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Riccardo Serventi Longhi
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In London, the Italian gym teacher Enrico 'Henry' Rosseni is having a love affair with his eighteen year-old student Elizabeth Seccles, who is the daughter of the owner of the Catholic ... See full summary »
...if you enjoy his movies.
Throughout his lengthy career as one of Italy's most famous horror directors
of the "giallo" genre, I enjoyed about five or six of Dario's films.
"PROFONDO ROSSO", "BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE", "FOUR FLIES ON GREY
VELVET" and "SUSPIRIA". His last good movie was "TENEBRE" which was
somewhere back in the early 1980's.
The films he has pumped out in that time and now have all been regarded as
either disappointing or "trash". The last film of his that I saw was
"TRAUMA" which was painful to sit through. It seemed like somewhere
overnight he just lost his 'spark' and 'touch' as that unique director with
the nightmarish cinematic vision he had held for the good part of his
The narrator of this documentary is obviously one of Dario's biggest fans.
He gushes over a lot of his later movies as if they were cinematic treasure
(including "TRAUMA" and "TWO EVIL EYES"). He also refers to Dario's
daughter, Asia Argento, as "Ah-jee-a", which is a pretty unique spin on the
word "ASIA" if you ask me!
For Dario's fans, you will be shocked to see some of the interviewees they
dragged out of semi-retirement/obscurity for this documentary. Those of you
wondering whatever happened to Daria Nicolodi (who was featured in about
four of his movies) gives some brief insight regarding her marriage to Dario
and why she decided not to appear in any more of his films (she didn't think
there were any more creative ways to kill off her characters!).
She appears in this documentary as how you might have imagined her to look
these days, but unfortunately she is wearing a big pair of sunglasses the
entire time so you can't see her eyes (and we all know how much information
you can gather just by looking at a pair of eyes).
Another big surprise was seeing Jessica Harper (from "SUSPIRIA") who I swear
looked exactly the same nearly 25 years ago! Except for the turkey waddle
and the turtle neck she was wearing to try and disguise it, she has really
kept herself looking well in all this time. Looking at her resume on the
imdb, she hasn't completely disappeared from the film industry, but I guess
I just hadn't seen the right "straight-to-video" or "made-for-television"
movies that she has done in that time.
The same goes for "straight-to-video perennial" Michael Brandon who offers
some trivial commentary on his involvement in the film "FOUR FLIES ON GREY
VELVET" and how after the filming wrapped, he was invited to a spooky
mansion where Dario surprised him with a goodbye party. Juicy information
for Dario enthusiasts, boring for everyone else who tuned in just to learn
more about Dario.
The only other actress from any of Dario's films who adds her two cents to
this documentary is Piper Laurie who goes into great detail about her
"brilliant death scene" in "TRAUMA" where she was apparently placed on a
spinning chair to make it look like she was getting her head sliced off as
her head spun around.
I got a few chuckles out of Tom Savini who comments on that particular
scene, and you can tell he really digs his craft with special
Horror director John Carpenter, Alice Cooper, George Romero and Keith
Emerson also offer further insight and their personal opinions of Dario
There are some brief notes from Dario's daughters, Asia and Fiore (both who
have starred in his films). The best piece of information here is Asia
explaining her nudity scene in "TRAUMA" and how she was uncomfortable with
it, especially being directed by her own father and how she wasn't quite
sure what was going through his mind to make him want to direct a scene like
that. However, there is no animosity from either daughter toward their
father and it seems like they all share a great deal of
Some small tidbits include Dario's first big break in the "spaghetti
Western" genre with his screen-writing credit of the ultra-violent "ONCE
UPON A TIME IN THE WEST" which is also regarded as one of the best Western
films of all time. I was also surprised that he was involved with "DAWN OF
THE DEAD" as an uncredited contributer. Later, both he and George Romero
would collaborate on a series of short films in the lackluster "TWO EVIL
Dario enthusiasts will get a kick out of the violent scenes that are
sprinkled through the documentary from "SUSPIRIA" (the dog attacking the
blind man), "PROFONDO ROSSO" (the killer getting her head sliced off after
her necklace gets caught in the elevator) and of course the above-mentioned
scene involving Piper Laurie getting her head lopped off.
For a one-hour documentary, this was satisfactory. However, I expected a lot
more insight to Dario's career when he hit his peak in the late 70's. The
narrator chose to examine the latter part of his career, which in my
opinion, was and IS pretty much finished.
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