SUSPIRIA
1977, 20th Century Fox, 100 min, Italy, Dir: Dario Argento

Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett and Udo Kier star in this landmark giallo inspired by an essay by 19th-century opium eater Thomas De Quincey. Argento’s magnum opus (the first of his “Three Mothers” trilogy) mixes witchcraft, nubile young flesh and expressionist set design into a truly hellish brew. SUSPIRIA is as visually ravishing as it is violent; its director explaining the film’s distinctive look as “trying to reproduce the color of Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE.” Goblin’s eerie progressive rock soundtrack envelopes listeners in a web of Moog, mellotron and guitar, and has been sampled in everything from Hong Kong action films to hip-hop songs.


TENEBRAE
1982, 110 min, Italy, Dir: Dario Argento

Dario Argento's mastery of the giallo is clear in this stylish thriller, which is among the writer-director's most violent - and erotic. In Rome to promote his new novel, a murder mystery writer (Anthony Franciosa) learns that his work has inspired a serial slasher who targets women. As the author teams with the police to find the killer, the blood flows as freely as the plot twists in this oft-censored "video nasty," which includes some of Argento's most dazzling set pieces. Goblin keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, guitarist Massimo Morante and bassist Fabio Pignatelli reunited to create the suspenseful soundtrack. With John Saxon and Daria Nicolodi.


DEEP RED
PROFONDO ROSSO
1975, 106 min, Italy, Dir: Dario Argento

From the opening with a child slashing someone and a bloody knife dropping to the floor, we're plunged into an ever-deepening pool of repressed terrors. David Hemmings is a pianist sucked into an undertow of escalating homicide after he witnesses the murder of psychic Macha Meril. One of Argento's most justly famous gialli, where something as simple as a lizard writhing on the floor could represent a child's wounded psyche, bound someday to erupt in spectacular fits of murder. The dark and distinctive, keyboard-rich soundtrack - the first by prog rockers Goblin - was a major hit in Italy. With Daria Nicolodi.


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