Dario Argento is a big deal. His name is synonymous with Italian horror and Giallo films. Dario’s name is both whispered in esteem and shouting in anger. My own experience with his films has been mixed, going from moments of pure bliss, to moments where I felt as lost as the characters that are stuck in Argento’s disjointed reverie. What I do know is that I have only scratched the surface of his 15 plus movie catalog, and that I also wanted to get to know the man a little better, because anyone creating such violent, nightmarish, and sinister flicks much be someone who has an interesting story to tell.
So imagine my joy when i stumbled upon this little 50 minutes documentary spanning his entire career up to the year 2000. As you can probably imagine, since this doc. is under an hour long, it cuts through the usual bullshit and starts giving you the highlights almost immediately. We get the brief childhood story, then into his days as a critic, his big break writing a movie for Sergio Lione, and then we get to his directing career.
John Carpenter, George Romero, Tom Savini, Alice fucking Cooper, Maitland McDonagh, daughter Asia and Fiore Argento, and more all come in and speak there parts about what they know and what they have experienced working with the lgened over the years. The exception being Maitland McDonagh, who is a professional film critic and author, and one of my favorite of the learned critics out there, because she loves horror movies and knows more than I could ever wish to know about them. Some good stories pop up every once in a while, while Asia gives some frightening insight to the relevance and complexity of the Argento family and their on and off screen relationships.
Some footage of classic kills and dreamy scenes are used to show off Argento’s skills, and to offset the sheer boredom that would eventually overcome any viewer after just watching people talk about something that is obviously very visual. So take that as a warning for those who don’t want anything spoiled.
This is a small treat for both those familiar with Dario’s work, and those looking to find a reason to give a shit about him. Besides the minor spoilery contained within the footage from his movies, this is about as good an intro to the world of Argento film making as I’ve seen.
Expect more reviews to come in the very near future, including some of Argento’s work.