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Deep Red: Blood-drenched movie posters & artwork used for the films of Dario Argento
10.12.2017
08:15 am
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An Italian poster for Dario Argento’s 1975 film ‘Profondo Rosso’ aka ‘Deep Red.’
 
This October two versions of Dario Argento’s Suspiria have been making the rounds at independent movie theaters across the country following the discovery of an Italian-language 35MM cut in an abandoned theater in Italy. In addition to that Synapse films finally finished their 4K restoration of Suspira (which took nearly four years) and released it as a gorgeously packaged Blu-ray which is also screening in selected theaters through the end of 2017. So, in light of it being a very Argento October this year—to say nothing of his courageous daughter’s stand against Harvey Weinstein—let’s take a look at some of the artwork that has been used on movie posters, DVD releases, a few lobby cards, and even a vintage VHS tape for Argento’s goretastic films.

Some of the artwork and photography that follows is graphic especially when it comes to the covers created for various re-releases of Argento’s films put out by Arrow Video. But since we’re talking about a director who has been affectionately referred to as the “The Italian Hitchcock,” you should know to expect lots of blood, gore, and massive head trauma by way of sharp objects. YAY!
 

A Dutch VHS cover for ‘Suspiria.’
 

A Spanish lobby card for 1982’s ‘Tenebre.’
 

An Italian poster for ‘Tenebre.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.12.2017
08:15 am
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Mondo mayhem: Sex, blood and horror, the art of Enzo Sciotti


An arresting image by artist Enzo Sciotti for the 1984 film ‘Heavenly Bodies’ (billed in Italy as ‘Scratch Dance’).
 
During the 1970s and 1980s, Italian artist Enzo Sciotti created hand-painted artwork associated with the films of many influential directors who hailed from his home country, such as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Lamberto Bava, the son of the great Mario Bava. 

Born in Rome in 1944, Sciotti got started drawing professionally at a very young age—fifteen according to his online biography. Sciotti’s bio also states that he has been responsible for over three thousand movies posters. Sciotti has lent his talent to album artwork as well—specifically the cover of the stellar soundtrack for Phenomena, Dario Argento’s 1985 film starring Donald Pleasence and a fifteen-year-old Jennifer Connelly.

Most of what follows showcase blood and nudity, which means it’s NSFW.
 

The artwork for the 1986 film by Lamberto Bava, ‘Midnight Killer’ by Enzo Sciotti.
 

The album artwork for the soundtrack to ‘Phenomena.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.18.2017
10:14 am
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Uncut 35MM version of ‘Suspiria’ found stored in an old cinema in Italy—U.S. screenings planned
06.22.2017
09:31 am
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Finally, a perfect example of truth in advertising.
 
A couple of days ago, The Chicago Cinema Society released the news that they had recovered a nearly pristine 35MM uncut Italian-language print of Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece, Suspiria. According to the TCCS, the print was discovered in a storage area in an old cinema in Italy that was no longer in business. Now, these are the kind of treasure hunting results I can really get behind.

The beloved film has been in the news lately—specifically due to the modern remake by director Luca Guadagnino starring Tilda Swinton that has lots of people preemptively shaking their heads. There is also a highly anticipated Blu-ray restoration of Suspiria set to be released by Synapse Films. Synapse worked with Suspiria‘s visionary cinematographer, Luciano Tovoli who oversaw every last detail of the restoration which is due out sometime this summer.

While the discovery of the 35MM print in Italy is spectacular in its own right, the folks at The Chicago Cinema Society were not prepared to find that the 98-minute, six-reel print was completely uncut meaning it included scenes that had been previously removed for various U.S. and international releases.

Some clips after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.22.2017
09:31 am
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‘The Bird with the Crystal Plumage’: New trailer for 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s dark debut
06.12.2017
03:25 pm
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Dario Argento’s impressive directorial debut, the 1970 Italian giallo, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, has just been given the 4K restoration treatment by Arrow Video, and on June 20th, Arrow’s limited edition Blu-ray/DVD set will be released. The package is well on its way to being sold out, but more on that in a moment.

In addition to this being his first time behind the camera, Argento also wrote The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Inspired by the 1949 pulp novel, The Screaming Mimi, the film concerns an American writer working in Italy who randomly witnesses a woman being stabbed by a mysterious figure clad in black—but is that really what he saw?
 
Bleeding
 
At this early stage, Argento was very much influenced by the films of Alfred Hitchcock, particularly Psycho (1960), though Hitch’s The Birds (1963) gets a few nods here, too. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a mystery thriller/crime drama, with elements common in later slasher films—all characteristics of the giallo genre. The idea of being trapped, like a bird in a cage, is a frequent theme, resulting in a claustrophobic, tense atmosphere.
 
Knife
 
Some Argento trademarks are already on display here, like the framing of brutal murders at the hand of a mysterious killer, and the use of vivid colors—especially red. He’d really come into his own with the supernatural horror movies, Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977), but The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a praiseworthy first outing for the director and very much worthy of your film library.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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06.12.2017
03:25 pm
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Illustrations of films by Dario Argento, David Cronenberg, Ridley Scott & more from Cinefantastique


The cover of Cinefantastique magazine featuring an image of Asia Argento, a bunch of blood and a razor blade with a job to do. The image is based on her father’s 1996 film ‘The Stendhal Syndrome.’ Illustration by David Voigt.
 
Originally the long-running film magazine Cinefantastique was just a little fanzine that was compiled with the help of a mimeograph machine in 1967. A few years later it became a highly regarded proper magazine known for its use of lustrous photos and exhaustive critical analysis of films by a team of writers that included the founder of Video Watchdog Tim Lucas along with future Stephen King collaborator, writer, and director Mick Garris. The vision of Cinefantastique publisher and editor Frederick S. Clarke was to ensure that the magazine was a category killer when it came to its approach in the treatment of cinema, taking the art of scrutinizing a film to a new level by providing expansive articles that expertly dissected every aspect of a movie instead of churning out fluff pieces like their competitors.

Another aspect that set Cinefantastique apart was the indulgent use of color photography in its layouts and covers. In addition to the use eye-popping photos, the magazine often featured creative illustrations on the cover done by various artists such as Roger Stine, sci-fi illustrator Barclay Shaw, John Carl Schoenherr (who created the iconic cover illustration for the dust jacket art of Dune), and Andrew Probert who is best known for his colorful contributions to the 1985 film Back to the Future and 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Some of the magazine’s more memorable illustrations were done by Stine and his cover for Cinefantastique that featured a surreal image of Sissy Spacek dripping in blood in 1977 (Volume six, Number one) won the artist critical acclaim. Cinefantastique still maintains an online presence as well as offering access to their extensive back-catalog of interviews and retrospectives. Physical copies of the magazine are also pretty easy to come by. Some of the images that follow are slightly NSFW.
 

Cover by Roger Stine, 1982.
 

1981.
 

The infamous “Carrie” cover by Roger Stine, 1977.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.24.2017
11:58 am
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Can’t look away: Go behind the scenes of films by Dario Argento, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper & more

Dennis Hopper and Tobe Hooper on the set of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Dennis Hopper (dressed as his character ‘Lt. Boude “Lefty” Enright’) and director Tobe Hooper on the set of the 1986 film, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2’.
 
As I know many of our Dangerous Minds readers are also fans of movies that curdle even the blackest of blood-types, I’m sure that you will enjoy ogling these “behind the scenes” shots from some of my favorite horror films like Dario Argento’s Suspiria, the second installment of Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw franchise, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (that features a chainsaw-wielding Dennis Hopper, pictured above), and the films of the great John Carpenter, among others.
 
Dario Argento goofing around on the set of his 1977 film, Suspiria
Dario Argento goofing around on the set of his 1977 film, ‘Suspiria.’
 
Images of Dario Argento not being laser-serious for a change on set (pictured above), to candid photos of actors hanging out during their downtime still dressed like their gory characters, as well as amusing shots of FX master, Tom Savini in action happily creating fiends that have frequented your nightmares for the last few decades, follow. That said, some of what you’re about to see should be considered NSFW. But you knew that the minute I said “chainsaw massacre,” right?
 
Director John Carpenter with P.J. Soles and John Michael Graham on the set of Halloween, 1978
Director John Carpenter with P.J. Soles and John Michael Graham on the set of ‘Halloween,’ 1978.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.27.2016
10:29 am
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Watch Keith Emerson and Dario Argento work on the soundtrack to ‘Inferno’ in 1980
03.15.2016
02:38 pm
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Keith Emerson and Dario Argento
Keith Emerson and Dario Argento
 
In light of the loss of yet another rock legend last week, prog-rock pioneer, keyboardist and composer Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer or ELP, I thought I’d share this video of Emerson in the studio with director Dario Argento working on the soundtrack to Argento’s 1980 film, Inferno.
 
The cover for the soundtrack to Inferno
 
The critical reception to Emerson’s Inferno soundtrack didn’t see it receive the same accolades as the Goblin-composed Suspiria‘s music did, which is understandable on many levels, but the fact is that Argento specifically requested that Emerson create something far different than Suspiria‘s much loved score.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.15.2016
02:38 pm
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Stunning fluorescent stills from Dario Argento’s horror masterpiece ‘Suspiria’
03.07.2016
08:06 am
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A stunning still from the 1977 film, Suspiria
A stunning still from the 1977 film, ‘Suspiria’
 
This past week, the strongest rumors yet of a Hollywood remake of one of the most influential Italian films ever made, Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece Suspiria, came from a Tweet by writer Alex Heller-Nicholas, the author of the 2015 book, Suspiria: Devil’s Advocates.

According to Nicholas, director Luca Guadagnino has taken over the helm for the remake of Suspiria that will be set in the same year as the release of the original film (1977) but with the location shifted to Berlin. Nicholas’ Tweet also noted that the remake will include actress Tilda Swinton (and perhaps the rest of the cast of Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash—Matthias Schoenaerts, Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson). Squeee! While I generally shudder at the mere mention of the word “remake” (especially when it comes to horror films), it’s promising that this genre defining film would be reinterpreted by a director who doesn’t rub shoulders with Hollywood elite. The film is set for a tentative release in 2017, which will mark Suspiria’s 40th anniversary. But let’s get back to the eye-popping point of this post.

If you’ve never seen Suspiria (which, if you consider yourself a fan of horror films, I find hard to believe), I hope that the day-glow stills from this groundbreaking film I’ve put together for this post change that. Every camera set-up was a work of art. Argento himself has said that he was attempting to “reproduce the color” from Walt Disney’s animated technicolor film from 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs . The prime colors were enhanced by the use of “imbibition” Technicolor prints. This process—also used for The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind—makes for much more vivid color reproduction. Historically, Suspiria was one of the last films to be processed in Technicolor.

Even if you have seen Dario Argento’s Suspiria I suggest that you put on some sunglasses, turn off the lights, and enjoy the following neon-colored, nightmarish stills from the film. If you need me, I’ll be under the bed (and as far away from barbed-wire as possible).
 
A still from Dario Argento's Suspiria
 
Suspiria movie poster by James Rheem Davis of Giant Sumo
“Suspiria” movie poster by James Rheem Davis of Giant Sumo
 
A still from Dario Argento's Suspiria
 
A still from Dario Argento's Suspiria
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.07.2016
08:06 am
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‘Neon’ movie posters of cult films by Quentin Tarantino, Dario Argento, Stanley Kubrick and more

The Shining neon movie poster by Van Orton Design
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) neon movie poster
 
Using the art of “one point perspective” (an approach to art that began as early as the 15th century in Europe that utilizes a “vanishing point” on the horizon point of the image) two Italian twin brothers (working under the moniker Van Orton Design) took on the task of digitally reimagining movie posters based on cult films from directors like Dario Argento and Wes Anderson, in vivid electric neon color schemes.
 
Suspiria neon movie poster by Van Orton Design
Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
 
Pulp Fiction neon movie poster by Van Orton Design
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
 
Although the twins used modern methods to obtain their striking results, there is a distinct old-school feel to their posters that homage some of cinema’s greatest achievements of the past 50 years. The brothers, who appear to prefer to remain nameless and obscure their faces with masks, have also managed to have the films be seen through fresh eyes due to their unique presentation and interpretation of different, unforgettable scenes in the films themselves. Such as the moment Marcellus Wallace unfortunately strolled in front of the beat up Honda that Butch Coolidge was driving in Pulp Fiction (pictured above) before everything goes to shit for both of them. Bonus? A few of the twins’ prints and other works are available for purchase, here. Many images that may require sunglasses (or an extra tab of LSD in your morning coffee if that’s how you roll) to maximize your enjoyment, follow.
 
h/t: Design Boom
 
The Grand Budapest Hotel neon poster by Van Orton Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
 
2001: A Space Odyssey neon movie poster by Van Orton Design
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.02.2015
10:20 am
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Glorious, gory & (sometimes) goofy foreign film posters for horror films of the 1960s and 1970s

The Giant Spider Invasion (Japan)
The Giant Spider Invasion (Japan). Based on the low-budget 1975 film produced by Transcentury Pictures, directed by Bill Rebane
 
As a huge fan of horror films, especially those of the vintage variety, I really enjoyed pulling together this post that features foreign-made film posters advertising various horror films from the 1960s and 1970s.
 
Suspiria movie poster (Italy)
Suspiria (1977) movie poster (Italy)
 
The best thing about movie posters made for consumption outside the U.S. is that they are so much more adventurous. Few of these posters would have ever seen the light of day in a U.S. theater lobby due to their their liberal use of unorthodox imagery and nudity. Some of what follows may be considered NSFW—which is precisely why you MUST see them!
 
The Exorcist movie poster (Turkey)
The Exorcist (1973) movie poster (Turkey)
 
Dracula AD movie poster (Italy)
Dracula A.D. (1972, Hammer Films) movie poster (Italy)
 
More of these marvelous posters after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.13.2015
10:40 am
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Dario Argento’s horror classic ‘Suspiria’ and the most vicious murder scene ever filmed, 1977
10.28.2014
09:14 am
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Suspiria poster
 
By now, it’s safe to say that those who really dig horror films recognize the brilliance that is Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977). Critics frequently include it in “best-of” lists in the horror genre, and the Italian production has also been cited as one of the greatest films of all time, period. There are many reasons Suspiria is revered, but one sequence in particular has been singled out for its noteworthiness: it’s the most brutal murder scene in the history of cinema.

Argento integrated a diverse set of influences into the making of Suspiria, including German Expressionism, the Technicolor vibrancy of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) (he saw the protagonist of Suspiria, Jessica Harper, as his Snow White), as well as psychoanalysis. He also played the music of the Italian group Goblin on set to create the necessary mood. The band had scored his previous picture, Profondo Rosso (a/k/a Deep Red), and they would also create, in collaboration with Argento, the unforgettable music for Suspiria. The director’s ultimate goal was to create a dream-like, unreality for the film.
 
The beauty of Suspiria
 
Set in a prominent dance academy in Germany, Suspiria stars Harper as an American student who transfers to the school and soon begins to suspect something within those hallowed walls is not quite right. She has only just arrived at the academy when another student is murdered. This is the killing Entertainment Weekly has called “the most vicious murder scene ever filmed.” Though cinemaphiles could debate this distinction endlessly, it is difficult to think of one more graphic. The imagery is so intense it had to be significantly edited before it could be released in US theaters. And it’s not just the on-screen violence that renders the sequence notable; like the rest of the film, it’s beautifully shot and fantastic, yet completely engaging, and with Goblin’s beyond unnerving score in place, totally terrifying.
 
Suspiria hanging
 
In European Nightmares: Horror Cinema in Europe Since 1945, author Anna Powell analyzes the director’s work and why Suspiria affects us the way it does (with references to the aforementioned scene):

Solid scarlet coats the outer walls of this house of blood [the dance academy], spreading inside via wallpaper and drapes in an expressive series: décor, wine, nail varnish, lipstick as well as its most potent source, human blood. Arterial red is complimented by venous blue with which it alternates by means of velvet curtains and wallpaper as well as lighting. Blue shades range from indigo to purple, at times shifting to sickly green. This Technicolor palette vibrates in us intensively, oppressing but at the same time arousing us.

Sound techniques with an exaggerated, hyper-real echo are deployed as affective devices. The electronic chords and discords of the rock band Goblin create a rich sound texture in Suspiria. Whirring, sawing and hollow booming without any diegetic source [sound whose source is visible on the screen] grate on the spectator’s hearing mechanisms and stimulate anxiety, as in the jarring electronic chords before the first murder we witness that sound like the twittering of bats.

In Argento’s films, elaborate pursuit, torture and murder produce tactisigns [virtual sensations; i.e., we feel what the characters feel] to excruciating degrees. Inflicted by mostly invisible torturers, their affective potency is increased by the lack of any distancing subject/object split. This is further intensified by extreme close-up. Knife blades dominate the screen as they gash into flesh, and internal organs are torn loose and exposed.

 
Suspiria death
 
Okay, are you ready? If you’re a wine drinker, I suggest pouring yourself a glass of your favorite Italian red to have on hand to calm your nerves—trust me, you’re gonna need it.
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.28.2014
09:14 am
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Death Trip: How would YOU like to be killed by Iggy Pop in Dario Argento’s new movie? Here’s how!
10.09.2014
01:34 pm
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Dario Argento The Sandman staring Iggy Pop
 
According to the master of Giallo himself, Dario Argento’s upcoming release will be a Christmas movie called The Sandman. The film is a tribute to Argento’s vast film career and will star everybody’s favorite punk, Iggy Pop. Based on a short story written in 1816 by German author E.T.A Hoffmann, Iggy is set to play a serial killer who takes pleasure in murdering his victims with a melon spoon, scoops their eyes out with with said melon spoon then, saves the unfortunate peepers as trophies.

Says Argento about the premise and inspiration for The Sandman:

On this Christmas a child witnesses his mother murdered by a serial killer. I am tired of these Christmas movies showing goodness. Beauty, snowflakes, sleds being pulled by reindeer. I’d rather have a Christmas movie where there is also violence, strength, and horror. And this is what I’m going to do. Christmas is coming and so is The Sandman!

 
Argento is using funding site Indie Go Go to raise $250,000 to make The Sandman. Below is the highly amusing teaser for the film that features Iggy who confesses that making this film with Argento would be a “dream come true” for him. A pretty tall order coming from a man who’s pretty much done it all.

And speaking of dreams that could come true, the reward for a $15,000 donation will not only get you a role in the film, it will also give you bragging rights to saying you’ve been killed killed by Iggy Pop while under the watchful direction of Dario Argento. Wow!
 

Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.09.2014
01:34 pm
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Joe Franklin, TV’s clueless king of nostalgia, conducts an awkward interview with Dario Argento
07.08.2013
03:21 pm
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Joe Franklin in his office.
 
When it came to contemporary pop culture, New York’s king of nostalgia Joe Franklin was clueless. So whenever he had a guest on that created art after the 1950s, Franklin pretty much had to wing it, which resulted in some funny and awkward interviews. Watch as a graceful Dario Argento attempts to respond to a series of mostly irrelevant and outright goofy questions from the perpetually grinning Lucky Buddha of late night Manhattan TV.

Aired in August of 1985.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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07.08.2013
03:21 pm
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The blocky horror show: Dario Argento’s ‘Tenebre’ recreated with LEGO
06.30.2013
05:44 pm
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erbenetogel.jpg
 
Love Lego? Love horror films?

Then you’ll probably love this stop-motion, Lego version of Dario Argento’s Tenebre.

Often considered the “finest film that Argento has ever made,” Tenebre (or Tenebrae) was (surprisingly) branded a “Video Nasty” upon its initial release in the U.K. In America the film it had a delayed release and was eventually allowed to escape in a badly cut version as Unsane.

Tenebre/Tenebrae proved to be a highly influential film and contains many of Argento’s signature themes and visual set-pieces. Thankfully, it was restored to its proper g(l)ory in the late-1990s and has since been re-evaluated by Tim Lucas at Video Watchdog, and Ed Gonzalez at Slant, who described Argento’s masterpiece as “a riveting defense of auteur theory, ripe with self-reflexive discourse and various moral conflicts. It’s both a riveting horror film and an architect’s worst nightmare.”
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.30.2013
05:44 pm
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Goblin: Dario Argento-associated Italian progrockers to tour North America for first time ever
06.24.2013
05:43 pm
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Famed Italian progrockers Goblin, best known for their work with horror auteur Dario Argento—Goblin did the soundtracks for Deep Red, Suspiria, Tenebrae and more of his films—will be launching their first ever North American tour this October.

The tour begins in Atlanta on October 1 and ends in Austin where Goblin will perform for two evenings as part of the Housecore Horror Film Festival on Oct 25th and 27th. VIP tickets allow fans to meet the band and see the soundcheck. A new Goblin EP featuring recently recorded versions of some of their favorite numbers will be pressed on blood red 180g vinyl and be available on the tour at the merchandise table.

The line up will include the key original members Claudio Simonetti and Maurizio Guarini (keyboards) and Massimo Morante (guitar). Opening act for the tour is Secret Chiefs 3, the solo offering from Mr. Bungle’s Trey Spruance. Tour dates can be found at Ear Buddy.

Below, Goblin performing their theme from Dario Argento’s Suspiria in 1977 on Italian television:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.24.2013
05:43 pm
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