Deep Red (Box set)

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Review by David Paul Hellings

@HellingsOnFilm

Synopsis:

“When was the last time you were really scared?  From Dario Argento, maestro of the macabre and the man behind some the greatest excursions in Italian horror (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), Arrow Video is thrilled to announce the release of his iconic film Deep Red, considered by many as the ultimate giallo movie. Limited to 5,000 copies, this exclusive 3-disc release offers up a stunning new 4k transfer of both the international cut (105 mins) and the director’s cut (127 mins).

This new release will also include a wealth of bonus content, alongside the complete 28-track original soundtrack recording, housed together in deluxe packaging including an all-new exclusive booklet, 6 x postcard set and feature newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx.

One night, musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings, Blow Up), looking up from the street below, witnesses the brutal axe murder of a woman in her apartment. Racing to the scene, Marcus just manages to miss the perpetrator… or does he? As he takes on the role of amateur sleuth, Marcus finds himself ensnared in a bizarre web of murder and mystery where nothing is what it seems…

Aided by a throbbing score from regular Argento-collaborators Goblin, Deep Red (aka Profondo Rosso and The Hatchet Murders) is a hallucinatory fever dream of a giallo punctuated by some of the most astonishing set pieces the sub-genre has to offer”.

-via Arrow Video

Review:

There are Dario Argento fans who favour his giallo and those his supernatural work. The latter will rightly state “Suspiria” as his finest outing in that horror sub-genre. For the giallo fans it is “Deep Red” (“Profondo Rosso”).

“Deep Red” shows the culmination of everything Argento was working towards from his debut “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage”. It proves to be the most complete giallo he’s ever made. The working process with the band Goblin was vital. No more interesting Morricone scores, now it was a young group fascinated by the chance to work with Dario and begin the relationship of delivering the most memorable of scores in Italian horror. The results are superb, and the inclusion of the CD Soundtrack in this set is a real bonus. Along with “Suspiria”, it’s the most rewarding, atmospheric and progressive of their horror soundtracks.

Though “Deep Red” is always rightly praised for its story, design, cinematography and score, rarely is enough praise given to the late David Hemmings, who is perfect in the role of the jazz pianist witness-to-the- crime Marcus Daly. Still looking great from his days in “Blow Up” and the Sixties fame that would launch him upon international audiences and before alcohol sadly diminished his potential, Hemmings gives a fine performance and remains Argento’s most perfect male lead. Daria Nicolodi as the investigative journalist Gianna Brezzi gets a chance to show what a talented actress she was in Argento’s work. It’s interesting to compare the original (often cited as “Director’s Cut”) and the shorter Export Version in which the majority of the scenes cut are the relationship between Daly and Brezzi, which also bring great humour to the film. The Export version is a tighter affair and works well today, but the Original version is the real joy.

“Deep Red” remains not only Argento’s finest giallo offering, but also one of the greatest films in the horror genre. Playing again with the convention of what you see isn’t necessarily the truth, Argento’s film is the one that defined him and allowed him to move forward on a higher level. Along with “Suspiria” it’s his most complete work.

The 4K restorations of “Deep Red” are, quite frankly, superb. Colours are gorgeous, skin tones natural, with a sense of film grain remaining. All in all, it’s been worth the wait to see this particular release hit the market. This is the best that “Deep Red” has ever looked and probably the best it ever will. A must-buy for Argento fans, its limited edition release means that you should expect it to sell out virtually immediately. Highly recommended.

Special Features

3-DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of two versions of the film

Original Italian soundtrack in DTS-HD MA mono 1.0 and lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, and original English soundtrack in DTS-HD MA mono 1.0*

English subtitles for the Italian Soundtrack

Optional English subtitles for the English Soundtrack

Limited Edition Soundtrack CD

6 x postcard-sized lobby card reproductions

Reversible fold-out poster featuring two original artworks

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Limited Edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film and an archive piece by critic Alan Jones, illustrated with original archive stills

DEEP RED: ORIGINAL VERSION (BLU-RAY DISC 1)

Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative

Isolated Score in Stereo 2.0

Audio Commentary with Argento expert Thomas Rostock

Introduction to the film by Claudio Simonetti of Goblin

Profondo Giallo – a brand new visual essay by Michael Mackenzie featuring an in-depth appreciation of Deep Red, its themes and its legacy

Rosso Recollections: Dario Argento’s Deep Genius – the Deep Red director on the creation of a giallo masterpiece

The Lady in Red: Daria Nicolodi Remembers Profondo Rosso

Music to Murder For! Claudio Simonetti on Deep Red

Profondo Rosso: From Celluloid to Shop – a tour of the Profondo Rosso shop in Rome with long time Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi

Italian Trailer

DEEP RED: EXPORT VERSION (BLU-RAY DISC 2) [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]

 Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative

US Theatrical Trailer

PROFONDO ROSSO: THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK RECORDING (CD DISC 3) [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]

28-track CD featuring the entire Deep Red film score from Italian progressive rock band Goblin and composer Giorgio Gaslini

UPDATE: AS OF 26TH JANUARY, THIS RELEASE HAS ALREADY SOLD OUT.

This review originally appeared on SFFWorld at:
http://www.sffworld.com/2016/01/deep-red/

images:
featured image: blastr.com
box set: Arrow Video

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