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Berberian Sound Studio [DVD]

Toby Jones , Cosimo Fusco , Peter Strickland    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
Price: £5.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Toby Jones, Cosimo Fusco, Layla Amir
  • Directors: Peter Strickland
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Dec 2012
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008VFEM14
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,031 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

1976: A timid sound engineer from rural Surrey arrives in Italy to work on a mysterious horror film, mixing blood-curdling screams with the grotesque sounds of hacked vegetables. But as the on-screen violence seeps into his consciousness reality and fantasy become blurred and the nightmare starts to awake. Daringly original and masterfully constructed, this inspired homage to 70s giallo horror is a devastating assault on the eyes and brain, already being compared to the films of Ingmar Bergman and David Lynch.

Audio commentary by director Peter Strickland
Interview with Peter Strickland
The making of Berberian Sound Studio
Deleted scenes with commentary by Peter Strickland
Production design gallery
'Box Hill' extended documentary
'Berberian Sound Studio' original short film
Theatrical trailer


One of the underappreciated cinematic gems of 2012, Berberian Sound Studio features the superb Toby Jones as a sound engineer working in the mid-1970s. For his next job, he heads to Italy, to start working on a new horror movie, where his task is to put together the audio mix for the film. However, things don’t prove to be that simple. As he watches more and more of the movie in question, Jones’ character gets increasingly affected by it, to the detriment of his mental state. As he does so, Berberian Sound Studio intelligently pays homage to the likes of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, and it emerges as something of a love letter to the Italian horror movies of the era.

It’s also an excellent film in its own right. Jones’ sound engineer is very much a fish out of water, aside from when he’s at his mixing desk, and the film is anchored by one of his best-ever performances. Director Peter Stickland, who contributes an excellent commentary track to the disc, is equally keen to give due respect to the art and tools of sound mixing, and that he weaves all of this in so successfully is very much to his credit.

The disc also boasts a good making of documentary, and there’s no shortage of further behind the scenes material to explore. It’s a thoughtful, rewarding package for a sublime piece of cinema. Strongly recommended. --Jon Foster

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and a little strange 19 Oct 2013
This is a strange film and a pretty decent horror to boot. An English sound engineer travels to Italy to work on a disturbing horror movie. He doesn't realise it's a horror film he's working on until he gets there and finds himself being drawn into the violence that he's recreating.

The film is well paced with a gradual ramping up of tension and towards the end it gets gets very strange. As well as being an entertaining story it's also an interesting watch. His job is to recreate the sounds of various nasty scenes, the techniques he uses to achieve these make for an interesting watch in themselves.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the lack of shock or visual horror, apart from a few glimpses it's all in the audio and not in a surprise fashion, in places it is downright creepy, which always get's my vote! In summary this is a decent horror watch, and something a little different from the usual tropes.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
`Berberian Sound Studio' is set in 1970′s Rome, Italy. The studio is working on a new film called `The Equestrian Vortex'. The films director Santini (Antonio Mancino) hires Gilderoy (Toby Jones), an English sound engineer who had previously worked on children's television programmes and natural history documentaries.

Gilderoy assumes that the Italian film was about horses, but when he is greeted by the films producer Francesco (Cosimo Fusco) he discovers that the film is actually a horror movie. With typically English stiff upper lip, Gilderoy dives into an environment completely alien to him. Clearly out of his depth, he's further unnerved by working in a new country with no grasp of Italian. Gilderoy is manipulated by everyone, from the utterly serious Francesco to the lecherous Santini, and even by the moody secretary Elena (Tonia Sotiropoulou).

But Gilderoy knows one thing very well, and that is sound. At the mixing desk, he reigns supreme. He watches over and controls the voices of the actresses Claudia (Eugenia Caruso) and Elisa (Chiara D'Anna) who provide the dialogue and countless screams; the assistants who simulate the violence on screen by slashing and whacking all manner of fruit and vegetables; and creating many of the sounds himself from his own vast repertoire. You appreciate the sound engineers craft from Gilderoy's numerous charts, his maps of how sounds and effects will be layed over the visuals.

Gilderoy clearly relishes his new environment, but equally appalled by it. The uncomfortable subject matter inevitably proves too much for this mild mannered sound engineer, a scene involving a red hot poker and a nun providing the psychological catalyst to his own breakdown.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very atmospheric, unusual, loved it! 7 Mar 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
As someone who is a big fan of horror, and British, Im always interested in new British horror films. This film caught my attention because it is set aganist a backdrop of 70s Italian gore horror, referencing the style of directors like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, both of whom I really like. The story is about a talented English sound engineer, with no experience of horror films, who is employed to work on a very gory horror film being made in italy, by an increasingly sinister team, and the experience of creating sounds for such extreme horror, acts of torture (which we only hear, we never see) leads to a growing sense of dread and unease, culminating in a gradual breaking down of his sanity. But much of the film is about the importance and the power of sound itself. It is not a gory film, and not really a horror film, but it is very disconcerting, chilling, and gripping. It is brilliantly concieved, with excellent acting and strking art direction, beautifully directed, and as much a mediation of the nature of sound itself. Shades of David Lynch too. I loved it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another missed opportunity 28 Nov 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this film on reading a review in the radio times on missing it on the telly.I prefer small budget films opposed to the bigger lavish productions as i feel the soul and hard work are more evident on the small scale films. But i should have known in buying films in the past that i am easily disappointed in such films as they lack a good ending or something else. Toby jones is perfectly cast here & all the other actors & actresses are good as well. The real problem with this film is that it should of gone on another 20 minutes or so to give the film a deserving proper outcome. I loved guildroy but i needed to see him suffer real paranoia & fear. I needed him to bear his soul to the camera.But like so many so called "art house", "low budget masterpieces" before it, it simply falls short and i'm once again left feeling disappointed.On a more positive note there are some real touches of genius in this film. The scene where one of guildroy's nightmares morphs into his lovingly crafted Box hill nature short is just brilliant & toby jones as a whole is really wonderful in the part, it just needs more as a film. It needs to take us closer to the edge of our seats & our minds. It's like they all ran away & thought it's not a serious film anyway let's just end it like this. That's too easy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is many ways is paying homage to those seventies horror films that are really in a genre all of their own. The studio of the title is where unassuming sound engineer, Gilderoy (Toby Jones `Harry Potter') arrives. He has only done nature films and children's television before but as this is called `The Equestrian Vortex' he assumes it is a horsey thing. When he questions the enigmatic director Santini (Antonio Mancino) he is told `this is not a horror film, it is a Santini film! So he gets on with the job in hand.

The problem is that the men helping him are at most barely cognisant or one is totally hostile. He decides to plod on and the cast are far from fan boys themselves. We see an array of vegetables getting smashed, dropped, ripped apart or stabbed to the flickering reflection coming from the studio screen. Our senses are heightened still further by the use of the sound board, so we know what is taking place on the unseen screen as say a witch is having her hair pulled out or a multiple stabbing is taking place as an unsuspecting cabbage get the `Psycho' shower scene treatment.

All of this is taking place amidst the seeming constant background noise of screaming. As the film gets more and more to Gilderoy, the more his reality seems to get mixed up in the happenings of the film. I also noticed that there is a tension both actual and sexual that is volatile through out and I think as most of the action takes place in the studio, this gives it a claustrophobic hue which adds to both a feeling of intimacy and immediacy.

This is a film that will stay with you, not only will you never look at a vegetable quite the same way again, but it has a power to come back into your mind for some time afterwards.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Visually great, and had potential to be very atmospheric - ...
Sadly, a missed opportunity. Visually great, and had potential to be very atmospheric - but ultimately it is just utterly incoherent. I would advise people to give this a miss.
Published 1 month ago by Gonz
1.0 out of 5 stars What???? Oh I see. No.
A film should entertain first and foremost and this film fails to entertain in the slightest. A story should have a beginning, perhaps some interesting events that lead to a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Verbal Kint
1.0 out of 5 stars a waste of time
What a god awful film,unpleasant in subject,confusing and ,in my opinion,a waste of time.
Published 3 months ago by Donna Bristow
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird, odd and completely unclassifiable!!!!!!
With an oddly hypnotic feel from the beginning, this was a film I wasn't sure I'd like but by the end I was completely hooked. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jane Russ
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling
This film one of those stories which is more about atmosphere than plot. Things are developing which are outside the control of the main character. Read more
Published 5 months ago by H M Reynolds
1.0 out of 5 stars Huge disappointment
I have many Artificial Eye blurays in my collection and after all the rave reviews I couldn't wait to watch this. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Blu-ray fan
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment
I'd long looked forward to watching this film, having missed it the first time round. It's just the kind of feature I usually enjoy; low-key, off-centre, quirky and elusive, with... Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Rottweiller Swinburne
2.0 out of 5 stars A great premise but desperately disappointing
It’s hard to think of a more desperately disappointing recent film than Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, which, on the one hand, is well acted and directed but... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Trevor Willsmer
4.0 out of 5 stars The witching hour....
A British man is hired by an Italian company to produce the full sound mix and effects for their latest Giallo offering. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Corey S. Newcombe
1.0 out of 5 stars Vegetable frenzy
If you like vegetables being chopped up and screaming and rude Italians then this is for you. Otherwise give it a wide berth. Its long and very tedious.
Published 10 months ago by bts
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