Tuesday, November 20, 2012

AAAAARRR-gent-OOOHHH!

One day I decided to give myself a Dario Argento double-feature. The result was not only visually appealing but musically stunning. After reviewing the hour-long feature The Black Cat, checking out Suspiria last year and Giallo the year before, I was excited about checking these two out. It is apparent that Argento brings his creative A-game to whatever he directs (that I've seen); colors are bold when they need to be and choice scenes are either beautiful, gruesome, or somewhere along that spectrum.

Inferno
(1980) ****
A book penned by an alchemist causes its reader to be stalked by a tall man with long fingernails and be brutally murdered. The text, The Three Mothers describes the nature of three witches (Mother of Sighs, Mother of Tears, and the worst of them all, the Mother of Darkness), and the steps to take to end them.

Rose Elliot is living alone in New York City in one of the creepiest apartment complexes. As she is reading the book and using clues to lure one of the three Mothers (I don't know why), she writes to her brother Mark for help. He immediately flies in from Rome where he was attending music school to assist her, only to find that she has gone missing!

I would best describe Argento's work as abstract horror. There is an element to it that makes you squirm and scream, but a linear story is completely void. I felt like there were one-too-many sub plots going on for the viewer to make sense of what was happening to the main characters, and when it was done, I completely forgot who was the main character but I was left with this kick ass song:



Phenomena
(1984) ****

Jennifer Connelly plays a girl who communicates with bugs, and there's a serial killer out who plays Iron Maiden before going in for the kill:

Don't hurt yourself headbanging.

Connelly plays the daughter of a famous actor who is boarded at a Swiss all-girls school. When the students begin to die and their body parts show up, Connelly joins forces with local entomologist John McGregor to help her crack the case. 
The chimp helps out, too, I just won't say how.
Watching Jennifer command these bugs to do her bidding reminded me of a camping trip I went on with JSP two summers ago. The campsite was really dry, the heat was almost unbearable, and we weren't allowed to make a campfire. At first I wasn't really bummed out -- who needs S'Mores? -- then I realized that this meant flies and bees felt it was their duty to surround us and any meal we were cooking. Instead of trying to beat them all offa me, I just decided to coexist with them, not make any quick moves, and between me and the bees nobody'd get hurt. And I was right. So I feel an affinity for bugs with Jennifer. Don't judge me.

3 comments:

Catfreeek said...

Another set of solid choices, you really meant to kick JSP's ass this year, for real! Keep em coming Crystal!

Octopunk said...

Bee-girl, bee-girl!

I haven't seen Inferno but the bug flick is a lot of fun. Argento does have a couple of duds out there but mostly he rocks. Nice mini Argento-fest.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Crystal you really kicked ass this year. I didn't think you had it in you!

Since you watched Suspiria last year and Inferno this year you should top it off with Mother of Tears next year. (Or did you already watch that one too?)