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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