Best Dario Argento film for a newbie?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by chris larralde, Aug 31, 2001.

  1. chris larralde

    chris larralde Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't experienced any Italian horror films other than Fulci.
    I keep hearing a lot about Dario Argento, so what are the best films to get started on?
    If it helps at all, I prefered Fulci's "The Beyond" to "City of the Living Dead".
    regards,
    chris
     
  2. Wes Ray

    Wes Ray Supporting Actor

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    Suspiria is by far his scarriest film, but I'd start out by renting Tenebre. It's a really cool slasher mystery film that I sometimes like more than Argento's classic Deep Red. That's the one I'd start with. That way, you don't get spoiled by how great Suspiria is. [​IMG]
     
  3. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    Hi Chris,
    I was in your shoes about a month ago and asked the same question...got some interesting reponses, that's for sure. You can check it out here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/Forum15/HTML/028601.html
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    [Edited last by Kevin Leonard on August 31, 2001 at 02:11 AM]
     
  4. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Hi Chris,
    You'll probably get a lot of responses to your question - my answer is probably DEEP RED followed by SUSPIRIA. The former has a better story, whilst the latter is probably unmatched for an unforgettable, ghoulish atmosphere that will knock you for a loop.
    I have a friend though who actually prefers OPERA to both, simply as the story moves quickly, there are few slow patches and it's one of Argento's most extravagantly sadistic productions. The victims really cop it in OPERA... I like TENEBRE but personally feel it's a little overrated, and wouldn't really suggest it to a newbie. Do watch it, but only after you've seen DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA and perhaps a couple of others.
    I'm amazed how Argento's FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET was shouted down on the Paramount request page a few months back for being too obscure (those damn wacky Argento fans must have all been ganging up from somewhere)... ...and yet the Software forum remains steadily abuzz with Argento threads nowadays.
     
  5. Gerard Priori

    Gerard Priori Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd have to echo Anthony's sentiments and say that TENEBRE is overrated and not a great movie to start with. I'd also recommend starting with DEEP RED and then SUSPIRIA, but the movies aren't contingent on each other; either one first would be fine. (I also agree with those who've stated that SUSPIRIA is Argento's finest work.)
    -Jerry
     
  6. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Personally, I'd say TENEBRAE because it is the least implausible of the Argento's. DEEP RED and SUSPIRIA would be next.
    Now, CAT 'O NINE TAILS is also a great way to start off with Argento. It's not nearly as absurd a his later films, so I have found that it's easier to "break someone in" to Argento with this one.
    Just DON'T start with OPERA or PHENOMENA. And save your time and avoid STENDHAL SYNDROME and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA all together, as they are complete trash. PHANTOM, in particular, is about as bad as they come, with a laughable script and even more laughable "special" effects. Those wax dummies for people in the chandelier scene sure were convincing! [​IMG]
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  7. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Either Deep Red, Suspiria, or Tenebre. All three are great films and are easy to get into. I will also agree with Matt and don't see Opera first (I can't say the same thing for Phenomena as that was my first Argento film and I loved it automatically).
     
  8. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Opinions are subjective, Matthew. I stand by my statement.
    Just last night, my friend Chuck (the guy who has the LEs' already) and I were talking about what a piece of shit Stendhal was/is. So I'm not alone. [​IMG]
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  9. chris larralde

    chris larralde Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the replys!
    I'm looking forward to Anchor Bay's upcoming Susperia release, so in the meantime I'll probably start with Deep Red or Tenebre.
    chris
     
  10. Gerard Priori

    Gerard Priori Stunt Coordinator

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    No, Matt, you aren't alone. I, too, hated STENDHAL SYNDROME (but next to PHANTOM, STENDHAL is a masterpiece--what a shitty movie). In fact, I can't stand Asia Argento as an actress--I've hated everything I've seen her in. I've not yet seen NO HO SONNO, but I'm so happy that Asia isn't in it. At least, if the movie is as awful as Argento's work has been in the last decade or so, it isn't Asia's fault.
    -Jerry
     
  11. Chris Xolotl

    Chris Xolotl Second Unit

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    For a newbie.... hmm.... Phenomena or Inferno..
    My favorites are Phenomena/Inferno/Deep Red/Suspiria/Tenebre/Opera
    Stendhal was such a piece of junk, the transfer stank, the movie stank, and asia well i don't have an opinion on her.
    I would go for Inferno and Phenomena first then Suspiria and Tenebre then the masterpiece Deep Red. That how I would initiate you... HEH
     
  12. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Something I still don't understand about Suspiria:
    **SMALL SPOILER**
    Why is Susy Banyon smiling as she leaves the house at the end?
     
  13. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Because she didn't have to do any more scenes in a movie she hated filming. [​IMG] Actually, that may be true, as she was a notorious bitch, according to reports. I am very curious to see what she has to say in the documentary.
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  14. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    There was a great discussion on MHVF a few weeks ago discussing the final shot of SUSPIRIA and 'why is Suzy Banyon smiling'? One very indepth post decided the following - (***MILD SPOILERS***) - Suzy Banyon is a witch in training, sent to infiltrate and spy on the school, who has her powers recognized (the flash of light reflecting off the mirror in the corridor onto her face, with 'Witch!' heard on the soundtrack), and whose powers enable her to escape at the end of the film, with her witch powers flinging the doors open during the final scenes, (a visual motif mirrored by the airport doors opening in front of her at the beginning of the film). This explains the quiet, watchful nature of much of Harper's performance, as if she is studying the situation and gathering information, and her smile of satisfaction at the end after she has survived the experience and come into her own as a witch. Interesting theory...
    I think Asia Argento is a fine actress, not to be blamed at all for the fact that Medusa(?) decided to overdub her performance in STENDAHL SYNDROME. I'm not completely sold on all of STENDAHL, but from surfing the web I've found nearly as many people who like it as those who don't. (Check out www.mhvf.net , www.darkdreams.org and the recent review in VIDEO WATCHDOG for various favourable comments). The Dutch and French DVD's of STENDAHL SYNDROME are also of a markedly better quality than the Region 1 Troma DVD, BTW. Anamorphic, with stronger, sharper colours and a clearer sound mix, + more extras on the Dutch DVD. PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is more widely disliked, but the Italian DVD (with multiple soundtracks and subs) again features a better transfer and rectifies the sound-synch problem heard on the Region 1 disc. (The Stateside PHANTOM disc goes out of synch on the 5.1 mix). I'm looking forward to picking up Asia Argento's SCARLET DIVA when it arrives on Italian DVD later this month, and I vastly prefer her to some of the simpering, bratty and dull actresses that plague movies in the States, the UK and Australia (take your pick...)
     
  15. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    Did Asia ever direct that porno film she kept talking about as her next project?
     
  16. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Hi Anthony -
    Great response. I've given it some thought, too, but not to the degree that your group has! I'll have to re-watch it.
    Regardless of why, I really liked it; I thought it gave the movie a charm. Sort of a nod-and-a-wink.
     
  17. Frank Roe

    Frank Roe Auditioning

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    I started watching Argento movies in the mid 80's with "Tenebrae" (a heavily cut german version without any gore) and it was great. Now I have most of his movies in good versions (I ordered "Suspiria" and "Opera" in the last weeks), but "Tenebrae" is still my favorite. I think it's a good start.
    A word about "Stendahl Syndrome". It is his best movie of the 90's (yeah - the others are crap, I know, but this movie has great character designs).
     

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