Friday, October 28, 2005

Goblin - Suspiria

For a long time the only films I had seen that had any connection to legendary Italian horror director Dario Argento were Demons and Demons 2, two films that Argento wrote and produced during the mid 80's for director Lamberto Bava (son of Mario). Both films are grade-Z terrible. Usually, when a popular director is listed as "producer" on an unknown director's film (from Poltergeist to A.I.), it really just means "ghost-director". I figured the Demons films were probably a good indication of the gist of Dario. I made a point of scratching "See more Argento films" off my mental list of things to do right away.

Then I saw Suspiria.

This is where I'm supposed to talk about what a brilliant piece of horror it is and what a genius Argento is and how it totally changed my mind about him (blah blah blah), but not quite. It too is obviously the kind of film for which the classification of "B-movie" is just a lofty aspiration. The dialogue/dubbing/ is so atrocious that it makes the average anime dub job sound like the Mercury Theatre players in comparison. The gore, while nice and theatrical, is way too fake to be shocking and the ending is just laughable.

What it does have, though, is a gorgeous dream-like look, brilliant sound design and a genuinely scary sense of dread throughout (at least until the end). Suspiria is a wonderfully sensual experience. During those long sequences where no one is speaking and everything is bathed in some inexplicable green or red light, the only sound being far off whispers and moans... it all makes sense.

And then there's the score by italian prog-rock band Goblin, who have made a career out of scoring horror films, most with Argento. Suspiria wouldn't be half as effective without it.

This Halloween you should do yourself a favor and get ahold of a copy of Suspria if you've never seen it. If that's not an option then invite some friends over, break out the ouija board, light some candles and play "Sighs"... loud.

Goblin - Suspiria [MP3, 5.6MB, 128kbps]
Goblin - Sighs [MP3, 4.9MB, 128kbps]


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