Trauma (1993)

AUGUST 12, 2007


You gotta wonder what family gatherings are like at the Argento home. Stendhal of course had Dario directing his daughter being raped, and in Trauma, when she was only like 16, he’s got her nude in one scene, and making out with a guy 2x her age in another. He also is apparently confused as to where the vocal chords are located in the human body, as no less than 3 disembodied heads are seen talking in an otherwise realistic movie. What the hell’s with this guy?

Oh but I love him so. Like almost all of his films, I enjoyed every minute of it, even when I hadn’t a clue as to what was going on (why the dream sequence with Asia breaking a VHS tape?). There’s a bit with a little kid who you think is going to decapitate himself that ranks as one of my favorite bits in his modern career, the only disappointing aspect is that the kid doesn’t go all the way, as it were.

This one is a lot like Deep Red at times, but that’s a good thing, since that’s one of his best. I’d rather be reminded of Deep Red than, I dunno, Jenifer (“Hi, I’m Steven Weber, and I’m gonna write myself into a movie where my character is constantly getting blown”). There’s also a lot of moments that made me laugh out loud, like when a pharmacist punches a guy out for trying to fake a prescription. I think the world would be a better place if more pharmacists dealt out their own unique brand of justice.

Also the motive behind the killer’s… killings (look, YOU write 200 horror movie reviews in as many days, see how witty you get), is pretty goddamn disturbing and awful. Expectant mothers should decidedly NOT watch this film. I would even go so far as to say it’s the most genuinely horrifying thing I have seen in a horror movie in ages.

The Anchor Bay DVD has a good collection of extras as well. A 20 minute ramble from Argento about his experience on the film, some behind the scenes stuff of Savini at work, and a commentary by Alan Jones that is similar to the Tim Lucas ones on the Bava films, except he sounds like he actually wants to be there (unlike Lucas) and occasionally offers some wonderfully random asides (“I saw Demons with Clive Barker, who looks terrible nowadays”).

Dario, if you’re reading this: Not that I ever totally understand any of your movies, but this in particular troubled me: Why the ending with the reggae music and dancing girl?

What say you?


  1. Hey, I liked Jenifer! ;) You just wish you were a player of Steven Weber's caliber.

    Pelts, though--THAT was crap.

    You know, I've really tried to get into Argento's more famous output, and while I like it well enough (Supsiria, naturally, is a fave), I'm just not finding myself turning into the huge rabid fan that so many horror geeks do. Maybe it's a case of overhype ruining it for me, or maybe I just need to try to come to it with fewer preconceived notions. I do WANT to love them, but in the end I just like them okay.

    Though I have to say, while his voyeuristic/incestuous work with his daughter is more than a little weird, you have to take into account that he's the only man in the world whose daughter is Asia Argento.

    If not an excuse, at least an explanation. :)

  2. TRIVIA! Asia Argento's character is based on her half sister, Anna, who had anorexia! She's one of those dancing girls on the porch at the end... unfortunately she died in a scooter accident. I was just talking about this!

    Oh, how I love this movie... but you are correct, the ending is"traumatic" for mothers and like normal people in general. Since you didn't spoil it, I won't, but suffice to say that it bothers me to this day, and I don't think I've watched it in like, 2 years.

    Wow, we agree on something :D

  3. No way.... Meat Loaf ripping off his own skin > Weber getting a scary beej

  4. Mystical Sadistical Racoon Fur < Hardbodied Horror-faced Nympho.

    The prosecution rests.

  5. You think THIS is bad, I just watched Demons and I want that 90 minutes of my life back. Not really. The demon spewing green spoo into a screaming womans mouth was worth the price of admission alone.

  6. No way! Demons is amazing!!! How can you dislike a movie that features a villainous free-movie-pass guy??? Any LA resident can tell you those guys are scary even if theyre NOT wearing Phantom of the Opera masks...

  7. Argento is so very very cool. I thought Trauma was ok but not one of his best. I agree that Deep Red is awesome, as are Suspiria, Inferno and Phenomena. I also liked his adaptation of The Black Cat in Two Evil Eyes. Any chance of some Mario Bava?

  8. Ive done a few Bava... Black Sunday, Bay of Blood, Girl Who Knew Too Much... and SHOCK which was my favorite.

  9. Shock is fantastic. I love the scene when the camera's fixed and the bed's revolving, with the hair moving around. Very imaginative!


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