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Trauma [DVD]

Asia Argento , Christopher Rydell , Dario Argento    To Be Announced   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Trauma [DVD] + Terror at The Opera [DVD] + The Stendhal Syndrome [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Asia Argento, Christopher Rydell, Piper Laurie
  • Directors: Dario Argento
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sep 2012
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0085MXQM4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,705 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Trauma was director Dario Argento's big crossover attempt at combining the Italian giallo genre with the American stalk 'n' slash. His fans may debate whether the result was a complete success, but the film certainly put his name in front of a wider international audience. Essentially the story is a psycho-murderer-mystery, with the audience made to piece together clues towards the identity-revealing denouement. The movie comes alive as a result of suitably intense performances, even while the characters die.

Piper Laurie and Brad Dourif supply atypically explosive cameos. The leads are contrastingly subdued for the most part, no doubt because of their characters' involvement with drugs. Asia Argento (the director's daughter) is an anorexic who witnesses her parents' decapitations among a series of similar murders by the notorious "Headhunter". Christopher Rydell plays the ex-junkie who takes her in and helps track down the killer. Backing them up are some even greater performances from Tom Savini's eye-boggling special FX. With the aid of a motorised garrotte, the beheadings are gruesomely real, especially the one that leaves a head still able to talk.

On the DVD: Trauma comes to disc in full 2.35:1 widescreen, though this isn't the clearest of transfers (plenty of artefacts present). The sound is in an unspecified Dolby mix. An interesting selection of extras almost makes up for the lack of a commentary. There are filmographies of Dario and Asia, a gallery of behind-the-scenes stills, and trailers for the movie Phantom of the Opera and several more in this series of releases. More interesting are the text features: interviews with Asia on her memories of the shoot and with renegade horror director Richard Stanley surreally recalling his long-term fandom of everything Argento. Most fascinating, there's a mini-essay on what was cut and why by the BBFC for the original UK video release. --Paul Tonks

Product Description

Written and Directed by Dario Argento and starring his daughter, Asia Argento. This horror thriller tells the story about a young woman who escapes from a psychiatric clinic and meets a young man who wants to help. She is caught and returned to her parents, who are soon beheaded by a garrotting stranger making the rounds about town, apparently striking only when it rains. The orphaned young woman and her new lover launch their own investigation and are endangered when a link is discovered with the victims and a particular operation performed years before.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maligned shocker is ripe for rediscovery 3 Oct 2002
By Libretio VINE VOICE

(USA/Italy - 1993)

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Technovision)
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Stereo

Though often cited as one of the films which signalled a creative downturn in the career of director Dario Argento, TRAUMA is actually a much better entry than its reputation might suggest. Asia Argento (the director's daughter) plays a distraught anorexic whose life is turned upside down when she witnesses the decapitation-murder of her psychic mother (Piper Laurie) at the hands of a vicious serial killer. As in so many previous Argento movies, Asia resolves to uncover the killer's identity, aided by a sensitive TV newsroom artist (Christopher Rydell, son of actor-director Mark Rydell) who's taken pity on her circumstances, prompting a number of other murders and culminating in a Grand Guignol climax, one of the finest sustained set-pieces in Argento's long career.

Despite the fact that TRAUMA is an American film, the style is distinctly Italian in tone and execution: The ultra-wide scope framing, constantly inventive camerawork (including a bizarre shot from the point-of-view of a butterfly!!), ornate narrative structure and eccentric characterisations have more in common with the excesses of European cinema than the formal elegance of most Stateside productions. It's no wonder that some of the supporting American players seem a little disconcerted by the scriptwork and the director's unconventional filmmaking technique (including Frederic Forrest [FALLING DOWN] as a doctor sporting an unexplained neck-brace, and James Russo [DANGEROUS GAME] as a typically hard-boiled cop, always one step behind the film's youthful protagonists).

But the script - co-written by Argento and celebrated fantasy author T.E.D.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rain, rain, go away. 18 July 2012
By Mark G.
A murderer is on the loose and this one seems to have a thing for decapitations. Nicknamed The Head-hunter due to not only the fact that the victims are found decapitated but also because the killer takes the heads away from the crime scene.

Caught up in the middle of all this is an anorexic girl named Aura (Asia Argento) and her friend David (Christopher Rydell) who seem to be getting more entangled in events as the story progresses.

What you basically have here is a bloody murder mystery that may not be Dario Argento's best film but is certainly worth watching.

This is a movie that can be enjoyed by not only horror fans but by fans of `whodunit' style mysteries as well as long as they're not too squeamish although saying that, the film is bloody in places but it isn't in an overly excessive way.

I've been a fan of Dario Argento's work ever since I first saw Suspiria which I consider to be his best film and even though his movies have dipped in quality occasionally I still think that Trauma is an enjoyable film that is worth watching and not just for hardcore Argento fans either.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Argento is the master 15 Oct 2008
I have just bought this film after last viewing it some 6 years ago. Dario Argento has a unique ability to tell a great story with great characters in a real yet somehow nightmarish setting. His camera work is unlike anything else he has his own style which jumps right off the screen as you watch. Asia Argento is fantastic as the traumatic anorexic teen embarking on a journey to uncover the truth behind the sinister killer...the twist is a big one too. I have no idea what the Colin Firth Trauma is or why it carries the same title but im sure I wont bother with it...there is one trauma and this is it. Edgy, terrifying and Surprising, Dario Argento delivers again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing, but... 4 Jun 2003
By A Customer
...not as disappointing as some would have you believe. The storyline is probably one of the best Argento has come up with, it's just that the execution is flawed (So, a complete reversal of 'Suspiria', which had a minimal plot but stunning execution).
The murder weapon is fantastic, for one thing. Basically a rectangular box with a wire loop, it electronically constricts around the neck until the head is severed- needing no strength, and giving the impression of a gruesome inevitability... The murderer is also able to improvise (The device is broken? Why not use the lift for decapitation?) and is psychotic because of a horrifying event, which to some viewers justified the rampage.
So where did this go wrong? Argento is muted. I don't mean that it isn't gory enough, as Argento doesn't need gore to be Argento (it merely helps), but florishing touches are missing, or not quite as evident as elsewhere. There seems to be a curious slackness, a lack of enthusiasm for it all. Perhaps, since it was made in America, Argento felt he should play it safe stylistically. He certainly hasn't shown any eagerness to go back.
Another reservation is the music. Argento's films try above all to provoke an emotional response from the audience- see, again, 'Suspiria' for a superlative soundtrack. But the music here is bland and uninspired- like you'd get on a bad TV movie. And that completely kills any atmosphere Argento builds up.
But- the automatic garrotte! I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE!
If you like Argento, go for it. If you don't know him, go for 'Sleepless' or 'Cat O'Nine Tails'. If you don't like him, stay away. This one will do nothing to change your views.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing...
I really wanted to like this movie. Interested by Argento and his reputation. But this was truly dismal, and it feels as if there was no passion or attention to detail in the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Simian
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather underated Argento movie
Just about the last of his great work. DA 'tickles' the audience with his camera traits here as opposed to 'in yer face' camera trickery as of many of his previous films. Read more
Published 16 months ago by darrenthewinner
5.0 out of 5 stars "..A MUST FOR ARGENTO FANS.."
This is yet again another great film by Dario Argento, dark and twisted it enters the world of a serial killer whos targeting certain people and cutting off their heads!! Read more
Published on 29 April 2012 by S. Drury
2.0 out of 5 stars Mmmm The start of something bad
Until recently Trauma was one of the final Argento movies I looked into as I must confess I was always put off by the poor trailer and negative word on the film, however I was... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2011 by Martin Nitram Wad
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
I have to defend Argento. In my eyes he is the horror auteur par excellence and can do no wrong. Even his supposedly "bad" films such as "Mother of Tears" have a welter of ideas... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by JONESY
1.0 out of 5 stars sick seeing asia who just cant act boring
why does this man continue to have his daughter in all his films we want to see people
who can act and play the part naturally she just hasnt got it dont think we can watch... Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2010 by M. Speight
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Argento's best, but still a good thriller!
I am a long time fan of the work of Dario Argento. The undisputed king of Italian Horror/Thrillers has had a long and successful career since the 1970's. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2009 by Neil B
2.0 out of 5 stars For Argento completists
Dario Argento's first US feature, Trauma, is a film I'd like to like more, partially because it's obviously so personal for Argento but largely because it's depressing to see how... Read more
Published on 15 Dec 2007 by Trevor Willsmer
4.0 out of 5 stars synopsis does not match film-
Just for the record and to stop any confusion-

The synopsis for this dvd - is not the correct synopsis for the picture of film 'Trauma'- The synopsis describes the... Read more
Published on 29 Oct 2006 by John Knight
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