Deep Red review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by RyanPC, Apr 19, 2003.

  1. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    I wrote this review for my MSN Group Euro Horror DVDs and decided I should post it here, too. Here goes:

    In 1969, Dario Argento's career was jump-started into high-gear with his giallo Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Then he made The Cat O' Nine Tails in 1971, Four Flies on Grey Velvet in 1972, a couple of other movies, then, in 1975, he directed what is arguably considered his masterpiece- Profondo Rosso (aka Deep Red). This film, along with Suspiria (1977), would launch his career even farther among horror fans, and he hasn't looked back since. A bit slow at times, but always stylish, Deep Red is a film for almost every kind of horror fan; although it is a mystery, there is enough gore to please gorehounds. Anchor Bay released this classic on DVD uncut for the first time in America in 2000, so let's take a look at how it turned out.

    The Plot

    Helga Ullman, a psychic, is at a conference when she feels the presence of a killer in the audience. She suddenly flips out as the killer is leaving, although she cannot see who it is. Later that night, she is killed by the murderer in her own apartment, with a hatchet. Marcus Daly is a jazz pianist living in Rome. Walking home from practice one night, he hears screams coming from his apartment building. You see, Helga's apartment is right above his. He races inside the apartment, but he is too late-- she is already dead. The police question him when they arrive, and Marcus tells them that he thinks he saw something in the apartment that will give some kind of clue as to who the killer is, yet that object has disappeared. Finally, he remembers that it is a painting. He meets a female reporter named Gianna and with her help he attempts to track down the killer before the mysterious person kills again. Clue after clue unravels, until finally Marcus realizes the true identity of the killer and tries to put a stop to it before he is the next victim!

    When Deep Red was first released in America in the 70's, it was butchered, with almost 30 minutes cut from the film. Anchor Bay has edited these deleted scenes back into the film, and it is great to finally see them. They don't have a lot of action since it is mostly character development, but I feel that these scenes add more depth to the film and make it all the more enjoyable. The only bad thing about the inclusion of these scenes is that the dubbing was either lost or never recorded, so they are shown in Italian with subtitles. It gets confusing and puts you off-guard for a moment, but you get used to it after a while. The dubbing is another story; usually dubbing is atrocious, but this time it wasn't as bad. It was actually very good, and with that I am pleased. It is too bad that they couldn't find dubbing for these additional scenes. Because of this I recommend watching the whole film in Italian with subtitles (which is an audio option), that way it won't be as confusing.

    Deep Red is one of my favorite films, and it's not hard to see why. It's a masterpiece-- the colors are vivid (as in most Argento films, color is very important as it is a very visual film like Suspiria), the story is wonderful, the effects are great, the music is excellent, the characters are well fleshed-out (if you are watching this version), and the acting is good. Argento is probably one of the most stylish directors there are, and he is definitely one of my favorites. Deep Red succeeds on all levels, and should be seen by everyone, in my opinion. Highly recommended!

    Rating: 5/5

    Video Quality

    This is probably one of Anchor Bay's best transfers-- if not THE best-- so they deserve credit for doing great work. The colors stand out beautifully (especially the reds, which are a very important color throughout this movie) and there was hardly any grain or artifacts to be spoken of. Fantastic job Anchor Bay!!

    Rating: 5/5

    Sound Quality

    Included on this disc are the English Dolby Surround 5.1 track (and remember it switches back and forth between English and Italian because of the restored scenes) and the Italian Dolby Surround 5.1 track (with the option of English subtitles). The sound is wonderful when it comes to the music and screaming, but the problems occur when it comes to dialogue. For some reason, the dialogue sounds lower than the music and sound effects, mostly when actors are far away from the camera. When they are shown close up the sound is crystal clear, but it sounds distant when they are far away, making it sometimes impossible to hear-- you will need your remote handy with your finger on the volume control. Other than that the dialogue is excellent, so I am only taking off one point for it. Also, as I said above, I recommend using the Italian track when watching the film so as to avoid some confusion.

    Rating: 4/5

    Special Features

    While this disc isn't as packed with extras as one would hope, the ones included are really good. First, there is a 25th Anniversary Featurette, with interviews by Dario Argento, among others. It is really interesting to hear them talk about the film, but it is, overall, just too short. Also included is the Italian theatrical trailer, the U.S. theatrical trailer, and some talent bios of the film's cast and crew. The Italian trailer contains no spoilers, but the U.S. one does, so it might be best to watch it after the film. Also, the featurette contains spoilers, too, so better skip that one also until after you have watched the movie. The trailers are in somewhat good condition, and the bios are of some interest, too.

    Rating: 3.5/5


    Overall, there is nothing like Deep Red. The DVD is awesome, and derserves every penny of your money, except for the sound being a little weak. It is slim on extras but the ones they do include are worth it, too. Hell, I would buy it even if it had no extras! The transfer alone is definitely worth the price! So go and buy Deep Red today!

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I wish I had more to say but I think opinions have been exhausted on this movie. It's one of my favorites, that's for sure, and the disc is top notch. Actually I think it was one of the first Euro flicks I bought, if not the first. Good review!
  3. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    Thanks! I totally agree, it's one of my favorites, too! :D
  4. Deep Red is one of my all time favorite Argento movies. Absolutely fabulous movie.

    Reading this however makes me wonder if I have purchased the gem for my DVD collection. I am going to check as soon as I get home.

    If I have not got it, I will surely be adding it to my next DVD order!
  5. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

    May 13, 2002
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    Deep red was the last AB DVD I played. I saved it for last when I bought all the Argentos. I don't know, the long version just bites. I was SOOOOO disapointed. I should view it again, but Deep Red just ain't no Tenebrae. Hell, I've watched Sleepless more than Deep Red.
  6. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    Shame on you Dwatts!! :eek: lol :lol: just kidding! We all have our opinions! :)
  7. rhett

    rhett Administrator

    Jul 30, 2000
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    DEEP RED is a strong Argento work, but in my opinion it is far from his best. This film tended to drag much more than most of Argento's other films, and that kind of took me out of the film. David Hemmings was also very drab and monotonous throughout. Still a notable achievement though; I own it on DVD and wouldn't think of selling it. Thanks for the review Ryan. :)
  8. hell ya!

    hell ya! ~Go ahead, make my day~

    Jul 22, 2001
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    Ontario, CANADA
    Deep Red was the first Argento movie i saw and its my fav too. Great movie:banana:
  9. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    Your welcome! I love this film, although I will admit it is slow in parts, in my opinion it is still Argento's masterpiece.

    Like you, Rhett, I woouldn't think of selling my DVD. :D
  10. Joel Groce

    Joel Groce Guest

    absolutely Argento's finest effort!!!

    6 stars out of 5 on this one...I never get tired of this film and will still get freaked out if I'm watching alone in pitch darkness with sound cranked...all the elements that I love about Argento are included here - except for maybe the dreamier scenes you'd find in "Suspiria", "Phenomena" or "Inferno"...but "Deep Red" has the equivalent of any of those shots and more...

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