August 29th, 2012: Profondo Rosso aka Deep Red aka The Hatchet Murders (1975)

Cast and Crew:  Claudio Argento (Executive Producer); Daria Nicolodi,

What It’s About: Jazz pianist Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) witnesses the brutal murder of his neighbor Helga Ulmann (Macha Meril) and soon finds himself investigating her murder.  The only problem is the killer is one step ahead of Marcus, killing of his leads one by one.  Can Marcus survive long enough to find out who is the murderer?

Why Watch it Today?: When writer/director Dario Argento, was a film critic, he famously panned Blow Up, released in Italy on this date in 1967, for playing coy with the audience and failing to resolve its mystery.  Argento eventually made several series of Giallo films (Italian thriller/horror films generally focused on bizarre murders committed by a disturbed individual), with the last of his first run being today’s film, Deep RedDeep Red‘s casting of David Hemmings, the star of Blow Up, this time as a musician rather than a photographer, marks it clearly as Argento’s response, but other than the casting there’s not a lot to link the two films.  While it’s not much of an answer to Blow-Up,  as it’s nearly as self-indulgent Deep Red is quite possibly *the* best Giallo film ever made, and it is certainly Argento’s, with imaginative murders, great suspense scenes, solid red herrings, and a pulse pounding score by frequent collaborators Goblin.  Be sure to see it in its original version and not the horribly butchered cut originally released in the U.S. under the title The Hatchet Murders.

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