7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2003
Profondo Rosso is widely held to be Dario Argento's best film. It is also held by some to be fairly dull, with the inventive death scenes few and far between.
In my opinion, the second view is a mistake. The whole film is saturated with a menacing atmosphere, and almost every moment is a delight. Do you think the scenes of David Hemmings investigating the derelict house are boring? Look again. Visually it's wonderful. Do you think the scenes between Hemmings and his co-star, Daria Nicolodi, are unnecessary? On the contrary, they're integral, going a long way to dispel the accusation that Argento is sexist and also being a pleasant suprise in the not-usually-woman-friendly giallo tradition. (oh, and the scenes of the pair in Nicolodi's car are priceless...)
Argento can do more than just portray death, and it is also this quality that turns his film 'Tenebrae' into a small masterpiece. On the other hand, when Profondo Rosso (his very large masterpiece) deals out death, we again come up trumps, particularly with the last two murders. And who can forget the prelude to the psychic's murder, as the camera roams about the killer's possessions of knives, marbles, crudely drawn figures with massive bleeding?
Thus, it gets five out of five from me. One more thing before I sign off- Gabriele Lavia plays the unluckiest wretch ever to grace a giallo. I can't tell you why without massive spoilers, but just as you think it couldn't get worse...
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2007
For fans of the genre's thriller, mystery, and horror, this is a movie that their collections should NOT be without. Profondo Rosso (a.k.a. Deep Red) is one of Dario Argento's greatest works and it rightly deserves its spot in the IMDB top 50 horror movies of all time.
The movie's plot sees an American freelance pianist named Marcus Daily witness the murder of a famed female parapsychologist, who also happens to be his neighbour. Following what Marcus witnesses he becomes obsessed with the murder to the point that he decides to figure it out who the killer is himself. Little does he know however that by doing so he will put both his and his friends lives at risk as the killer (who is extremely brutal when it comes to murdering their victims) soon turns their attention to Marcus.
Within the movie there are many scenes that you are unlikely to forget, for instance the table of objects scenes which are accompanyed by a catchy goblin music score, or the mechanical dummy's appearance, or the movie's climax etc.
Profondo Rosso is a movie that is guaranteed to keep you gripped from beginning to end with its unforgettable story, superb matching soundtrack by Goblin (their movie debut I believe), great acting performances and amazing directing by Argento.
I would also like to suggest that instead of purchasing this edition of the DVD that you instead go for the Dario Argento Ultimate Collection (also from Amazon). The reason being is because for just around £3.00 extra (at the time of writing) you get the same DVD except with five other Argento movies, these being The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Cat O'Nine Tails, Demons, Demons 2, and Phenomena. This suggestion may however only apply to those who don't own the majority of those movies already.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2004
I wouldn't consider myself one of these Dario Argento buffs, raving about colour and chiarascuro BUT......
.......he does grows on you. The more you watch, the more you want. Not just the films, but the characters and the collection of bizarre moments and shocking clarity too.
I started off thinking the whole 'Italian horror genre' thing was overrated. I got Suspiria on a whim and before I knew it I'd bought and watched Profondo Rosso too.
Its that Argento never seems to play straight.
There are moments of brilliance, style, suspense with genuine oddness but then some real rubbish: cheesy 70's dialogue and awful dubbing - but you can forgive all that and at least the music's not as intrusive as it was in Suspiria.
The editing from one scene to another is very abrupt too. Does he do this deliberately? Or is it a question of taste?
Every time you pin him down he confounds you- like he says on the DVD commentary- he tries to conjure up a dream with twists and turns.
I mean, fancy having slapstick farce in the middle of a very disturbing hacker movie?
The film gets more intruiging as it goes on. Same storyline as a million others but it's the ways its done. Visually splendid, with stunning scenery/sets, framing and his shot selection is second to none.
The opening shot which is in fact part of the credits is VERY disturbing. Don't miss it!
Well worth watching and never boring.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2012
In my opinion this is Argento's best film.
It successfully straddles both the giallo and horror genres combining the two into an intriguing, creepy film.
Normally I would have bought the Arrow Video release as I like the packaging and poster that comes with their releases but sadly their transfer cannot hold a candle to this one, the Blue Underground version (which is region free and will play on any Blu Ray player in the UK).
The disc contains both the English and the longer Italian version of the film in a pristine quality. For a film shot in 1975 "Deep Red" has never looked better than it has on this disc.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2012
Thrilling giallo masterpiece is considered by many to be one of the finest, if not the finest, films made by horror master Dario Argento. In the early 70s, Italian director Dario Argento took the world by surprise with the release of his first three movies, three excellent entries in the "Giallo" genre that had been growing in popularity across the 70's. In only two years, the success of "L' Uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo" ("The Bird with the Crystal Plumage"), "Il Gatto a Nove Code" ("The Cat o' Nine Tails") and "4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigio" ("Four Flies on Grey Velvet) turned Argento into the new rising star of horror, and his "animal trilogy" into classics of the Italian thriller. However, after this huge success he decided to move away from the Giallo for a while, and in order to explore something different, he made two TV dramas and a comedy named "Le Cinque Giornate" ("Five Days in Milan"). While this offered him the chance to try something new, it also allowed him to prepare his return to horror with what would be known as one of the best Giallo thrillers ever made: "Profondo Rosso", known in English as "Deep Red".
The film is the story of Marcus Daly (David Hemmings), a British piano player who is spending some time in Italy as a music teacher. One night after work, as he walks towards his apartment, he watches through the building's window and notices his neighbor Helga (Macha Méril) struggling with an unknown man. Helga, a psychic, gets brutally killed in front of Daly's eyes, who runs towards the apartment in a futile attempt to save her. After being interrogated by the police, Daly notices that he could have seen the killer's face among a group of portraits on the wall, but he can't truly figure out what's missing. This thought becomes an obsession and Daly decides to investigate the murder of the psychic with the help of reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi), however, his obsession becomes dangerous as he becomes the killer's next target.
This film is a fascinating whodunit with enough creepy images to fill in a year worth of bad dreams. Here, Argento sticks to themes that have to do with childhood, a theme that's very prominent in many of his pictures. We get a creepy child song, a doll hanging from the ceiling, violent childish drawings and wait till you see that crazy robot puppet. Argento does his "you've seen something but it's not what it seems" trick and it works here again. Amidst all the mayhem there's also a good dose of humor that lightens the grim tone and a strong mystery. My only qualm with the film is that it lags on occasion. But it's worth it when you consider the reward : an original, stylish, creepy, bloody flick with enough plot twists to keep you on your toes.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Films. Please note that Disc 1 contains the Director's Cut, while Disc 2 contains the International Theatrical Cut of the film. I preffer the director's cut since it is the complete version and obviously more satisfying. There are a few frame transition issues, but considering the type of limitations various SDVD releases of Profondo Rosso have conveyed during the years, the quality improvements are indeed very impressive. As for the extras, theres a new introduction by composer Claudio Simonetti from the legendary Italian band Goblin. A commentary track with Danish filmmaker and Dario Argento expert Thomas Rostock, who discusses Profondo Rosso.
There are also two trailers, Lady in Red - Daria Nicolodi Remembers Profondo Rosso, Music to Murder For! - Claudio Simonetti on Deep Red and Rosso Recollections - Dario Argento's Deep Genius in which the legendary Italian director discusses what inspired him to film Profondo Rosso, its characters, his family, the films he liked while growing up, etc. As one of the modern masters of horror, Dario Argento's career is one of enormous value for horror fans, and among his many works, Profondo Rosso is an essential one. A remarkable work of style and technique, Deep Red is a movie that simply grabs you and doesn't let you go until it ends, making an excellent experience and a good companion piece to Argento's follow-up, the masterpiece Suspiria.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Don't worry - no spoilers!
I originally saw this movie many years ago in a Paris art-house cinema under its French title of 'Les Frissons de l'Angoisse' (shivers of agony) and, whilst not making a huge impression, did get under my skin a bit and stuck in my mind. I waited a long time to see it again. Luckily the digital Horror channel showed what I believe to be the uncut version a few nights back and gave me the opportunity to exorcise the ghost and assess whether it really is the masterpiece that some believe. So, for what it's worth, here are my musings on Deep Red/Profondo Rosso/Les Frissons de l'Angoisse.
The genre known as 'giallo' (Italian for yellow) spawned a great many movies based on trashy and highly melodramatic murder/mystery novels, so named because they apparently used to be cheaply bound with yellow covers. They sound quite similar to what used to be known as 'Penny Dreadfuls' in England. Put Argento, with his penchant for eccentric direction, in charge of such source material and the result could have been cringe-worthy car-crash material at its worst. Well it has to be said that some of the dialogue is pretty dreadful and far from convincing. In particular the conceit of Hemmings often talking to himself in order to explain a plot development, was both unrealistic and insulted the intelligence of the average viewer. Furthermore, between the admittedly impressively gory killings, there is much superfluous dialogue and action that does little or nothing to advance the plot. I could certainly forgive the elements of humour (verging on slapstick in places!) that contrast effectively with the horrors to come, but what was unforgivable was an explicit and pretty damn vile scene of animal torture (the spiked lizard, which has been cut from some versions of the film), which is utterly gratuitous and will certainly diminish any decent person's enjoyment of the film.
The plot is reasonably coherent (for an Argento!) and everything falls into place pretty well at the moment of the grand denouement. You will probably even wish to rewind to watch for clues you may have missed. One clue is very blatant and careful use of the DVD pause button will reveal whodunit early on (OK I promised no spoilers, so I'll say no more). As for the music, it's rather incongruous and intrusive. Apparently Argento wanted Pink Floyd, but had to make do with some Italian band called Goblin, who produce an almost note-for-note rip-off of the latter stages of Tubular Bells first movement! Did Oldfield ever sue?
To summarise, this is a reasonable example of the giallo genre and is certainly a far more accomplished movie than the ponderous Bird With The Crystal Plumage or the ridiculously trashy Suspiria. There are a few truly inventive death scenes contained herein though and the overall atmosphere is maintained at quite an unsettling level. But Psycho it ain't! It's far too long with much tedium between the high points and the cheesy (and frequently poorly dubbed) dialogue will grate, as will the derivative and intrusive music. Also a star knocked off for the animal torture.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This is a minor classic from director Dario Argento. An excellent thriller with horror elements thrown in that make the current wave of 'torture porn' movies look decidely second rate (which most of them are).
In the leading role David Hemmings plays a pianist who witnesses a murder and starts investigating them himself. Now why he would do this I don't know, but once you allow for this artistic licence, the film moves by with great pace. Full of atmosphere, tension, odd camera angles as well as the trademark roving camera for which Argento is well know. You can still also detect the influence of Hitchcock in this film. But Argento has moved things on to a different level.
Listen out for the music score by the Italian prog rock group Goblin. They worked with Argento on a regular basis and their pounding music scores added a little extra to Argento's films.
This disc contains 2 versions of the film. An English version which runs to 100mins and an Italian version that is 123mins. My advice is to watch the Italian version as this is in widescreen. The English version is panned and scanned. However your view on this will be affected by your attitude to subtitles and dubbing in films. In the English version of course David Hemmings isn't dubbed and there are no subtitles.
Argento is most famous for Suspira, which I was never a huge fan of. Buy this and 'The Bird with the crystal plumage' and in my view you'll own his two best films.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2007
This is one great film. It's a whodunnit that gets better and better every time you watch it. even once you know whodunnit its great fun to watch the clever story unfold. its packed with great violent murders, each treated with incredible style and accompanied by a fabulous score by the prog rock group Goblin. Deep Red is a great piece of cinema and if you are interested, the best introduction to Italian horror and its king Dario Argento. Next stop Suspiria. you have been warned.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2010
A British musician called Marc Daly (played by David Hemmings), who is living in Rome, witnesses the brutal murder of a woman. With the help of a feisty reporter (Daria Nicolodi), he decides to try to find out who the killer is as the dead bodies start to pile up....
Another World Entertainment from Denmark have released Dario Argento's famous 1975 giallo film on DVD as a special two disc package. This film has been released on video and DVD many times previously so what is so special about this particular DVD release?
Well, for a start, you get two different versions of the film - the longer Italian version, Profondo Rosso, on Disc 1 and the shorter export version, Deep Red, on Disc 2, as well as some extras.
Profondo Rosso is presented uncut (126 minutes) and in its correct ratio of 2.35:1. This version has been digitally remastered so the sound and picture quality are excellent and the correct credits and music have been reinserted at the beginning and end of the film. You also have the choice of Italian or English language options and an optional commentary track (in English) by Argento expert Thomas Rostock. There is however one major flaw with this version.... If you select the Italian language option, you only have a choice of subtitles in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or Finnish. There is no option of English subtitles. This means that, unless you speak fluent Italian or any of those Scandanavian languages, you can only select the English language option if you want to watch this film and understand what everyone is saying. Even the English language version still includes certain scenes in Italian (subtitled in English) as these scenes in the longer cut were never dubbed into English anyway. I think this is a massive oversight by AWE not to offer English subtitles on the Italian version because if they had have done then this version would have been the definitive DVD release of Profondo Rosso.
Anyway, onto Disc 2 which contains the shorter version in English language, known as Deep Red (105 minutes). This version has been restored and presented in its correct aspect ratio (2.35:1), with no censorship cuts. The correct English credits have been reinserted at the beginning and end. To be honest I think that the shorter export cut is actually more enjoyable than the longer Italian version and this DVD of Deep Red must be the best version to date.
Extra features include the documentary "An Eye For Horror" (which has been released separately before on DVD and as an extra on other DVD releases of Argento's movies), trailers, biographies for David Hemmings and Dario Argento, filmographies, trivia and a slideshow.
So, if you can live without the English subtitles for the Italian language version of Profondo Rosso, then this double disc set is definitely worth buying if you are an Argento/giallo fan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2002
I watched 'Profondo Rosso' for the first time during my year abroad in Italy. I don't normally enjoy horror films,to me they're just senseless, tasteless gore, but my friend Paola practically nailed me to the sofa and said WATCH THIS! So I did. I was pleasantly surprised, well, I can't say pleasantly, I was 21 at the time and I had nightmares for weeks! Argento has such an inate talent for not only scaring the hell out of you but messing with your mind, and that to me is the most scary of horrors. My favourite scene - without giving too much away - was the one involving the bird....this film gave me the creeps and stayed with me when I wanted it to go away like another film, 'Don't Look Now', incidentally set in the foggy sidestreets of Venice. Watch it and experience a real Argento trip.