Director: Dario Argento
Anthony Franciosa/Peter Neal
Peter Neal is the author of the hour. His most recent horror book "Tenebre" is a moneymaking bestseller. He flies to Rome accompanied by his agent (Saxon) in order to promote the book. His arrival in Rome triggers a serial killer’s wrath. The nutso begins to kill innocent bimbos in gruesome ways, using the book as a "how to" manual. He leaves notes under Neal’s door and loves taking pictures of his handiwork. Who is this killer with the black gloves and what does he want? They better find out fast cause soon Rome will have a slut shortage…
Dario Argento is the best horror director that nobody knows. With this one he threads on Hitchcock territory and surpasses the master. One thing about Argento you have to know…he’s all about style. He’s the "John Woo" of horror flicks. The murder scenes are all executed with style and grace. There’s almost a beauty in the way he films the violence. This film is excessively violent, misogynist for sure and filled with twists and turns that you wont see coming. Argento’s fascination with animals is also present in this one. He gives us a tense scene where this poor girl is chased by a wild dog. This dog is whacked, he climbs high fences easily and seems unstoppable…he scared the Jesus out of me.
The women in this film are dumber than in the usual Argento flick, all in some state of undress waiting to be hoffed (one scene in the movie has a girl hear a creepy voice which prompts her to take off her shirt as fast as she can?!?). The worst female character has to be the female cop…who wouldn’t know the difference between a gun and her her lipstick. She comes across as a major dumbbell. But all this is inconsequential. Argento delivers a hard, mean spirited, violent whodunit. From the taunt opening sequence, to its crazy, one of a kind in/out the house crane shot, to it’s grab by the bon bon conclusion, this movie had me salivating all the way. Argento does it again. Follow the maestro…
Plenty. Axe in the head, slit throat, stabbings but the highlight is the cut off arm scene…never seen an arm spit out so much blood…
Anthony Franciosa (Peter) gives a good show as the successful writer. His character is layered and interesting. The man with the plan John Saxon (Bullmer) charms the screen again. I’m a huge fan of Mr. Saxon and in my book he can do no wrong. Always good to see you John. NOTE: Every female performer in this film suck the big one and not in the way we'd wish. I mean ALL OF THEM!
T & A
Jackpot. There’s a scene where this girl is sitting down talking to someone and when she gets up her right tit pops out. The "flashback" girl shows us her tata’s (too bad she looks like a man). The best "knocker" scene is the one with the bisexual broad in her apartment. She has great breasts and shows 'em off extensively…and then gets hacked.!
Awesome. Slow motion, quick cuts, tight editing, extreme close ups and atmosphere to boot.We get the necessary "phallic" shot which involves a blood stained razor and all the kill scenes are a sight to behold. Argento does overdo it with that crazy ass camera shot that goes outside the apartment, along the walls of the house and back inside on the second level of the apartment. It slows the movie down and is there for the sake of style alone. But it’s still a great, ambitious shot and I’m happy Argento indulged himself. Go boy!
The Goblin synthesizer score didn’t always work for me. It sometimes felt inappropriate for the scenes it was supporting. I think something darker, moodier would have worked better. We also get a gnarly tune by Kim Wilde (remember her?) that's titled "Take Me Tonight".
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
IMAGE: We get a beautiful letterboxed 1:85 Widescreen image. The film looks sharp most of the time. I did find the whites to be a little too white at times and some grain does pop up now and then. But overall, this is the best print I have ever seen of "Tenebre".
SOUND: The soundtrack has been re-mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 for this DVD and it serves the film like a champ. Since the sounds and the score are so prominent during the kill scenes, their impact is accentuated.
EXTRAS: Having the film look so good was enough for me, but Anchor Bay decided to slap a few extras in there as well.
Audio Commentary: Dario Argento, Claudio Simonetti (score), and journalist Loris Curci pop in. The commentary has a lot of dead time and Argento struggles big-time with his English, but we do get lots of technical background on the film. Decent.
Sound Effects Featurette: This extra lasts for about 2 minutes and it shows us how they made the sounds for the multitude of slash and hacks that are in the film. Pretty interesting.
Special Camera Movement Featurette: This extra shows us some behind-the-scenes footage and explains to us how some shots were accomplished. It also runs for about 2 minutes and is enjoyable for what it is.
Theatrical Trailer: We get a groovy non-anamorphic theatrical trailer for the film.
We also get the requisite Talent Bio. Overall, Anchor Bay gives the Argento fans another DVD to foam about.
A movie filled with mystery, weird "flashbacks’, excessive violence (mostly against women) and an ending that will make you blurt out: Say what???????? For sure the movie has it’s flaws: dumb females (a girl being chased by the killer throws paper at him instead of getting the hell out of dodge…hilarious) a few dull moments and way too many characters (a bit confusing) but when all is said and dead Argento delivers another knock out film and trust me you’ve never seen violence look so good. See it.
In most of Argento’s films, we see the killer’s hands often (especially when he kills) during the film before his unmasking. Well those hands (usually wearing black gloves) belong to director Argento who likes to "play" the killer in most of his films. He’s anal about hand movement.