Horror, Thriller

Deep Red (1975)

0 Comments 05 May 2011

deep_red

Studio: Blue Underground
Theatrical Release: March 7, 1975
Blu Ray Release: May 17, 2011
Not Rated

Review by James Klein

Regarded as one of his finest films, Dario Argento’s Deep Red aka Profondo Rosso has finally come to blu ray in both the uncut American version and the full length Italian Director’s Cut. If you consider yourself a fan of the horror genre, then this blu ray is mandatory and needs to be in your collection ASAP. Blue Underground has gone out of their way again to bring us another horror classic in high def.

It has been years since I have seen Deep Red and when I did, it was off an old bootleg VHS tape when I was 18 years old. I remembered very little and at the time found the film slow paced and nowhere near as exciting as Argento’s other films such as Suspiria, Tenebrae, and Phenomena. While I do find the Italian Director’s Cut is a bit too lengthy and at times edited rather sloppily, the film still ranks up there as one of Argento’s best.

David Hemmings stars as Marcus, an English jazz pianist currently living in Rome. One night after helping a drunken friend of his get back on his feet, he sees a woman in her apartment being butchered through her window by a leather cloaked assailant. Rushing in to save the woman, Marcus is too late as her body has been slashed and her head has fallen onto jagged pieces of protruding glass. As the police try to figure out who the killer is, Marcus takes it upon himself to track down the killer with the help of a persistent female reporter. As they find various clues, the killer soon turns his attention to Marcus.

One can’t help but think of various Hitchcock films like Vertigo and Rear Window while watching Deep Red. Argento has taken the “wrong man at the wrong place” scenario and turns it into a bizarre murder mystery filled with beautiful camerawork, a hard pounding soundtrack and some truly graphic kills. And as much as it doesn’t make sense, the dummy bursting through the doors and heading straight for Marcus is still creepy after all these years.

Argento’s camera never stops moving as he experiments with close ups, long shots, dolly’s, zooms, pans, POV’s, you name it. Even when the film starts to become slow moving and plot-oriented, the film never gets boring as Argento refuses to allow that to happen thanks to his beautiful camera work. The music by The Goblins has never been better here (well, maybe the music in Suspiria may top this but that is debatable) and in 7.1 DTS, the score will blow your socks off. It will be hard for you to get the main theme out of your head once the credits start to roll. And what is an Argento film without blood? Fans of the red stuff will not be disappointed.

The blu ray’s transfer is pretty amazing. The picture quality is crystal clear but keeps the grain of the film stock intact. It’s great that we get both versions of Deep Red and even though I would have liked to have seen more extras, the highlight in the special features department, for me at least,  is the music video by The Goblins.

Blue Underground has done it again. This blu ray comes highly recommended. Not just for the fact that the film has never looked or sounded this good, but because Deep Red is a kick ass suspenseful murder mystery that should be seen by all fans of the horror genre. I am crossing my fingers that Argento’s earlier film The Cat O’Nine Tails is given the same treatment by Blue Underground as that will be released shortly within the next few weeks. But for now, check out Deep Red as you won’t be disappointed.

Special thanks to Greg Chick at Blu Underground http://www.blue-underground.com/

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