Dario Argento's Opera

FEBRUARY 27, 2007


One of the reasons I started doing this movie a day thing is that I am WAY behind on foreign horror. I’ve probably seen less than a dozen films from Bava, Fulci, and Argento combined. That’s a disgrace. To someone, I guess.

Luckily, like anything, the more you see of them, you’ll start enjoying them less and less, so I guess that’s OK. Because so far I have yet to dislike any of the ones I’ve seen. Opera was no exception, even though connoisseurs of the subgenre consider it a disappointment. Apparently it was a troubled production, with relatives dying, people getting hurt, familiar American actor William McNamara apparently turning into an Italian guy whenever he had to speak... it must have been torturous.

But as far as I am concerned, which isn’t very far, it was all for the best. I dug the film a lot. The raven/crow sequences were insane, the lead girl was cute as hell, and the killer’s identity was disguised better than most films of its type, with enough red herrings to keep it from being a simple “well everyone except _____ is dead so it must be him” process of elimination (of course, a film can always cheat, like they did in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but Argento isn’t a fucking asshole).

I must point out the hilarious reaction (or lack thereof) of the main girl, Betty. Her boyfriend is killed, horribly, right in front of her, and when she gets herself free she just sort of walks around his corpse (not even a “NO! NOOOO!” and/or some fruitless corpse-shaking here), walks briskly (not runs) out of the room, then gets in a car with her friend and... dries her hair. She pretty much forgets all about him. It’s hilarious. I hope, if I am ever stabbed through the neck right in front of my wife, that her primary concern is catching a cold.

It’s ironic, I’m really not a big fan of the original Phantom of the Opera story, and I wasn’t overly impressed with the Chaney film (and the Schumacher film fails on pretty much every level of filmmaking), but I love the “inspired by” movies. The further the film strays from the source material, the better it is, far as I’m concerned. This film is great, the Robert Englund one is a pretty good for a Globus movie, and Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge is the best mall set film ever (sorry, Wynorksi and Smith).

Of the four Argento films I have seen, it’s definitely in my top five.

What say you?


  1. lol why? i knew that weirdo cop was the killer the first time he walked on screen,this might have been my least favorite argento movie...no wait...i take it back...inferno was,good lord that was an awful movie

  2. Hahaha i thought it was the special effects guy. I'm slow. Havent seen inferno yet. I gotta catch up. I have Deep Red at home but i guess the transfer is awful (its on a budget set).

  3. classic argento movie, hell yes..love argento so much i decided to get the throat slit girl on the front of tenebrae tattooed on my calf. thank god for hitchcock, without him i dont believe argento would be around :)

  4. oh also check out Il Cartaio (the card player) if you get a chance. Its a newer argento film but it is suprisingly good...rented it on a whim last month at Blockbuster of all places!

  5. Weird... I just got that today (5 disc Argento set, wooo!)


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