Special Edition, VHS video
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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
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Now on to the technical specs... the film is widescreen, with 5.1 sound, which I'll be honest: I didn't quite see what was so special about the surround sound of this movie. There weren't a lot of scenes that really utilized the effect. It's in english, but there's also a mono italian track.
The main features are an audio commentary with Dario Argento, music composer, and some journalist, and 3 featurettes. I guess it's your pretty standard dvd. Worthy presentation of the film, extras... but I think it could stand to be a little less than $10.
My system roared back to life when I chose and played "Tenebre". The surround sound is excellent for the 1982/1983 film and the picture alone I would rate probably --> 3 stars. There is plenty of color in the murder scenes. As always, I do not review the movie, directing, or acting, as I prefer to give readers tips on the quality of the DVD. As such, I highly recommend that you add this DVD to your Dario Argento collection; it's quite thrilling. Please note that Anchor Bay DVD's do not play well or at all on older DVD players or drives. Since I upgraded to a 16x drive, all my Anchor Bay DVD's play smoothly including "Tenebre".
A behind-the-scenes feature of sound effects is quite interesting. I could also listen to Dario speak about his films, in Italian, all day long. Of course, I need the translation or subtitles to help. There is a brief interview with Dario on this DVD with an audio translation.
There is plenty of blood and gore in this film for those who love it. Sounds too! Also noteworthy is a scene featuring a mature, voluptuous and solid woman who kneels down in front of a group of young men that are only wearing white pants. It's quite sensual. For whatever reason, one of the boys hits this woman. Later he is restrained and this beautiful but rough lady stomps on his face and puts the high heel of her red shoe into his mouth. It's a very exciting and thrilling scene! You will enjoy this scene very much as you figure out what it means to "Tenebre".
I can to the same conclusion regarding Ridley Scott, if you take away his visual art teams/cinematographers you have almost nothing left.
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Tenebrae is kind of lame.Read more