Stendhal Syndrome

Stendhal Syndrome

5.0 2
Director: Dario Argento, Luigi Diberti, Thomas Kretschmann, Julien Lambroschini

Cast: Dario Argento, Luigi Diberti, Thomas Kretschmann, Julien Lambroschini


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Brimming with numerous interactive extra features and an acceptable transfer of Italian horror guru Dario Argento's long-anticipated return to his roots in giallo, The Stendhal Syndrome gets the deluxe treatment by Troma Team Video. With its gorgeous and easy-to-navigate title menu design, in addition to an exhausting list of supplemental material, Troma has


Brimming with numerous interactive extra features and an acceptable transfer of Italian horror guru Dario Argento's long-anticipated return to his roots in giallo, The Stendhal Syndrome gets the deluxe treatment by Troma Team Video. With its gorgeous and easy-to-navigate title menu design, in addition to an exhausting list of supplemental material, Troma has outdone themselves in giving The Stendhal Syndrome the red carpet treatment. Though the visual quality of the film is at times slightly washed out and murky, the film is attractively letterboxed at 1.66:1 and appears clean and free of artifacting for the majority of its running time. Presented in English or Italian Dolby Digital Surround, the sound effectively conveys Ennio Morricone's typically haunting score, as well as adding distinct resonance to the many piercing screams that inhabit the film's audibly unsettling sound design. In an extended introduction placed before the movie, Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman conveys his enthusiasm for getting the chance to release the film, as well as his reverential view of Argento and the films he's created. Among such typical Troma titles as Surf Nazis Must Die (1987) and Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid (1986), The Stendhal Syndrome seems an unlikely candidate for a Troma release, though one can find no fault in this commendable presentation. Boasting three interviews with Argento (one hidden as an Easter egg), an insightful interview with frequent special-effects collaborator Sergio Stivaletti, and yet another, curiously, with director Ruggero Deodato (in which the Cannibal Holocaust (1979) director speaks of the satire imbued in his most notorious film), the disc will undoubtedly appeal to the typical Italian horror fan. Interactive features such as the Troma Intelligence Test and an interactive tour of Troma studios will keep the tireless DVD fanatic entertained, nauseated, and titillated for hours on end.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A sadistic and disturbing psychological exploration driven by the horrifying concept of a rape victim who begins to take on her attacker's dark persona, Dario Argento's The Stendhal Syndrome is ultimately a victim of it's own excess and the director's tendency to overcomplicate a fairly simple storyline. A vast improvement in style and storytelling over the Argento's previous efforts of the 1990s, The Stendhal Syndrome can be admired for Asia Argento's impressive portrayal of a female cop who shifts from predator to prey to questionably sane victim and who runs the gamut of emotion and shifting physical appearance. Regardless of Asia's convincing performance and the somewhat surreal and ultimately passive use of then-innovative computer-generated effects, it's hard to ignore the unrelenting cruelty the protagonist endures. Critics of director Argento have often accused him of being misogynistic (Argento's own admissions that he would rather see a beautiful woman die on film rather than an unattractive man or woman certainly doesn't aid an argument against this), and those critics will most certainly site this film as the ultimate proof of that theory. Though the story remains absorbing throughout the mid-point character shift that ignites the psychological torture of the second half, the seemingly meandering plot grinds to a halt just as it should truly shine. Director Argento crafts a stunningly visual opening sequence which, accompanied by old-friend Ennio Morricone's hauntingly hypnotic score rivals anything from his Deep Red (1975) / Suspiria (1977) heyday, and though his visual scheme remains strong the energy built here cannot sustain the duration of the film. While compositions remain suitably unnerving throughout, the storyline that was needed to truly project them into the viewer's psyche doesn't provide adequate fuel for them to do so. Throughout his career Argento's horror has passed from the everyday to the supernatural, and though the internalized terror of The Stendhal Syndrome is indeed as effective as ever in moments, it will certainly be difficult for the majority of viewers to endure.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
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Special Features

Digitally mastered uncut feature presentation; Commentary from special effects master Sergio Stivaletti; Ruggero Deodato remembers "Cannibal Holocaust"; Troma Intelligence Test 2; Lloyd Kaufman interview with Dario Argento; Film bios for Dario Argento and Asia Argento; Footage of Dario Argento at Stockholm; Troma Rap from Julie Strain

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Luigi Diberti Inspector Manetti
Thomas Kretschmann Alfredo Grossi
Julien Lambroschini Marie
Marco Leonardi Marco Longhi
John Quentin Anna's Father
Asia Argento Anna Manni
Paolo Bonacelli Psychiatrist

Technical Credits
Dario Argento Director,Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Franco Casagni Makeup Special Effects
Giuseppe Colombo Producer
Franco Ferrini Original Story
Antonello Geleng Art Director
Lia Morandini Costumes/Costume Designer
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Angelo Nicolini Editor
Carlo Palmieri Sound/Sound Designer
Riccardo Palmieri Sound/Sound Designer
Giuseppe Rotunno Cinematographer
Sergio Stivaletti Special Effects

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Intro
2. Cityscape Opening
3. At the Apartment
4. Gunshot
5. The Symptoms
6. I Think I'll Try Painting Something of My Own
7. The Hell Begins
8. Revenge
9. The Date
10. Secret Rendezvous, Deadly Sins
11. "He's Inside of Me, I've Become Him"


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Stendhal Syndrome 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Blue Underground has done another great job with this highly underrated Argento movie. But let’s not forget it was because of Troma that the film got any theatrical and initial DVD-release in it’s uncut version! It is also important to know that the Troma-dvd has the correct aspect ratio (which is somewhat overmatted in Blue Underground’s version) and some wonderful extra’s that are not present here, including an interview with Argento by the other highly underrated genius moviedirector Lloyd Kaufman, in which Dario is in a more relaxed and jolly mood than ever seen elsewhere. A brilliant film, with one of the best performances by Asia Argento ever. A fantastic treatment by VU. But without Troma’s dvd-premiere of this film you are certainly not complete!! If you have do choose, get that one.
Bryan_Cassiday_author More than 1 year ago
"The Stendhal Syndrome" is a dark, brilliant, unnerving, and beautiful excursion into the mind of a policewoman who is brutally assaulted. Clearly, this is one of Dario Argento's masterworks, aided by a haunting score by the talented Ennio Morricone.

Asia Argento, who plays the heroine, becomes unhinged by her violation. She was not a well woman to begin with, suffering from a syndrome named after the writer Stendhal that causes her to faint when she views certain works of art that overwhelm her. Her sexual victimization pushes her over the brink of madness, and what ensues is sheer terror. She experiences difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Her psychological predicament becomes all the more heinous when reality, in the guise of her assailant who continues to stalk her, becomes more horrifying than the chimeras conjured by her overheated imagination.

In its depiction of a woman's descent into madness, this film reminds me of Roman Polanski's "Repulsion," but Dario Argento's film is richer and fuller, whereas Polanski's is claustrophobic. "The Stendhanl Syndrome" is Argento at the top of his game.

--Bryan Cassiday, author of "Fete of Death"