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The stylistic and bloody excesses of the films of Dario Argento are instantly recognisable. Vivid, baroque and nightmarish, his films lock violent deaths in a twisted embrace with an almost sexual beauty. Narrative and logic are often lost in a constant bombardment of atmosphere, technical mastery and provocative imagery. Its a body of work which deals explicitly with death and violence, all the while revelling in perversely alluring stylistics and shot through with an unflinching intensity.
Setting the tone with earlier gialli films such as The Animal Trilogy and Deep Red, Argento has steadily pushed the boundaries; through his elaborately gothic fairytales Suspiria and Inferno, right up to his more recent contributions to TV's Masters of Horror compendium and the conclusion of his Three Mothers trilogy, Mother of Tears: The Third Mother. Along the way, his prowling camera work, pounding scores and stylistic bloodshed have only gained in intensity and opulence.
After a very informative introduction describing Argento the man, his influence on horror films and an overview of his works, you are treated to a very in-depth analysis of each of his films. Each chapter is entitled with the different series (Animal Trilogy, Darkness & Milan, Blood Runs Deep, etc.) and contains the breakdown for each movie in the series. The examination of each film is broken down by the credits, synopsis, background, comments, style and technical, themes, music and finally the overall verdict. Some readers may find this format a little dry, but the knowledge dropped by Gracey is impressive and very thorough. As someone who is not a fan of Argento, this book actually put a bug in my ear to check out his early work.
Pick up the book on the Kamera Books website if you are at all interested in Argento, gialli or horror in general. --Cinesploitation
"Do you yourself a favor, pick up this book, and let it guide you into the realms of an Italian Horror master."
-- Website: HORRORNEWS