Plot: What’s it about?
When a famous psychic is brutally murdered, Marc Daly (David Hemmings), a jazz pianist, is the only witness to the horrific crime. Of course, the murder has left an indelible image on his mind, and he decides to do what he can to track down those responsible for the slaying. He soon enlists the help of a young female reporter (Daria Nicolodi), and the two begin their search for clues and such to solve the mysterious case. But as they progress and become more involved in the case, people start being killed in a grisly and linked fashion. Even if Daly and his reporter friend are able to uncover the killer’s identity, will they be alive to tell anyone? Due to the suspenseful nature of this film, I felt the less I told you, the more you’d enjoy the film. So while this synopsis may have seemed simple, the movie is anything but, I just want to keep the twists and turns intact for you.
Deep Red is another installment in Anchor Bay’s Dario Argento Collection, which has been a divine series for Argento fanatics and horror buffs alike. This release continues the tradition of this series, which means the film is the complete and uncut version, for the first time ever. While I have seen this classic before, I found myself feeling like I was watching a totally new film, as the added footage opens many doors the cut versions keep closed. This is the only way to view Deep Red, so if you were baffled by it before, I think this version will be easier to understand and follow. If you haven’t seen this film before but favor Argento’s work, don’t hesitate to pick this up, because this film is among the finest found on his resume. All the typical Argento elements are found here, excellent suspense and graphic violence, all tying together to create a wonderful thriller. I recommend this film to anyone looking for a well crafted suspense thriller, especially those geared toward horror and Argento in particular. A rental might be in order for first timers, but Argento nuts will want to add this to their permanent collections.
This film was directed and cowritten by horror master Dario Argento, who is a legend in the genre, to be sure. Argento is known for his atmospheric camera work and liberal amounts of blood and other goodies, and this movie is a testament to that reputation. I believe this film to be one of Argento’s finest pieces, filled with all the usual suspects of his work. If you’re an Argento follower, you’ll be pleased as punch with this release, especially since it offers the uncut version of the film, in a widescreen transfer. If this film and style are your kind of things, make sure you look up other Argento films, especially those released by Anchor Bay. David Hemmings (Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Gladiator) plays the leading role, but he is often overshadowed by his costars. It’s not that Hemmings is a bad actor, he just doesn’t fulfill his potential with this role. Where Hemmings seems to come up short, Daria Nicolodi (Opera, Phenomena) and Gabriele Lavia (Inferno) more than pick up the slack. In fact, Nicolodi often steals the scenes, no matter who else is on screen.
Video: How does it look?
Deep Red is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. If you’ve ever seen this film in another form, you will be shocked at how excellent this visual presentation is. The colors are vibrant and rich, flesh tones are natural, and neither display any signs of distortion at all. This film uses darkness quite a bit, even total darkness at times, but this transfer doesn’t skip a beat, and no detail loss is evident, and shadows are well defined. There is some minimal grain present, but the transfer shows no compression errors.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release contains Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in both the original Italian and English dub, so fans of either format should be pleased here. There is a 2.0 track for both languages as well, for those without expansive audio systems. If you choose to listen to the English track, some scenes revert back to Italian with English subtitles, because the English soundtrack was either lost or never recorded. I chose the Italian 5.1 track, and I was impressed, to say the least. The score is magical, and this track makes it fill the entire room, very cool. Effects and dialogue are also in tune and consistent, I never expected this powerful of a track from this film.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains U.S. and Italian theatrical trailer, talent files, and a nine minute featurette, which contains interviews with Argento and various other crew members.