Dario Argento's Tenebrae

Dario Argento's Tenebrae

5.0 2
Director: Dario Argento

Cast: Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi

     
 

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Dario Argento leaves a distinct and bloody impression with this Italian horror film that took the slasher genre to graphic new limits at the time of its release. Novelist Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) jets into Rome to promote his new book. Simultaneously, a killer obsessed with Neal begins a brutal series of murders that are followed by cryptic notes to the author.… See more details below

Overview

Dario Argento leaves a distinct and bloody impression with this Italian horror film that took the slasher genre to graphic new limits at the time of its release. Novelist Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) jets into Rome to promote his new book. Simultaneously, a killer obsessed with Neal begins a brutal series of murders that are followed by cryptic notes to the author. Inspector Germani (Giuliano Gemma) questions Neal, who then begins his own investigation into the bizarre case with the help of his assistant, Anne (Daria Nicolodi), and local youth Gianni (Christian Borromeo). Neal and Gianni follow leads to the home of a TV talk-show host (John Steiner), who is axed to death in front of Gianni while Neal is knocked unconscious. As they close in on the killer, flashbacks show the killer's murderous beginnings and an obsession with red shoes. Meanwhile, Neal's publicist, Bullmer (John Saxon), is revealed to be having an affair with the author's ex-lover, Jane (Veronica Lario), making them both potential suspects. Inspector Germani insists that Neal leave town, but even when he does, the killer strikes again, knifing Bullmer in broad daylight. At the same time, Gianni returns to the home of the dead talk-show host and recalls an important detail about the murder. However, he is strangled before he can tell anyone. At her apartment, Jane is brutally slain just as Inspector Germani arrives to discover the murderer's identity, along with the shocking, twist-filled truth behind the entire case. ~ Patrick Legare

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of Dario Argento's best thrillers, this horror film has gone on to cult status due to its shocking, bloody style and twist-filled story. Available in America for many years in only a badly cut version titled Unsane, Tenebre tells the story of an American novelist (Anthony Franciosa) whose P.R. trip to Rome to promote his latest tome becomes tied to a series of slayings. The murders -- slashing, stabbing, axing, and strangling among them -- are extremely graphic, but are enacted in a stylish manner that makes them all the more disturbing. Such startling visuals are the film's finest point, and credit goes to both Argento and cinematographer Luciano Tovoli for this aspect. One particularly strong shot has the killer putting out a bare light bulb by running a razor blade through it. Another great shot (later used on the U.S. video box cover) lingers on a murdered woman who is left with her head dangling through a shattered window pane. Most memorable is a sadistic flashback by the killer in which three youths hold him down while a woman forces her high heel into his mouth. The script is a simple murder-mystery that does a good job of throwing the audience off track and keeping things suspenseful as each potential suspect is knocked off. The film's final reel is easily one of the bloodiest ever made and features a couple of great surprises. Performances are generally dull, but they don't take much away from the film's horror impact. The unmistakable score was performed by members of the group Goblin, who performed under their last names due to legal issues.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2008
UPC:
0013131484892
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:41:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary with writer/director Dario Argento, music composer Claudio Simonetti and journalist Loris Curci; Voices of the Unsane; The Roving Camera Eye of Dario Argento; Creating the Sounds of Terror; Alternate end credit music; Trailer; Dario Argento bio

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Franciosa Peter Neal
John Saxon Bullmer
Daria Nicolodi Anne
Giuliano Gemma Detective Germani
Mirella D'Angelo Actor
Veronica Lario Actor
John Steiner Cristiano Berti
Lara Wendel Actor
Christian Borromeo Gianni
Anja Pieroni Actor
Eva Robin's Actor
Mirella Banti Actor
Carola Stagnaro Actor
Ennio Girolami Actor
Marino Masé Actor
Fulvio Mingozzi Actor

Technical Credits
Dario Argento Director,Original Story,Screenwriter
Salvatore Argento Executive Producer
Claudio Argento Producer
Giuseppe Bassan Art Director,Production Designer
Lamberto Bava Asst. Director
Pierangelo Cicoletti Costumes/Costume Designer
Giovanni Corridori Special Effects
Franco Fraticelli Editor
Maurizio Garrone Set Decoration/Design
Goblin Score Composer
Pier Antonio Mecacci Makeup
Claudio Simonetti Score Composer
Michele Soavi Asst. Director
Luciano Tovoli Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tenebre
1. Start Program/Main Titles [2:09]
2. Carry-On Luggage [3:14]
3. Murder in Rome [6:10]
4. A Bag in Disarray [4:42]
5. Passage From "Tenebre" [5:25]
6. "One Hell of a Day!" [4:44]
7. Chapter 2 - Murder [7:04]
8. A Second Message [5:13]
9. "Is That Jane?" [7:09]
10. Doberman [10:37]
11. "Soon the Corruptor" [3:06]
12. Witness to Murder [8:13]
13. Secret Lovers [4:11]
14. Return to the Murder Scene [4:07]
15. The Red Shoes [3:53]
16. Death of the Eye Witness [5:40]
17. A Call From Jane [3:38]
18. A Tormented Peter Neal [6:47]
19. A Shocking Twist [2:30]
20. End Credits [1:45]

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