Considered by many to be Dario Argento's first masterpiece, Deep Red
recalls his first hit, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
. British star David Hemmings (Blow-Up
) plays an American jazz pianist who witnesses a brutal, bloody murder from afar and turns detective to find the killer. Kooky Italian journalist Daria Nicolodi (Argento's wife and cowriter on Suspiria
) joins him as comic relief and tepid romantic interest, but the real costar is Argento's high style: gliding camera, razor-sharp editing, and gorgeous but gruesome set pieces. The story is convoluted, to say the least--plotting was never Argento's strong suit and the unnecessary exposition often drags the film down--but his vivid, horrific imagery is perfect for a thriller driven by haunting memories. Deep Red
was originally released in the U.S. in a severely cut version retitled The Hatchet Murders
(odd since the killer uses a butcher's knife). Producer Bill Lustig has restored the film to its original two-hour-plus running time, though some scenes exist only with Italian-language soundtracks (which are subtitled). It's a bit jarring at first (it makes for an unintended joke when a man suddenly checks his hearing aid after a language switch), but it's the only way to see Argento's original cut. There's also a brief 25th anniversary documentary with Argento and cowriter Bernardino Zapponi, and the DVD offers a choice of English and Italian language versions. --Sean Axmaker
Dario Argento’s Masterpiece – In It’s Full-Length Director’s Cut!
An English jazz pianist living in Rome witnesses the brutal hatchet murder of a renowned psychic and is quickly drawn into the savage crime. With the help of a tenacious female reporter, the pair track a twisted trail of deranged clues and relentless violence towards a shocking climax that has ripped screams from the throats of audiences for more than 30 years!DEEP RED stars David Hemmings (BLOW-UP) and Daria Nicolodi (PHENOMENA, TENEBRE), and is widely considered by both fans and critics alike to be Dario Argento’s true masterpiece. Now, with the cooperation of the maestro himself, this classic shocker is presented in its full-length Director’s Cut – remixed in 5.1 Dolby Digital, uncut and uncensored for the first time ever!