed here, too, and I know you don’t like to get too personal or subjective about things but it came off really well here.

  6. Yeah, I missed Goblin when they came this way, but several friends said it was an awesome time. Hopefully, they’ll come around again soon as it seems like this tour is a big success.

  7. I saw them play in Chicago. It was amazing. Probably the coolest concert I have been because it was so horror movie soundtrack heavy. Love Goblin!

  8. I’ve been wanting to see DEEP RED and SUSPIRIA for years, guess I should get on that soon…

  9. Maaaaan, that Goblin gig that Vern was at sounds so incredibly fucking badass.

    I saw them play a live accompaniment to Suspiria at the Revelations Film Fest in Perth earlier this year. It was pretty amazing obviously, although having the band actually in attendance made me realise that there is far less musical score going on in Suspiria than I though. Then I and a bunch of other guys and Claudio Simonetti had a pretty awkward moment in the tiny, cramped cinema bathrooms as we all stood around in silence after the performance waiting for the latrine to free up. It’s hard to talk to a buddy about a show you’ve just seen while waiting to take a piss when one of the dudes in the band is standing right next to you.

    Pretty surreal experience anyway although it would have been nice to see a vintage 35mm print of the film as opposed to this new revisionist digital copy they’re screening these days. It was also really rewarding to overhear heaps of people who had never seen Suspiria before react so positively to it.

  10. This is the film I usually recommend to Argento newbies. It’s got all the gorgeous production design, awesome music and inventive camera work of his later films, but it has a reasonably conventional murder-mystery plot and the reveal at the end actually makes sense. Also, unlike most giallos where the main characters are annoying assholes you have to suffer through, the banter between David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi is actually pretty charming and funny, for the most part.

  11. The revelation of the murder is made so ballsy that IF you are paying attention you can discover who the murderer is very early on. But it is also SO easy to miss. Wonderfully staged and shot by Argento.
    The european arthouse horror that are SUSPIRIA and INFERNO remains my favourites, but this still has some haunting slightly surreal feel to it and is perhaps the easiest Argento to start with if one is still in their mind tied too heavily to the concept of classical Hollywood storytelling and the need to have some form of narrative coherence whereas SUSPIRIA and INFERNO does not.

  12. DEEP RED has always been my favorite Argento movie. And the way I discovered it is (perhaps) worth mentioning. In the early or mid 80’s I was reading a lot of the Dirty Harry novels by Dane Hartman. And in one of them there’s a rather large section that takes place in a university where a teacher is giving his students a lecture on Argento movies. Hartman gave a very detailed description of the murders in DEEP RED..and I was hooked.

  13. It’s been years since I saw it. I just remember one pretty impressive shot, in which two people are saying good bye to each other, then leave in different directions, while the camera pulls back and keep each man at one edge of our view. When I saw that shot my first thought was: “Damn, one day I’m totally gonna steal this!” Since my movie making career didn’t take off, the shot remains unstolen by yours truly so far.

  14. So awesome you got to see Goblin. Argentos latest work is met with derisive reviews of “Ha ha hasn’t he lost it!” In a fairly gleeful manner. Also Inferno makes sense if you pay attention. Despite internet opinion to the contrary.The man has a lifetime pass as far as I’m concerned. The Bird With The Crystal Plumage is the definitave giallo as far as I’m concerned.

  15. I took me years to get used to Goblin’s soundtrack work. I guess I’m just not a proggy kind of guy. I’m at the point now where I can appreciate how their aesthetic compliments Argento’s, but I don’t listen to their stuff apart from when it’s playing in a film.

    So I was going to pass when a buddy offered me a ticket to their show here at Toronto’s Opera House (not a real Opera House) a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad I didn’t. These guys are really proficient, and having those songs rattling your ribcage is a real treat. There was no embarrassment about the datedness of the music they were playing; they own this aesthetic and conjure it up from their instruments with what almost appears a sacred duty.

    Half the fun was how into it the crowd was. They were all nodding their heads like they were in a meditative state, part rock concert, part Jonestown. It was really cool (apart from the usual concert douchebags that Majestyk mentioned; when did it become commonplace for folks to thrust their hands in each others pants at concerts? Jeesh).

    Cooler still is that all so many members of Outlaw Nation were either attending other shows on the tour, awaiting the show to come to town, or lamenting not getting tickets. I honestly had no idea Goblin were so well regarded.

  16. Well, you just sealed the deal for me. While the final show of their tour with Secret Chiefs 3 was two nights ago in San Fransico, they still have two more shows left in North America…and they’re both in Austin this weekend at the “Housecore (terrible name) Horror Film Festival.” Friday night’s show is supposed to be like the one you just saw (minus SC3, who are one of my favorite bands and are absolutely amazing live…glad you dug them), while Sunday night’s final performance will have Goblin perform the entire soundtrack to Susperia live during a screening of the flick. I’ll have to spend about $100 for a festival pass if I want to see either of the shows…but if I don’t see them this weekend, I doubt they’ll be touring again in 35 years! Glad you got to nerd-out with something this special, Vern. I think we’re about the same age and I must admit that moments to nerd-out to are getting rarer and rarer for me these days…even if it means going by myself, I’m not missing this.

  17. Oh yeah, and apparently that dude who jumped on stage and pretended to be a zombie chewing on the bassist’s neck: apparently that was just extremem fan love, not a planned performance like the dancer.

    After the show I made the snide remark: “Sure, that was creepy, and the dueling keyboardists put on a real clinic, but the real horror was how much they were charging for merchandise.”

    My buddy said: “The horror was how many fans actually forked over dough for that junk!”

  18. If I got to see Goblin and Secret Chiefs play together I think I might implode. Add Estradashphere to that mix and you got yourself a perfect show.

    http://youtu.be/iO6EnBsnABQ

  19. They were just here a week ago! How the fuck did I miss that one? At least I get to see KRS One tomorrow so that will soften the blow a little.

  20. hamslime: I go to a lot of gigs and am constantly checking out the concert listings, but had no idea Goblin were coming to town until the night before the show when my buddy called with a spare ticket. Toronto has no shortage of gig posters plastered around, but this one really flew under the radar. It really felt like a secret society gathering.

  21. No shit. I have friends that actually book shows here so it blows my mind that I didn’t even know they had played at all.

    Maybe I should swing by here more often to see who else might be playing in my area. Hey Vern, any word on Mott The Hoople playing a reunion show at The Black Sheep this month?

  22. This isn’t confirmed or anything, just my guess, but I think Phil Anselmo (ex Pantera) is the one to thank for bringing Goblin stateside for this tour. He booked them for this big Horror Movie/Metalfest show and I’m betting they figured if they were gonna pay the ass rape visa fees to come to this side of the world, might as well make a tour out of it.

    Too bad I live in Saskatchewan and have no hope of them ever coming anywhere near here…

  23. Looks like the suggestions are closed but this review reminded me of another movie I recently watched on Blu Ray, Body Double. The transfer to Blu Ray made me appreciate that movie again, it looks great. I didn’t see a way to suggest in the suggestions so I’ll suggest here if that’s ok. Vern, I would love to see your thoughts on Brian DePalma’s trashy masterpiece. I had actually forgotten how good it was but watching it on Blu Ray with the great vivid colors and clear sound with deep bass made appreciate it again. It would be a great movie for the Halloween season with one of the most brutal kill scenes you’ll see without actually seeing the kill.

  24. The italian version of Romeros MARTIN has a Goblin score that is pretty great. It has lots of wonderful weird music and although I am not quite sure they always fitted the images it was like listening in to an 80 minute improv session. The cut itself I have no fondness for, but the soundtrack is something I would like to purchase.

  25. What a coincidence, i rewatched DEEP RED just the other day. The score of that movie is very good, as Vern says, but the pieces that impressed me the most was a very atmospheric theme they used as suspense whenever the movie wanted to make us believe that there was somebody evesdropping on the main character when he was doing his investigations, a strange atmospheric music which is similiar to what they would lated did but with even more tension for Suspiria.

    To this day i haven’t the faintest idea why didn’t Argento hired Goblin for INFERNO.

  26. Mr. Majestyk, PHENOMENA also has plot i it that is not dream logic but a real life plot. In fact, i think it might be Argento’s most plot heavy movie he ever made, specially in the earlier part of his career.

  27. Griff, my advise, if to wish to take it, is to do an Argento marathon and watch DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA, INFERNO and PHENOMENA. This are my favorite Argento movies. He has made many others which are also good, but there’s something magical (pardon the pun) about this 4 movies which he was never able to match before or since.

  28. Meh. Sure, sure, great master of cinema, I get it. But, hello, the 1970s ended for a reason. Forget witches; it should be cheerleaders. I’ll get Bob and Alex working on the scriptment.

  29. Least convincing parody of JJ Abrams ever. He didn’t even mention the mystery box! This sounds more like a Michael Bay or Brett Ratner parody. Come on, do at least your homework, if you try to bore us with AICN and Twitter style “parody” accounts.

  30. I concur. You couldn’t even put a lens flare avatar on your account? You’re not going to rattle Asimov’s cage with this half-assed effort.

  31. And like J.J.’s just gonna come right out and tell you what SUSPIRIA INTO DARKNESS is about. There’d be four teaser trailers, six interviews, a viral marketing scheme, and a maddeningly elliptical ComiCon appearance before he even started hinting that maybe there might possibly be cheerleaders in his killer cheerleaders movie.

  32. The Original... Paul

    October 23rd, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    “Deep Red” is one of the few really famous Argentos that I haven’t seen. So I don’t want to read too much of the review / comments in case of spoilers. The “Goblin” live bit though… wow. I had no idea they were even still going, let alone playing live tours in the US. A pity I don’t live there (well, for that reason.)

  33. I saw Goblin up here in Vancouver on the 17th and it was awesome.

    The Rickshaw Theatre (venue they played) is a little bigger than Nuemos but a similar atmosphere, different opening acts
    (two of my friends bands)but I guess a similar vibe, a lot of folks here were disappointed with the fact that Goblin are in fact a nerdy 70’s prog rock act and not aged stylish David Bowie types coolly playing their film scores; however, I was fully aware of what I had paid to see and didn’t regret it for a second… also I thought the younger rhythm section dudes were far nerdier than the OG goblin members, they played and looked like they belonged in a shitty faux metal band (Disturbed,Post/Grunge,Nu-metal etc,etc).

    I got stoked that Claudio Simonetti kept on leaving his post, behind the rack of keyboards and synths to snap photos of the audience. I haven’t ever seen that before and it warmed my heart that he didn’t care how UNCOOL that may have seemed, I hope he shows his progeny (if I was in my late 50’s early 60’s and touring Europe for the first time, I’d do the same damn thing). Zombi was the highlight for me as well, although to be fair Phenomena, Susperia and Deep Red were the only other Goblin scores I’ve listened to often while not watching the films.

    Thank Vern, besides me and my old lady, none of my pals( including those who opened) really dug Goblin and I’m tired of defending my opinion that their awesome. I’m glad that they were able to do this tour, that there are enough of us around to actually pay the 20-25$ to see ’em.

  34. Paul – You must see DEEP RED. I want to find out what´s wrong with it

  35. I love this film and Goblin. They are doing 2 shows here in Austin and I am going to do whatever it takes to see them at least once.

    PS: I hope everybody is doing well. I recently changed jobs and haven’t had the time to post as much as I used to but I am still around lurking in the shadows like a ninja.

  36. “You’re not going to rattle Asimov’s cage with this half-assed effort.”

    You bet. It’s pretty pathetic as an atempt at parody/eatttle the cage/whatever. Not even a single lens flares to be seen! Even the dudes who love Abrams parody his lens flares obsession!

  37. Charles, good luck with your new job.

  38. Thanks asimov

  39. What’s wrong with TENEBERE? It’s the best Giallo ever made for my money.

  40. Tenebere takes more than one viewing to really appreciate I think. I agree it’s really good. The Stendhal Syndrome was Argentos last really good movie. The later ones all have their moments though. Haven’t seen his new Dracula movie yet.

  41. I came off SUSPIRIA expecting the same kind of experience but felt TENEBRAE was flat , uninspired and kinda dull compared to SUSPIRIA. Of course it is not true. The dominant use of the color white in the movie I think gave that impression. But it certainly gave the movie a specific look.

  42. TENEBRAE is basically a thriller With added axe violence, and I see that it would feel flat if you watched it straight after SUSPIRIA. I saw them the other way round and love TENEBRAE.

  43. I rewatched it recently and have a whole new appreciation for it. I really like TENEBRAE now. Even if it did not have that great axe violence, I would say it is great.

  44. I have been re-watching a lot of Italian horror classics recently. Not only TENEBRAE , but I bought those expensive Cult Labs releases of Fulci´s masterpieces THE BEYOND and CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD ( my favourite Fulci) and even though those purchases took a big dent in my wallet they were worth it. An early Christmas gift to myself, if you will.

  45. I’m house/catsitting for a friend this weekend, so I had nothing to do last night except watch four Italian horror movies in a row: DEEP RED, ZOMBI 2, CANNIBAL FEROX, and DEMONS 2. I…wouldn’t really recommend it. I feel like I just spent eight hours doing blow in a badly lit room with several unshowered nihilists who talked me into doing something I only vaguely remember that will nonetheless haunt me for the rest of my days.

    Also, what’s up with Daria Nicolodi spending the whole movie trying to convince David Hemmings to have sex with her? Is that a thing that used to happen in Italy in the 70s?

  46. Great review, Vern! You weren’t the only one with a cassette full of taped-from-TV GOBLIN music, so when I saw them live recently…well, you just described it to a tee. We should hang.

  47. Yeah, TENEBRAE is great. The axe murders, the music, that awesome tracking shot over the roof of the house! Fuck you Vern, you wouldn’t know a good giallo if it slashed you in the throat with a straight razor etc etc. Just kidding, you’re entitled to your own wrong opinion.

  48. That’s actually fair. Maybe I was in the wrong mood when I saw it. The Goblin show reminded me how great the theme song is, and of course John Saxon is the man. Maybe I’ll give it another shot some time.

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