Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975)

            Originally titled the Hatchet Murders, Deep Red or Profondo Rosso was a major critical and international success and the first collaboration between Dario Argento with progressive rock group Goblin.


            Deep Red is an Italian giallo murder mystery following a jazz pianist and teacher deeply embroiled in the murder investigation of a psychic medium after she is brutally attacked and murdered in her apartment. Starring: Macha Meril, David Hemmings, Gabriele Lavia, Daria Nicolodi, Clara Calamai, and Glauco Mauri. From Rizzoli Films and directed by legendary Italian director Dario Argento with music from GOBLIN.


            The perfect Halloween movie for you retro lovers because before SUSPIRIA there was Deep Red; A prized possession in anyone’s dvd collection and one of my personal favorite slasher films. This was the first true example of what Argento was capable of. The use of colors, visual imagery, cinematography, and of course music would become signature characteristics of the master of the macabre. This film has everything you need.

Co-writer Bernardino Zapponi said the inspiration for the murder scenes came from Argento and himself thinking of painful injuries to which the audience could relate. Basically, not everyone knows the pain of being shot by a gun, but almost everyone has at some point accidentally struck furniture or been scalded by hot water. The close-up shots of the killer's hands, clad in black leather gloves, were performed by director Dario Argento himself.


            This was also the first collaboration with Daria Nicolodi, who later became his wife and frequent recipient of his most notorious on-screen murders, as well a co-writer on Suspiria.


            Although not as layered or cerebral as his later film Tenebrae (1982) Deep Red plays out like the M. Night Shyamalan film that we are happy M. Night will never direct or ruin. In other words the film is straight to your face with a meat cleaver and as graceful as a killer wearing black gloves.

            Deep Red has been very well received by critics. It currently holds a 95% approval rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on twenty-two reviews.

            Multiple versions of the film exist on DVD and VHS, in large part due to the fact that Argento removed twenty-six minutes (largely scenes between Nicolodi and Hemmings) from the film, footage that was never dubbed in English. For years, it was assumed that the film's American distributors were responsible for removing said scenes, but the recent Blue Underground Blu-ray release containing the US version of the film (which is referred to as "The Director's Cut") and the original edit (referred to as "Uncut" and contains option to watch it in either language) confirmed that Argento oversaw and approved the edits to the film.

            Therefore, let’s start our retro Halloween season with a scream and watch Dario Argento’s classic Deep Red.

            Stay fit. Stay nocturnal. Stay elegant. Stay alive, all you cute little somebodies and keep your fingers on that rewind button.