View Full Version : The Argento RANK
OnE Of Us
09-21-2002, 10:59 PM
)-(ey guys...like The Nightmare on Elm Street thread in the General section, rank the following Argento movies with a summary and a rating
Here are the movies:
Wax Mask (Produced by Dario but...shut up! ;) ) , Deep Red, Tenebrae, Suspiria, Bird with the Crystal Plumage, 4 Flies on a grey Velvet, Cat O Nine Tales, Two Evil Eyes (His Segment), Sleepless, Phenomena, Trauma, and Inferno...HAVE FUN!
09-22-2002, 12:44 AM
OK, here's my ranking as I see it. :)
Profondo Rosso - Brilliant. Stylish, scary and a masterpiece. Memorable score.
Phenomena - Over the top FUN! Excellent nightmare quality atmosphere. Great score.
Sleepless - Wonderful return to "form".
Opera - May be Argento's most brutal giallo.
Suspiria - A bit overrated but I'm finding a new appreciation for it. Another great score.
Bird With The Crystal Plummage - Trendsetting giallo along with Bava's "B&BL". Good story and good characters.
Tenebre - Fun film with splattery conclusion. I don't find it as good as others do.
Cat O'Nine Tails - Gaining new appreciation for this one. Excellent characters.
Stendhal Syndrome - Unique Argento entry that doesn't really do it for me though others love it.
Trauma - One of Argento's most restrained films. Good performances from Rydell and Laurie.
Inferno - Maybe Argento's most overrated film. Dull and uninspiring to me.
Phantom Of The Opera - Awful.
Still have not seen "Four Flies", "5 Days" and "Two Evil Eyes" :)
09-22-2002, 01:00 AM
I still haven't seen all of his films...
Phenomena - I just really like this one a lot. It has Jennifer Connelly, great style, and it's very dreamlike.
Opera - I like this one for a lot of the same reasons as Phenomena.
Suspiria - very scary and the colors, score, and sets are wonderful.
Deep Red - the acting was great and it was somewhat scary.
The Bird With the Crystal Plumage - I'm not sure if I like this one more than Deep Red or not. I think it has some of the best writing out of any of his films.
Trauma - I liked Trauma to a certain extent, but it isn't as good as his earlier films in my opinion.
Sleepless - I liked the opening sequence on the train... and the American trailer was nice yet misleading.
09-22-2002, 03:19 AM
Suspiria - Simply brilliant... one of the greatest horror films of all time! A scary and dreamlike story with great photography, and style to spare! Even recent claims of it being "overrated" have done nothing to taint the flawless reputation of this masterpiece!
Inferno - The effect is like watching a moving painting. Dario Argento's sequel to his brilliant SUSPIRIA almost reaches the delirious heights of that seminal horror classic. Stunning visuals and a surreal story make this one hard to top!
Tenebrae - Dario Argento's masterful return to the giallo was the first of his films that I saw... An involving story, with freaky flashbacks, impressive camera work, John Saxon, and an ending that outdoes itself over and over again.
Deep Red - Argento's first truly brilliant film, and certainly not his last. A great example of what a "perfect" giallo is, this is when Argento finally found his stride! Essential!
The Bird With Crystal Plumage - Suspensful, fascinating, and competently made giallo with brilliant touches that would hint at the greatness that Argento would achieve later in his career.
Opera - Argento's last really brilliant film is perhaps the most epic thing he has ever done. A very ambitious project that goes all over the place and climaxes in a typical crazed conclusion!
Cat O'Nine Tails - VERY underrated Argento film that always manages to intrigue with it's likeable characters, great action sequences, and some great humor.
Phantom of the Opera - The more I watch this criminally underrated film, the more my appreciation for it grows! I agree with one of the reviews I read for this film... It belongs in the art-house section rather than the horror section. Fantastic!
Phenomena - Over-the-top film that throws everything at the viewer, INCLUDING the kitchen sink. The very fact that Argento can make it all work in the end is a testament to his talent. Great fun!
The Stendhal Syndrome - Even the worst Argento film that I've seen is still VERY good. This underrated 90s entry has a very "twisted" twist-ending that caught me off guard!
09-22-2002, 04:12 PM
DEEP RED - my favorite film of all time
TENEBRE - ingenious plot, oodles of style, great performances from Saxon and Franciosa
INFERNO - dreamlike, eerie
BLACK CAT - near-perfect melding of style and substance
STENDHAL SYNDROME - Argento's most mature film to date, disturbing and engrossing
OPERA - flimsy plot and inane central character damage this most stylish of his films
After this, it's harder to rank them... suffice it to say, I think SUSPIRIA is overrated, PHANTOM and TRAUMA are underrated and PHENOMENA is a phenomenal waste of time. :)
09-22-2002, 05:49 PM
Tenebre(1982)-Summarizes Argento's films from Bird with the Crystal Plumage to this point in time.
Deep Red(1975)-Argento's full blossoming as a stylist and filmmaker can be seen here.
Opera(1987)-Flawed, but impressive film, that has some interesting scenes within it.
Inferno(1980)-Perhaps a better interpretation of the De Quincey essay than Suspiria, with an atmosphere that is truely surreal.
Suspiria(1977)-Imperfect film, with outstanding opening fifteen minutes, and good moments that spinkle in small quanities throughout.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage(1969)-Important film to the giallo genre that sets up themes and ideas for the rest of Argento's filmography.
Stendhal Syndrome(1996)-Perhaps his most sympathetic protrayal of a female character that's also one of his most fully developed, and deals with themes not dealt with before.
Five Days of Milan(1973)-Hated it when I first saw it, but grew to like it with each new viewing as Argento goes for a mixture of violence and black comedy. Zapata Western that takes place in Milan, and shares some interesting traits with Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dynamite. One of his most underrated films that needs to be discovered, and his most obscure.
Cat o Nine Tails(1970), and Trauma(1992) are films I've grown to respect and Phenomena(1984) and Four Flies on Grey Velvet(1971) had some good moments and ideas in them, but ultimately are two of his worst films.
09-22-2002, 11:01 PM
Tenebrae (Everything you could ever want in an Argento flick. Classic!)
Deep Red (I agree with the statement "perfect giallo".)
Suspiria (Art on screen. Beautiful visualy and the score is brilliant.)
Opera (I love the premise of the film.)
Stendhal Syndrome (Underrated. Darkest Argento flick.)
Phenomena (Also underrated. Dreamlike, beautiful.)
Bird With The Crystal Plumage (Best of the "animal" trilogy. Great giallo.)
Black Cat (Creepy visuals.)
Cat O' Nine Tails (Not a typical Argento flick but quite enjoyable. It even has a car chase!)
Sleepless (Ok return to the giallo flick of old. Enjoyable.)
Trauma (Enjoyable flick that simply doesn't stand up to the rest.)
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (Didn't care for this one too much. Worth watching for Argento fans, but don't break your neck looking for it.)
Phantom of the Opera (Pretty bad. Asia is the only thing to watch it for, IMO.)
09-23-2002, 07:25 AM
Scott W. Davis
09-24-2002, 08:37 PM
Oh, you can't leave any of 'em out!
1. SUSPIRIA **** - One of the most perfect films ever to go before the lens. A fairytale infused with nightmares. This is a film that is light on story, and heavy on mood. It's more of an experience than a typical film. An absolutely horrifying journey. Some over the top performances that could hurt elsewhere are right at home here.
2. PHENOMENA **** - I've always loved this movie and I always will. Jennifer Connelly is excellent in one of her earliest roles and carries the film quite well. Her relationship with the insects was handled with such care and beauty that it's even touching to a bug-squasher like me. Escaping from the killer's labrynth is a truly harrowing experience for the viewer as well as the character. Absolutely brilliant.
3. DEEP RED **** - What can I say? Well, it's one of the best giallos ever, if not the best isn't it? With a painter's sense of visual flair, Hitchcock's sense of suspense and Poe's sense of dread, you wind up with something that is just purely Dario. This raised the bar for everyone else.
4. OPERA **** - Back before the days of DVD or even the internet (and when it was called TERROR AT THE OPERA in the states), I got in all sorts of trouble for using scenes from this and SUSPIRIA in a lot of homemade music videos for one of my old access projects. The film is extremely scary. By robbing the characters of the freedom to run or close their eyes, Argento renews that fear in the viewer as well. I used to not like the ending so much, but it grows on me (no pun intended) more and more. What the hell ever happened to Christina Marsillach?
5. STENDHAL SYNDROME **** - Probably Argento's most underrated film. Asia Argento's performance is a revelation. This is not a rape movie for cheap thrills. It is about one woman not being able to withstand the beauty of art and not being able to escape the brutality that beauty offers a release from. Incredibly good recent Argento stuff. Too bad the Troma disc needs a lot of work in the transfer.
6. INFERNO *** 1/2 - At times, it plays like SUSPIRIA LITE, but it soon proves that to be far too hasty a generalization. A creepy labrynthian tale set amongst the old brownstones of New York. Keith Emerson's score is great but rarely gets mentioned.
7. TENEBRE *** 1/2 - Damn fine movie that gets better the more I watch it. Is hampered by some performances that are more over the top than usual (the lesbian taunt scene comes to mind). Next to DEEP RED, this is probably Daria Nicolodi's finest hour.
8. WAX MASK *** 1/2 - Really doesn't belong on this list. It's not directed by Argento and not characteristic at all of his films. Originally supposed to be helmed by Fulci, and not characteristic of his films either. But man, what a comeback this would have made. Because of it's troubled history, it's almost always overlooked. But this is an absolutely great movie. Wonderful imagery, suspenseful story and downright fun. Oh, if you hate visual effects like those found in say MANHATTAN BABY (I didn't) or some of Cozzi's films, you might not like it as much.
9. CAT O' NINE TAILS *** 1/2 - Much better than people give it credit for. This isn't a PG-giallo. It's a PG Dario Agrento giallo. Trust me, there's a difference. Karl Malden is surprisingly great. And love that ending!
10. TRAUMA *** - I'll be honest. I saw this so long ago that I only remember bits and pieces. I remember enjoying it a great deal though. Some of those images are seared in my brain forever. I have an uncut copy that should be coming my way soon via the nice folks at Video Mayhem.
11. BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE *** - "All right, bring in the perverts." That's in a sig from an alt.horror favorite. Argento's first giallo and a major wakup call for anyone who tried to dismiss the Italian film industry. Has lost a little bit of it's punch but not by much.
12. SLEEPLESS *** - Argento returns to the giallo and while it isn't the return to DEEP RED territory as many early reports pointed out, it was a very well-made movie. Max Von Sydow is always a joy to watch. Perhaps the only thing holding this film down is a little predictibility and some serious overracting by one of the players in the concluding scenes.
13. FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET *** - The least of Argento's "animal trilogy," but that's no reason to have it unavailable in the U.S. for the past couple decades. A pretty good giallo. Nice to see Mimsy Farmer and Bud Spencer.
14. TWO EVIL EYES *** - Dario's segment was very well done indeed, but lacks focus in the shortened form. The ode to "Pit and the Pendulum," although well-done, feels out of place. One almost wishes he were given another thirty minutes to expand his ideas. That Harvey Keitel gives a great performance should go without saying. Would make an interesting double-bill with Fulci's underrated THE BLACK CAT.
15. PHANTOM OF THE OPERA ** - This is so frustrating because the film actually looks beautiful to me. And Asia Argento is always nice to watch. But man, everything else just falls flat. This is the only Argento film I have not liked.
I have not seen FIVE DAYS IN MILAN... yet.
09-25-2002, 04:54 PM
Opera -- for its sheer audacity.
Deep Red -- excellent giallo. Great score.
Bird With The Crystal Plumage -- excellent directorial debut. Very suspenseful and imaginative.
Tenebre -- terrific pace. Another great score.
Suspiria -- beautiful, frightening, surreal. Never fails to creep me the hell out.
Inferno -- underrated by most. Just as powerful as Suspiria.
Stendhal Syndrome -- brutal and grimy but fantastic imagery.
I think the only other Argento's I've seen are Phenomena which I didn't like much at all, except maybe the gorgeous opening shots, and Sleepless which I wanted to like but just couldn't. Although the version I saw was the English dub which made everyone (with the exception of Von Sydow) sound like the worst actors this side of Waiting For Guffman. I've heard that the Italian soundtrack is better and improves the film.
09-25-2002, 05:13 PM
When I watch my Medusa DVD of SLEEPLESS, I watch Von Sydow's scenes in English - ESSENTIAL in appreciating this finest performance in any Argento film to date - and the rest in Italian. The other actors do indeed suffer terribly in English, though Roberto Zibbetti dubbed himself (and a strange voice it is, too!)
09-26-2002, 05:01 PM
From best to worst, IMO:
TENEBRAE - I just love this film. It's beautifully photographed, has a great music score, and even piles on the gore.
PROFONDO ROSSO - If you count the old ~100 minute English version that was released on Japanese laser years ago, I'd say this one might rank above TENEBRAE. However, I think the added scenes that appear on the AB disc are often just too much, making a great film a bit more boring than it needs to be. Otherwise, the lead characters are surely memorable, the first Goblin score is a classic, the humor really is funny, and again we get a nice bit of gore.
SUSPIRIA - I'll agree that it has great music and just a fantastic look to it, but I never much cared for the story or some of the dialogue. This film is eye candy and ear candy (if there is such a thing), but I'm not as big of a fan of it as others tend to be.
THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE - A great mystery that shows Argento's style and abilties even in his youth.
CAT O' NINE TAILS - Funny to think that this used to be known as his worst film back in the mid-'80s. It has a great charm to it, IMO, and makes a very interesting giallo.
INFERNO - This is another one that is merely eye candy. I don't care much for the story and find it often a bit boring, but I do like to watch it every now and again.
PHENOMENA - By all means it has its moments, but really... this one clearly shows both how good and bad Argento can be. For me, the beginning of the fall of Dario, though he still had far to go.
OPERA - Another one that tends to bore me, though it is certainly better than what came after. When I watch it, I pretty much just find myself waiting for the murders to occur. I like how the heavy metal music works with the violence, but often it is mixed too quiet in the original version which defeats the purpose.
FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET - I actually only watched this once and was bored silly. In all fairness, this might have much to do with the fact that the bleedin' DARIO ARGENTO'S WORLD OF HORROR documentary gave away the ending!!
TRAUMA - I don't think this one is really as bad as everyone says. It's major downfalls are the completely inappropriate score by Pino Donaggio and that ridiculous idea of the Asia Argento music video at the end. This guy really showed how much he failed to separate his appreciation for his daughter with proper filmmaking sense.
NON HO SONNO - Not bad in comparison to what two films Argento made just prior, but still quite dumb at parts. I tried watching it a second time, but I just couldn't do it.
FIVE DAYS IN MILAN - I had to watch an ugly VSOM transfer, so that probably hurt a lot. I remember thinking one scene was funny, but I don't recall anything else. It doesn't really fit in with the Argento repertoire anyway.
THE STENDHAL SYNDROME - It takes a lot to offend me, and the vicious rape scenes did. It took 3 tries and a lot of convincing on a friend's part to get me to sit through the whole thing. I did, and I still thought it was tacky, offensive garbage. If Argento wanted to upset the viewer, he did in this case, but to me this is all just disgusting.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - I had to eventually fast-forward through this dung heap of a film. Horrible acting, horrible effects. I'd rather watch a Doris Wishman film, if you can believe that.
Unless Argento uses a Goblin member or members for the score of his next film (which I imagine is unlikely), I highly doubt I'll pay money to see another one of his films.
09-29-2002, 06:43 PM
I'm not going to write a lot of commentary on these, only when it's appropriate.
Here's my list, in order of preference of course:
PROFONDO ROSSO- without any doubt Argento's masterpiece with one great music score
SUSPIRIA- with one of the most frightening scores ever written for a film, this film is one of my favorites by Argento, with one the most scariest murder scenes ever seen on film.
TENEBRAE- simply great and the music helps too!
BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMMAGE- still have to see this one uncut but I still like it.
CAT O NINE TAILS- very interesting giallo
PHENOMENA- entertaining fun; Argento's return to doing a "fantasy" film
OPERA- not a favorite by any means, but I prefer it over his later stuff
INFERNO- very boring
THE BLACK CAT- don't remember much about this one, but I thought it was just passable
SLEEPLESS- very promising return to his early gialli (with hints of TENEBRAE), but it turns to shit after the first half
TRAUMA- this one totally didn't grab me; and Asia of course ruined it for me ;P
And the bottom-feeders :p :
WAX MASK- this one was originally suppose to be Lucio Fulci's final film (he wrote the story and screenplay) but Argento's SPFX man Stivaletti directed it. This film is living proof of what can happen when special effects people are allowed to go behind the camera. UGH!!! And that blatent Terminator rip-off at the end....what a travisty that was! Sheesh! :P
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA- completely awful.
THE STENDAHL SYNDROME- same as above only more so!
I haven't seen 4 FLIES ON GREY VELVET nor 5 DAYS IN MILAN
01-03-2003, 05:05 PM
Who owns the rights to Five Days of Milan?
01-03-2003, 09:48 PM
DEEP RED - Utterly brilliant. Ever shot is masterful with a great story and an excellent 'hook' ending.
TENEBRE - My favorite argento. His best paced film IMO with perhaps his best ending. A real mind fuck with the chick on the beach....I was fooled.
BIRD - Very good Giallo but lacking a lot of the flair of some his later gialli.
CAT - Under-rated with a slightly weak story. A quantum leap over BIRD in terms of style/color.
SUSPIRIA - WAY over-rated IMO. Great beginning, rambling middle and a bombastically flatulent ending.......keep it away from open flames I tell ya.
INFERNO - Shitty beginning, horrid ending and the middle maintains the same standards. At least it is consistant.
SLEEPLESS - Great giallo with much of what is great about Argento (check out the 'carpet-cam' murder.....brilliant). Sydow is wonderful and unfortunately overshadows the rest of the cast.
TRAUMA - Good...not great.
OPERA - Bizarre in a good way......ending on par with SUSPIRIA.....horrid.
01-04-2003, 12:57 AM
SUSPIRIA - a stylistic tour-de-force
DEEP RED - probably the best giallo ever made. I prefer the long english language version, not the uncut version with Italian language only scenes inserted (AB DVD). These just slow down the movie too much.
BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE - a fantastic first outing for Dario. The scenes in the art gallery are gorgeous. I also enjoyed some of the bizarre characters and the humour (Ursula Andress, the cats, etc).
TENEBRAE - wonderful late giallo but just a bit too nasty for me.
STENDHAL SYNDROME - loved the music from Morriconne and Asia's performance. Also liked the fact that its a little different for Dario. Again, its just a bit too nasty.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - I'm one of the few people that seem to enjoy this. Seems to me that everyone takes this film far to seriously. I liked that fact that Dario seemed to be having fun for a change.
TWO EVIL EYES - Dario's segment is well-done. Loved the dream sequence. Wish I had known that he was working in my home town.
OPERA - good late giallo with some great photography but the use of heavy metal is really inappropriate for the film. (And I like heavy metal!)
PHENOMENA - I really like the kitchen sink plot but again the heavy metal music really bites.
INFERNO - A totally nonsensical plot is driven by some great visuals. Emerson's music is OK, but I think a Goblin score could have improved the impact of the movie.
SLEEPLESS - Not bad, not great. I hope Dario has a least one more masterpiece in him.
CAT O' NINE TAILS - Boring, plot just does not work.
TRAUMA - Glad Dario left the US after this mishmash.
FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET - Not seen. Have a VHS dupe but I think that I'll wait for the inevitable DVD.
WAX MASK - Pretty entertaining goofy gothic but not Argento
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