Sam Dalmas is a vacationing American writer with writer’s block who is living in Rome but all set to return home. Out for a stroll one night he witnesses an attempted murder at a locked art gallery; his presence prevents the murder even though he winds up trapped inside the glass anteroom, as his knocks on the glass at least chase away the attacker. The attractive Monica, the wife of the gallery owner, has just been wrestling for the knife held by her unseen male attacker wearing a black-coat; she will soon recover from her superficial knife wounds. Sam learns from Detective Morosini, the lead investigator in the case, that there were three recent murders of women by the serial killer and the detective demands his help since he’s the best witness available. Sam thinks he knows something but doesn’t quite know what that is. The murder story gets the writer’s juices flowing again and despite his girlfriend Julia’s pleas for him to drop his sleuthing and go home, he becomes even more obsessed with it.
Because he does know something about the murder, Sam receives threatening calls from the killer with bird sounds in the background and is stalked by him; that results in an attempt on his life. But when the attack fails the would-be assassin runs into a hotel convention where everyone is wearing the same yellow raincoat and Sam loses him in the crowd. —Ozu’s World Movie Reviews
Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940 in Rome, Italy. He is the first born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for film making from his close knit family and from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other family members, including an aunt who told him frightening bedtime stories. Argento based most of his thriller movies on childhood trauma, yet his own, according to him, was a normal one. Along with tales spun by his aunt, Argento was impressed by stories from The Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Andersen, and Edgar Allan Poe. Argento started his career writing for various film journal magazines while still in his teens attending a Catholic high school. After graduation, instead of going to college, Argento took a job as a columnist for a roman evening newspaper, Paese Sera. Inspired by the movies, Argento later found work as a screenwriter and wrote several screenplays for a number of… read more
Where has this been all my life? I thought I had seen the best of Dario, but I was wrong.
As Powell’s career (regrettably) fell into decline, Argento’s flourished on the same lurid mantle of voyeurism and fatal obsession as Peeping Tom, beginning with this amorphous murder yarn that equally established his heightened sense of location and cinematography, in enhancing both suspense and the narrative at large; a sharp, accomplished debut all-round.
Two sardonic visual gags on the nature of recognition from the serial killer cinema of Dario Argento and David Fincher.
“You’ll kill his body, I’ll condemn his soul,” says a priest to a cop about Jose Mojica Marins’ diabolic character “Coffin Joe,” but this may
Last weekend I missed yet another Chiller Theater Expo. By now I might have missed more than I've attended. It felt weird when I thought about