4 Shots From 4 Donald Pleasence Films: Wake In Fright, The Mutations, Halloween, Phenomena


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today, we celebrate the life and career Donald Pleasence!  One of the greatest of all the horror icons, Pleasence was born 101 years ago today and that means that it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Wake in Fright (1971, dir by Ted Kotcheff)

The Mutations (1974, dir by Jack Cardiff)

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter)

Phenomena (1985, dir by Dario Argento)

Scenes That I Love: The Opening of Four Flies On Grey Velvet (Happy Birthday, Dario Argento)


Since today is Dario Argento’s 80th birthday, I’m going to share a scene that I love that he directed.

I love the opening of Argento’s 1971 giallo, Four Flies On Grey Velvet.  This was Argento’s third film as a director and it tells the story of an American drummer who gets caught up in a gruesome murder.  In the opening credits, we watch as Michael Brandon drums away and finds time to take care of a distracting fly.  In just a matter of minutes, Argento tells us everything we need to know about our hero and the role that he’ll be playing in this film.  Like the best drummers, he holds everything together and that’s a good skill to have because, in typical Argento fashion, his entire life is about to fall apart.

From Four Flies on Grey Velvet:

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Dario Argento Edition


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today is not just Labor Day!  Today is also Dario Argento’s birthday!

The maestro of Italian horror is 80 years old today!  Needless to say, we’re going to celebrate with 4 Shots From 4 Films.  It was a real struggle narrowing it down to only 4 shots.  Argento is one of the most visually impressive directors of all time.

You’ll notice that, with one exception, the four shots below are from the first half of Argento’s career.  Don’t read anything into that.  I’m a fan of Argento’s work, period.  There’s a tendency among some cultural critics to be dismissive of Argento’s post-Tenebrae films and I think that’s a bit unfair.  In fact, it’s so unfair that I think I’ll devote at least a bit of our upcoming October horrorthon to defending the later works of Dario Argento.

Finally, do you remember that movie Juno?  Most people were shocked when Jason Bateman’s character turned out to be a sleaze but I knew it was going to happen as soon as he said that he thought Herschell Gordon Lewis was a better director than Dario Argento.  I mean, Herschell Gordon Lewis was great but c’mon …. ARGENTO!

For now, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Dario Argento Films

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

Inferno (1980, dir by Dario Argento)

Tenebrae (1982, dir by Dario Argento)

The Stendhal Syndrome (1996, dir by Dario Argento)

Song of the Day: Main Theme From The Cat O’Nine Tails by Ennio Morricone


Today’s song of the day the main theme from Dario Argento’s The Cat O’Nine Tails.  Ennio Morricone’s score brought a lot of atmosphere to Argento’s classic giallo.

And here it is:

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)
  10. The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  11. The Main Theme From The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  12. Regan’s Theme (The Exorcist II: The Heretic)
  13. Desolation (The Thing)
  14. The Legend of the Pianist (The Legend of 1900)
  15. Theme From Frantic (Frantic)
  16. La Lucertola (Lizard In A Woman’s Skin)
  17. Spasmodicamente (Spasmo)
  18. The Theme From The Stendhal Syndrome (The Stendhal Syndrome)
  19. My Name Is Nobody (My Name Is Nobody)
  20. Piume di Cristallo (The Bird With The Crystal Plumage)
  21. For Love One Can Die (D’amore si muore)
  22. Chi Mai (various)
  23. La Resa (The Big Gundown)
  24. Main Title Theme (Red Sonja)

 

Song of the Day: Piume di Cristallo by Ennio Morricone


Today’s song of the day comes from the soundtrack of Dario Argento’s 1970 film, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage.  Not only was this film Argento’s first as a director but it was also his first collaboration with the great Ennio Morricone.

From Ennio Morricone, here is a piece of music that perfectly matches the creepy and twisty feel of Argento’s first film.  Here is Piume di Cristallo:

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)
  10. The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  11. The Main Theme From The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  12. Regan’s Theme (The Exorcist II: The Heretic)
  13. Desolation (The Thing)
  14. The Legend of the Pianist (The Legend of 1900)
  15. Theme From Frantic (Frantic)
  16. La Lucertola (Lizard In A Woman’s Skin)
  17. Spasmodicamente (Spasmo)
  18. The Theme From The Stendhal Syndrome (The Stendhal Syndrome)
  19. My Name Is Nobody (My Name Is Nobody)

Song of the Day: The Theme From The Stendhal Syndrome by Ennio Morricone


Today’s song of the day is the Theme from The Stendhal Syndrome.  Composed by Ennio Morricone, this piece of music creates a perfectly creepy atmosphere for Dario Argento’s 1996 film, The Stendhal Syndrome.  Argento’s later, post-Opera films are often treated rather dismissively by critics but I’ve always liked The Stendhal Syndrome.  I definitely like Morricone’s score.

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)
  10. The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  11. The Main Theme From The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
  12. Regan’s Theme (The Exorcist II: The Heretic)
  13. Desolation (The Thing)
  14. The Legend of the Pianist (The Legend of 1900)
  15. Theme From Frantic (Frantic)
  16. La Lucertola (Lizard In A Woman’s Skin)
  17. Spasmodicamente (Spasmo)

Song of the Day: Come Un Mardigale by Ennio Morricone


Today, we continue our tribute to Ennio Morricone with Come Un Madrigale, which he composed for Dario Arengto’s 1971 giallo, Four Flies on Grey Velvet!  Morricone scored Argento’s first three films and his atmospheric music was as important to their success as Goblin would be to the success of later Argento films like Suspiria and Deep Red.

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)

A Scene That I Love: Daria Nicolodi and David Hemmings in Deep Red


Deep Red (1975, dir by Dario Argento)

Today is Daria Nicolodi’s birthday so what better time than now to share a scene that I love from Dario Argento’s 1975 masterpiece, Deep Red?

Now, this might seem like a strange scene to love but you have to understand it in context of the overall film.  (And yes, the scene is in Italian but surely you can figure out that it’s a scene of two people flirting.)  Deep Red is often thought as being merely a superior giallo film but it’s also, in its way, a rather sweet love story.  David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi may investigate a murder but they also fall in love and the two of them have a very sweet chemistry, which is fully displayed in this scene and which elevates the entire film.  Deep Red is a giallo where you care about the characters as much as you care about the murders.

While making this film, Daria Nicolodi and Dario Argento also fell in love and they went on to have a rather tumultuous relationship.  Personally, I think that Argento’s most recent films are underrated but it’s still hard to deny that the ones that he made with Nicolodi have a heart to them that is missing from some of his later work.

So, in honor of Daria Nicolodi and her important role in the history of Italian horror, here she is with David Hemmings in Deep Red!

4 Shots From 4 Films: Dracula 3D, Maniac, Silent House, Sinister


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 2012 Horror Films

Dracula 3D (2012, dir by Dario Argento)

Maniac (2012, dir by Franck Kahlfoun)

Silent House (2012, dir by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau)

Sinister (2012, directed by Scott Derrickson)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Blade, The Faculty, The Phantom of the Opera, Vampires


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1998 Horror Films

Blade (1998, dir by Stephen Norrington)

The Faculty (1998, dir by Robert Rodriguez)

The Phantom of the Opera (1998, dir by Dario Argento)

Vampires (1998, dir by John Carpenter)