Back in the day, Dario Argento had a knack for giving his films cool sounding titles, even if they often had little to do with the actual plot. For example, there’s absolutely nothing in 1982’s Tenebrae related to Christianity. It’s just the title of the main character’s latest novel, which is about a serial killer.
Tenebrae is about a serial killer, too. While mystery writer Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is doing a book tour in Italy, a madman inspired by his writing begins slicing ‘n’ dicing, mostly people Neal knows. He also leaves the author cryptic notes trumpeting his handiwork.
Returning to giallo for the first time since redefining the genre with Deep Red, Argento pulls out his usual bag o’ tricks…an unseen black-gloved killer, extended murder sequences, Daria Nicolodi, red herrings, a pulsating synth score by members of Goblin and an overwhelming emphasis on style over substance (or plausibility). It doesn’t come together quite as effectively this time around, perhaps because the director doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Watching Tenebrae is sort of like listening to a greatest hits album.
|A Farewell to Arm.|
As with this year’s earlier release of Argento’s Phenomena, Synapse Films has put together another great 4K package for Tenebrae. This is the original uncut version, offered in both Italian and English, with a sharp & colorful transfer. An abundance of bonus features are also included, the best being a feature length documentary on the history of giallo. Being that he’s synonymous with the genre, plenty of Argento’s greatest hits are prominently featured and discussed.
4K & BLU-RAY COPIES
ITALIAN AND ENGLISH VERSIONS
“YELLOW FEVER:THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GIALLO” - This is an excellent 90 minute documentary about the history of the giallo genre, featuring plenty of interviews with historians and directors. One thing is certain…Umberto Lenzi has a pretty high opinion of himself.
“VOICES OF THE UNSANE” - Archival featurette.
3 AUDIO COMMENTARIES - 1) By Dario Argento biographer Maitland McDonagh; 2) By critics Alan Jones & Kim Newman; 3) By Argento expert Thomas Rostock.
INTERVIEWS - Individual archival interviews with actor John Steiner, author Maitland McDonagh, actor Daria Nicolodi, director Dario Argento and composer Claudio Simonetti.
INTRODUCTION BY DARIA NICOLODI
ALTERNATE OPENING CREDITS SEQUENCE
UNSANE END CREDITS SEQUENCE - Unsane was the film’s title when first released in the U.S.
INTERNATIONAL & JAPANESE TRAILERS