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Tenebre (Widescreen)

Anthony Franciosa , Giuliano Gemma , Dario Argento    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 41.90
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After several excursions into supernatural horror, Dario Argento returned to the homicidal frenzy that made his reputation with this mystery that plays more like a grown-up slasher movie than a detective thriller. Anthony Franciosa stars as Peter Neal, a bestselling horror novelist whose promotional tour in Italy takes a terrible turn when a mysterious killer re-creates the brutal murders from his book with real-life victims. The first to die are so-called "deviants," Neal's own friends, and finally there comes a promise that the author himself is next on the list. Columbo it ain't, but Argento has always been more concerned with style than story and his execution of the crimes is pure cinematic bravura. From the simple beauty of a straight razor shattering a light bulb (the camera catches the red-hot filament slowly blacking out) to an ambitious crane shot that creeps up and over the sides of a house under siege in a voyeuristic survey that would make Hitchcock proud, Argento turns the art of murder into a stylish spectacle. He even lets his kinkier side show with flashbacks of an adolescent boy and a teasing dominatrix in red stiletto heels that become a key motif of the film. The objects of Argento's homicidal tendencies are traditionally lovely, scantily clad Italian beauties, and with self-deprecating humor he even inserts a scene in which Neal is taken to task for the misogynist violence of his stories--an accusation Argento himself has weathered for years. --Sean Axmaker

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dude really goes thick with the Blood Canister Oct. 26 2007
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
I notice that Argento is most often praised for his "set pieces," which are usually the suspense/murder sequences. I have to agree I enjoy these very much. He can be very slick. His movie "Tenebre" is actually fairly well constructed. It is about an American novelist Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) who came to Rome to promote his book only to be mired in the tragic deaths of many beautiful women. Seemingly based on his recent novel the girls (and others) all die horrific deaths with Argento's arsenal of ways to kill pretty Italian girls. Three very memorable scenes in this movie to my mind, and a recurring theme of deep human despair which I have found in his movies so far. Two scenes here which specifically communicate this sense of futility. The first of which involves eight or maybe nine if you go back all the way to the introduction of the minor character involved turns of fate in a lengthy and relentless sequence characteristic of Argento's films and for which I can see why he is sometimes compared to Hitchcock (though is it appropriate to do so???). It is a turning point in the film. I am reminded of the scene with the pile of razor wire in "Suspiria". The other scene in "Tenebre" more graphically identifies that theme in the image of a character impaled on a polished piece of metal, trying to pull it out but his hands are too slippery with blood to grip the object.

Stylistically speaking the movie departs from garish and moody lighting of "Suspiria" for a more frontal, "realistic" look. If that hallucinogenic quality is the only thing a person liked about those movies. Interestingly enough, people complain that it looks like a TV show and the commentary notes that Argento was looking into the lighting of American television police drama to incorporate into this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Argento's On A Roll May 27 2004
Argento takes a break from the supernatural to return to his giallo roots. Many fans consider this one of his best and I'd agree with that. As I said before, it's a return to giallo, so the plot isn't 100% original, but it has some original ideas put into it. Plus, with the way Argento films his movies, does it really matter what it's all about? Tenebre is an awesome whodunit slasher flick that actually manages to keep you in the dark about the killer's identity. It's also got some of his most stylishly orchestrated murder scenes(you know which one I mean in particular). I've noticed upon repeated viewing that alot of modern so called "horror" films have freely borrowed from this film. That's an old story coz most Italian horror films have had their ideas stolen for modern horror. But, no matter how young and pretty you make the cast or how much you MTV it up for today's AD&D audience, no one can get close to Italy's style. And it's probably impossible to get anywhere near Argento's in particular. This leaves me totally flabbergasted by the rumors of a Suspiria remake! Think about that for a second, will ya-THERE ARE RUMORS THAT SUSPIRIA IS GONNA BE REMADE BY AN AMERICAN STUDIO!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is "Whoa!" May 27 2003
Dubbed the Italian Hitchcock by his American fans, Dario Argento is one of those filmmakers who is completely uninhibited with his use of the camera and gore effects. He sets himself apart from other filmmakers by setting himself free upon the world he creates and showing it to us in the greatest possible detail. His camera movements are always purposeful and stunning, and he always adds the right amount of lighting and atmospheric music to make up for the poor post-sync dubbing. (Sometimes watching an Argento movie is to relive the best follies of the Godzilla films as you watch people's mouths move totally out of place from the dialogue.)
"Tenebre" is one of those movies that stays under your skin for long after you've watched it. It has a tense plot, decent acting, and a climax of such shocking violence that we're left with the image of blood spraying a grotesque mural on a wall burned into our brains. Argento's darkest side gets unleashed in this film. His creativity was obviously at the top if its form when he thought of the camera move that scales the entire exterior of a house up to the top floor, moving into a close up on the roofing tiles, and then back out to a medium shot on an intended victim standing in a window. This shot creates a great deal of tension, even with the bad music playing in the background. (The DVD shows a behind the scenes featurette about the creation of this one memorable shot.)
The plot of the film is too ridiculously simple to take a long time to explain. In fact, other films have used it since then. "Basic Instinct," for example, is about a serial killer who murders her victims in the same fashion as is written in novels by her favorite author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perversions of a dangerous mind... May 13 2003
Two thumbs up for one of the most underestimated movies of Dario Argento! Excellent suspence, brilliant plot, effective introspection of the main and secondary actors, nailbiting soundtrack and horrible mutilations mix up together in a "twist of the death nerve" up to the very last sequence, a neverending scream which will rock your cradle, preventing you from falling asleep...
Another great product from Anchor Bay Entertainment, with a widescreen presentation (1.85.1) and two audio tracks: Italian in mono and English in DS 5.1. Don't miss the interesting audio commentary by Dario Argento, music composer Claudio Simonetti and journalist Loris Curci. The extra features comprise the theatrical trailer, two behind-the-scenes segments, one of which deals with interesting audio effects, and the alternate end credits music, strongly disapproved by the Maestro.
One of Argento's best movies and one of the best ABE product, uncut and uncensored (check Veronica Lario's arm amputation, a blood bath missing even in the European versions of the film!)
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Slick, Violent & Suspenseful. One of Argento's Most Entertaining...
When Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa), a popular horror novelist visits Rome to promote his latest best-seller "Tenebrae", he is suddenly thrust into a world of murder and mayhem... Read more
Published 12 months ago by E. Valero
4.0 out of 5 stars CUT? or UNCUT?
Many reviews have stated that the Anchor Bay version is not uncut, implying that it has been subject to censorship. This is NOT true. Read more
Published on May 21 2009 by J. Hopkins
1.0 out of 5 stars Anchor Bay Lies Again
When I bought this piece of garbage, the back of the box said uncut, uncensored version. BULL!!!! The Dutch import version entitled SHADOWS has an additional 25 seconds of footage. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2004 by J. Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars The second film of Dario Argento's..I watched..
Where do I start? Before I watched this film I was full of hype. I had heard many great things about it. I sat down full of excitement and pressed play. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2004 by Jeremy Matthew Brown
This was the first film of Dario Argento I had the privledge of watching and I must say I loved it. The film kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering who the killer was. Read more
Published on July 10 2004 by Guido
5.0 out of 5 stars one of argento's best
I've seen 7 of his movies total after being very impressed with
the first movie I watched by him suspiria. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by love777
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Argento's best
This easily ranks among my top 5 from Dario Argento.
This gem tells the tale of a horror author Peter Neal and his newest book, Tenebre. Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by Wrathchild862000
5.0 out of 5 stars axe me
long time argento fan, has to be one of my favs, violent , bloody, and artistic. deffinetly a classic in my eyes
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by jeff coco
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, like all of Argento's junk.
Like much of Argento's oeuvre, this rubbish is a mess: it's trite, badly acted, scripted, produced. The age old excuse that he 'prefers style over substance' is more than just a... Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2003 by "noilie"
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense and Style.
After having seen this, I'll definitely watch more movies made by Dario Argento. It's not your average cup of blood and gore; if anything, this whole movie is done with... Read more
Published on July 8 2003 by Haplo Wolf
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