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Tenebre (Special Edition) (1982)

Mirella Banti , Christian Borromeo , Dario Argento  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

Price: $38.88 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mirella Banti, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo, Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma
  • Directors: Dario Argento
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015D3YR2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,031 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tenebre (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • "Voices of the Unsane"
  • "The Roving Comera Eye of Dario Argento"
  • Alternate End Credit Music
  • Dario Argento Bio
  • "Creating the Sounds of Terror"

Editorial Reviews

After several excursions into supernatural horror, Dario Argento returned to the homicidal frenzy that made his reputation with this mystery that plays more like a grown-up slasher movie than a detective thriller. Anthony Franciosa stars as Peter Neal, a bestselling horror novelist whose promotional tour in Italy takes a terrible turn when a mysterious killer re-creates the brutal murders from his book with real-life victims. The first to die are so-called "deviants," Neal's own friends, and finally there comes a promise that the author himself is next on the list. Columbo it ain't, but Argento has always been more concerned with style than story and his execution of the crimes is pure cinematic bravura. From the simple beauty of a straight razor shattering a light bulb (the camera catches the red-hot filament slowly blacking out) to an ambitious crane shot that creeps up and over the sides of a house under siege in a voyeuristic survey that would make Hitchcock proud, Argento turns the art of murder into a stylish spectacle. He even lets his kinkier side show with flashbacks of an adolescent boy and a teasing dominatrix in red stiletto heels that become a key motif of the film. The objects of Argento's homicidal tendencies are traditionally lovely, scantily clad Italian beauties, and with self-deprecating humor he even inserts a scene in which Neal is taken to task for the misogynist violence of his stories--an accusation Argento himself has weathered for years. --Sean Axmaker

Stills from Tenebre (Click for larger image)

Product Description

Following the worldwide success of SUSPIRIA and INFERNO, Master Of Horror Dario Argento returned to the giallo genre with the shocker that remains one of the director's greatest. Anthony Franciosa stars as an American mystery novelist on a promotional tour in Rome who finds that his most recent book has inspired a copycat serial killer. When the psychotic impulse becomes irresistible, does freedom await in the simple act of annihilation? John Saxon (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Daria Nicolodi (DEEP RED) and John Steiner (CALIGULA) co-star along with a nerve-shredding score by Goblin and a mind-blowing twist ending in this classic of sexual corruption, savage bloodshed and virtuoso filmmaking that fans and critics hail as an Argento masterpiece.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind games from the master stylist: Top-drawer Argento January 22, 2000

(Italy - 1982)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono

While fans may be divided over the relative merits (or not) of Dario Argento's recent output, there's no denying the sheer visceral power of his earlier accomplishments. TENEBRE contains some of the most genuinely frightening material in Argento's entire filmography, and some of the best performances too. Anthony Franciosa is quietly convincing in his role as an American writer in Rome, targeted by an obsessive killer who's been modelling a series of murders on scenes from the author's latest book; and the hugely underrated John Saxon provides a memorable turn as Franciosa's shady literary agent (his final scene is a small masterpiece of observation, brilliantly edited).

The rest of the cast is less sure-footed, perhaps because these veteran European actors - including Daria Nicolodi and Giuliano Gemma - aren't entirely comfortable performing in English, though the entire cast play second fiddle to the director's bravura execution of the outlandish scenario. Argento takes great delight in toying with the audience's expectations and misdirecting them with clever bits of visual trickery, whilst punctuating the narrative with a series of horrific 'exclamation marks' (such as Veronica Lario dying in a spectacular welter of gore), culminating in a truly shocking finale. What's more, he indulges his trademark eccentricities without obscuring the plot or the characterisations, and the film takes its place alongside DEEP RED (1975) as one of the enduring giallos of the 20th century. A triumph.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal effort September 13, 2004
After seeing Dario Argento's 1982 (it is '82, not '87) film "Tenebrae," I have moved into the final phases of seeing his entire body of work. It was easy to claim ignorance of many of this Italian director's films until a few years ago because it was difficult to find them anywhere, let alone in an uncut form. Fortunately, DVD arrived on the scene and eager film fans with dollars to spend inspired numerous companies to start churning out any movie they could get their hands on. It wasn't too long before practically every Argento film arrived on store shelves, many of them in uncut, unrated formats. Unfortunately, most viewers have likely never heard of Dario Argento. These days more people know about the director's beautiful daughter Asia than the horror maestro himself. What a shame. Argento's films, at least the ones I have seen, are masterpieces of style injected with truly cringe inducing violence. For a few years in the 1980s and 1990s, Argento drifted away from his tried and true giallo formula, only recently returning to some semblance of form with "The Stendhal Syndrome" and "Sleepless." "Tenebrae" was Argento's first "return" to the giallo genre, after he strayed into the supernaturally themed "Suspiria" and "Inferno."

I happen to think "Tenebrae" may well be the best Argento film I have seen, even better than his first wave of gialli. It's the story of Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa), a popular writer of disturbing novels who travels to Italy to promote his latest thriller. Unfortunately for Neal, and more so for several other people, a killer decides to imitate the murders laid out in the author's most recent book. It isn't too long before the local police, in the form of Detective Germani (Giuliano Gemma), make the connection between the homicides and Neal's book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Instant Video Version is the Edited Cut April 30, 2013
By CHatz
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Just letting everyone know that if you have purchased or rented the Instant Video verson of this film, you will be viewing the edited 91-minute version titled "Unsane", which omits around 10 minutes of key footage during the murder sequences.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cinematically important December 8, 1999
By A Customer
As a film maker I cannot express how interesting it is to hear Argento talking about his own creations. Many critics, film historians and even audiences have never really taken Argento seriously, which is a real shame for them. Tenebrae is a beautifully crafted film, and although not as feverish as Suspiria or Inferno, the viewer still feels as if they are stuck in a really horrible dream. Argento is a worldclass director with a frighteningly voyeristic style. I found the scene where the girl finds out that she is in the murderers house and has to run away from the guard dogs so incredibly exploitative and nasty that i couldn't keep my eyes off it, just like when average people pass a car accident on the street. The ending just blows you away. I love this film and I really want Inferno, Suspiria and deep Red on DVD too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Argento's true masterpice June 16, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Absolutely marvelous! Featuring sophisticated, super-stylish cinematography, an engrossing plot, a hauntingly eerie score, and overly gratuitious gore, Tenebre is a must see for any true horror fan. Argento was inspired to write this after an obsessed Suspiria fan sent him a death threat, and the result is a raw, thoughtful piece of Italian horror. Once again, a trademark Argento killer with a predilection for black leather gloves is on the loose...inspired by murders from the protagonist's latest novel Tenebre. Of course, the movie is superbly shot and utilizes suspenseful vouyeristic angles. The music couldnt be more suitable, but the acting could have used some work. Among the most memorable scenes include flashbacks featuring real life transexual Eva Robins; these scenes are beautifully shot and quite vague until the end. Also this film contains the bloodiest axe murder i have ever seen in my eighteen will send shivers down your spine! Granted, Tenebre is an extremely violent and gory film, but make no mistake; the kills are elegantly executed and done with such finesse that one almost forgets that murder is wrong. In comparison, over-top-gore films such as Dead Alive or Dawn of the Dead seem rather crass and childish. Though many consider Deep Red (an excellent film, by the way) to be Argento's masterpiece, I side with Tenebre. The pace is much, much quicker, the camera work is more complex, deaths are more dramatic, and the plot held my attention the whole way through. Deep Red (the full, uncut 126 minute version),with all due respect, suffers from pointless, lengthy dialogue and a few uneventful sequences..great ending though! If you have a choice, pick Tenebre. What Im trying to say is that Dario Argento is unequivocally the master of horror. Don't miss this one!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars La Crapola
This movie was total trash. The images were blurry & garishly colored. The plot only served to satisfy sadistic, misogynistic fantsies. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sir Salt Peter
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Transfer
I was very excited to watch this film considering I am a fan of Suspiria and Inferno. When I got the DVD the box art was very generic but I didn't think much of it considering my... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alex Boden
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Argento
Basically hack and slasher with elements of soft porn tossed in. This Anchor Bay DVD is ok, but many scenes are blurry for whatever reasons. Inconsistent quality but viewable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Fred
3.0 out of 5 stars Great score by Goblin
I like the music a lot in this film... But, when it comes to Argento, I prefer his early classics, Deep Red: The Hatchet Murders and Suspiria over his later efforts.
Published 3 months ago by Jason A.
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch the unedited version instead
They've cut some of the sequences including the very famous tracking shot. It's confusing since the thumbnail for the movie is for "tenebre", but the actual video is the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr Creosote
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it - even for free
Sorry it's too dated... Do not watch it. Cheap film - One star because of some really sexy women - other than that forget it. ;-(
Published 5 months ago by L. Klindt
3.0 out of 5 stars Argento
I enjoy Argento for the most part. I see al his works and Tenebre is probably in my top 10 Argento works, though not without some of his typical style.
Published 9 months ago by Hellena Heavenly
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of a touring author supporting his newest novel
Others will tell you of the plot and so forth (should you really want to know before stepping into a good horror story) . There's lots of good acting here and GREAT sequences . Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hammer + Jazz
4.0 out of 5 stars Tenebrae Bowdlerized
"Tenebrae" is one of Argento's best films. This version isn't "Tenebrae"-- it's "Unsane," the version the original US distributor released, after cutting,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Manly Pointer
1.0 out of 5 stars Unless You're Into a Lot of Senseless Gore, A Terrible Movie
As a fan of crime & thriller movies, I am not into senseless gore unless there is a message somewhere in the story that doesn't make the gore senseless (e.g. Read more
Published 19 months ago by lplynn
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