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Tenebre (Widescreen)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo, Veronica Lario
  • Directors: Dario Argento
  • Writers: Dario Argento
  • Producers: Claudio Argento, Salvatore Argento
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Hgv Video Production
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IBRJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,197 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

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

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

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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 when a psychopath goes on a killing spree and uses techniques described in his book. The killer seems to be on a mission, killing off people (mostly women) who are morally corrupt and are referred to by the killer as "deviants".

This blood-soaked, fast-moving Argento flick is not in the same classic level as his masterpiece "Suspiria" or even "Deep Red" but his fans seem to love it regardless. The film is not really a horror film but a sexually charged thriller with an attractive cast, solid acting (although some of the dubbing is pretty annoying), creative camera angles (typical in an Argento film) and lot's of blood (again, typical of an Argento film). Like Argento's other work, this film is visually stunning. The entire cast is made up of photogenic, elegant actors; Daria Nicolodi, Mirella D'Angelo, Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, Ania Pieroni and a whole array of European beauties. Argento also uses the color red effectively throughout this film; bright red lipstick, red stilettos, red cars, countless scenes of gleaming red blood. It takes someone like Dario Argento to make blood look so beautiful on screen.

This film was released in North America in a heavily edited form and under the insane title of "Unsane". I've never seen the edited version but apparently many scenes were cut in order for the film to get an "R" rating. "Tenebrae" may be violent but the violence itself is no more shocking then the numerous slasher films released from Hollywood throughout the decade so it's a mystery to me as to why this film was given this kind of treatment.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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