INFERNO (1979 ITALY) D/W: DARIO ARGENTO P: CLAUDIO ARGENTO
Argento`s follow-up to SUSPIRIA is almost a classic of sustained atmosphere and hypnotic dreamlike narrative (aided by cinematography from Romano Albani). But it`s not. This is mainly because the never coherent story about a search for the tomb of "the mother of darkness" in New York City oversteps it`s boundary when it comes to illogicalities (the archiecture is as implausible as in THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS!) and not letting the viewer in on the secret, so from then on no matter how many impressively coreographed sequences that marry editing and sound manipulation there are (and there are a lot), most people just won`t care. Argento is lucky he has as many fans as he does considering how often he fucks up his own obvious talent with this approach. A lack of self-awareness of it`s own absurdity is also crippling for me. It`s also worth noting that it`s not as gory as Argento is notorious for. Leigh McCloskey stars, with Alida Valli, Daria Nicolodi and narration from Argento (i`m guessin in the Italian version). Uncredited Second Unit Director Mario Bava also provided some of the FX (not long before his death). Lamberto Bava was assitant director. The very Goblin-like soundtrack is actually by Keith Emerson (Verdi is also heard a lot). Years later things got much, much worse with the trilogy-concluding MOTHER OF TEARS.

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