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Askew Review 15

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DEEP RED (Anchor Bay) DVD. 1975. Thriller/slasher giallos. 126 minutes. NR. Gore. Directed by Dario Argento. While attending a forum to discuss her talents, psychic Helga Ulman has premonitions of a crazed killer in her audience. She starts to scream that the killer will kill again and freaks out. Later that night, as Marc talks with his pal Carlos on the street, Helga is brutally murdered with a cleaver. Witnessing the final hack through an open window, Marc rushes up to help Helga, but he is too late. Marc calls the police and glances around the apartment. While being interviewed by a detective, Marc senses that something about the apartment has changed, but he can’t place his finger on it. This little annoyance propels Marc into searching for the killer himself. Joining him in his search is a female reporter named Daria. As the two snoop around, they realize that the people who help them are also brutally murdered. Finally, Marc realizes what was missing in Helga’s apartment and is able to piece things together..or does he?
      This flic can be divided into two segments. About 30 minutes are suspenseful and pretty good, the rest of the movie is slow moving character development. Needless to say, the later of the two is pretty damn boring. However, Director Argento inserts some murders and other creepy moments to help dissolve the boredom. One brief scene of a doll running into a room wailing a knife still haunts my memories (I’m weirded out by dolls anyway). That part was freaky. The murders are not that grisly looking, but the ideas of the actions are pretty unsettling. Some consider Deep Red to be Dario Argento’s masterpiece and I agree with them on one level. Yes, the story is a bore, but the production work is phenomenal. The camera angles, colors, and score are all genius. This uncut, uncensored DVD is presented in widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 tvs. Extras include a 10 minute 25th Anniversary Featurette interview with Argento and others, Italian and US theatrical trailers, and talent bios. Languages include Italian with optional English subtitles, and English. Some of the English has Italian subtitles because there is no English soundtrack available for that particular part. The story is a bore, but the movie isn’t solely because of Argento’s directing talents. – Denis Sheehan


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