Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Dario Argento!

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Movie Jail

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

The Case

The Prosecution: Dracula 3D, Giallo, Mother of Tears, The Card Player, Sleepless, Phantom of the Opera, The Five Days of Milan

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what in the f*ck happened to Dario Argento? While he did direct horror classics like Suspiria and Deep Red, Mr. Argento's films as of late have been so bad the prosecution believes the only thing left to do with the once great director is send him to Movie Jail. Think of it more as a forced retirement, and not a prison sentence.

Mr. Argento is like that NFL or MLB player who has had a long career with some very bright spots, however hasn't performed nearly as well in recent years, and although it's obvious to most he should probably hang up his jersey, still thinks he has some gas left in the tank. At 73, the prosecution respects Mr. Argento for still wanting to climb behind the camera, but we can't respect how he has tainted his legacy and theaters with terrible films like Dracula 3D and Giallo. The final film in Mr. Argento's The Three Mothers trilogy (Mother of Tears), is just a painful reminder of how much his movies have declined in quality since the first two installments, and at this point the prosecution is convinced the director isn't going to suddenly return to form, or make a comeback like he did in 1996 with The Stendhal Syndrome.

The prosecution knows the jury might not feel comfortable locking Mr. Argento up in Movie Jail considering the impact his films have had on modern horror movies, however the prosecution believes we have to protect the director from himself by preventing him from working on future projects. It's unfortunate it has come down to this, but do you really want to see Mr. Argento further sully his legacy with more awful films? The prosecution doesn't, and is confident the jury will feel the same way.

The Defense: The Stendhal Syndrome, Trauma, Two Evil Eyes, Opera, Phenomena (Creepers), Tenebre (Unsane), Inferno, Suspiria, Deep Red, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, The Cat O'Nine Tails, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

Ladies and gentlemen, in some trials, recent failures don't matter nearly as much as past accomplishments, and that's definitely the case with Mr. Argento. The defense isn't going to try to convince the jury Dracula 3D or The Phantom of the Opera are great, but they aren't the films Mr. Argento will be remembered for either, and throwing my client in Movie Jail is not how you treat such an influential horror movie director.

The prosecution talks about wanting to "help" prevent my client from hurting himself, but shouldn't Mr. Argento be allowed to do whatever the hell he wants? The defense also believes Mr. Argento still has a couple of good flicks left in him, and thinks Mother of Tears is actually a pretty solid movie. Is it as great as the other two films from The Three Mothers trilogy? No, but it's still an entertaining movie, and proof Mr. Argento still has the ability to direct a decent movie.

Besides directing fantastic horror movies like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, and of course, Suspiria, Mr Argento also helped produce George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, and with Bernardo Bertolucci, helped develop the story for Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. My client should be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, not up for Movie Jail.


Should we imprison the man who helped introduce the world to giallo films, or let him walk? Do you think Mr. Argento is still capable of delivery a solid movie, or have you lost faith in the director? Is Dario Argento GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?


*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyways, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.



In last week's trial, Kiefer Sutherland was found NOT GUILTY of all charges, however it had nothing to do with the jury, although most did say Jack Bauer doesn't belong in prison. No, it's because Mr. Sutherland snuck into the prosecution's house, kidnapped him, and then proceeded to torture him until he agreed not to send the actor to Movie Jail, regardless of the verdict. Mr. Sutherland is a free man, while the prosecution, is a man in pain. Ball pain.


GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Special), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland


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