Deep Red (1975)

It’s awfully similar to Bird, isn’t it? Foreign artist residing in Italy accidentally witnesses murder, becomes target of killer with black gloves while investigating, various other people connected to investigation get killed along the way, murderer identified and killed as hero keeps trying unsuccessfully to recall some vital detail, but REAL killer turns out to be someone else they were trying to cover for. It’s the same bloody film, really, except it was just an attempted murder in the earlier film… Anyway, from memory I think this was the first Argento I ever saw, back around 1997 or so, via the old VHS tape  with that creepy fucking doll on the cover at the Hillsdale branch of HomePics; needless to say that was the English-dubbed, pan/scan, and cut version rather than the Italian widescreen uncut version on the DVD I watched tonight… seen bits of the latter on SBS once, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen it in full since the 90s. Obviously the Italian option was the one to go for (a substantial part of the film never having been Englished in the first place), and I now can’t imagine watching this panned & scanned (I mean, look at some of those compositions, full of subdivisions of the frame)… but I can’t help but feel the longer version doesn’t work as well as the shorter one; looking now at the stuff that got cut from the thing way back when, I suspect most of it was probably better left out (particularly the baffling romance between Hemmings and Nicolodi). On the whole, it’s good, nice to see again, but I can’t share the apparent increasing consensus that it’s Argento’s masterpiece, I still like Suspiria better. Mind you, how good is that score by Goblin (particularly that Tubular Bells-esque bit where Hemmings is exploring the old house)? Think I might need to hunt that down on CD…

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One thought on “Deep Red (1975)

  1. Andy Buckle February 23, 2012 at 6:33 am

    I watched this last night, and I think it is the scariest film I have seen in a long time. There are some similarities to Crystal Plumage, yes, but I found this to be extraordinary. Incredibly shot, and that score is phenomenal. On par with Suspiria.

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