Deep Red (1975) (Blu-ray film review).

May 5, 2016 | By | Reply More

Essentially what we have here is ‘Deep Red’ from 1975 a rather macabre whodunnit, an Italian movie directed by Dario Argento and starring David Hemmings, the well-known British actor, now deceased. At over two hours in duration, it’s rather protracted and could essentially be alleviated with cutting, as it was in the USA, because quite honestly it becomes excruciatingly long in parts, especially while we wait for more murders to take place. The murders themselves become as regular as clockwork and rather expected. Despite this, there is a really good performance by David Hemmings, which is what we expect from this versatile and talented actor.


Common with many spaghetti films, the voices are dubbed. Of course, the main star doesn’t need this because he speaks English rather well. Overall, the quality of the dubbing is quite good. The movie itself is a splendid example of giallo, which refers to the particular genre created in the 60s which centred around Italian mystery movies containing supernatural events. It peaked in the 1970s and declined thereafter. Nowadays, it is virtually unknown.

In the movie, Hemmings plays Marcus, a musician who attends a theatrical audience with a medium, but she shrieks in horror on discovering a presence amongst the many people sitting there. This was an evil presence! Later, he witnesses from the street the same medium getting brutally murdered. Marcus begins a quest to discover the identity of the mysterious perpetrator but it is not an easy quest and many more murders take place. The movie itself is over two hours long. Usually the murders take place within the home of the victim and a variety of knives are used in a brutal and blood-spattering manner. Plenty of tomato sauce on the menu!

Much is made of the musical backing by a band called Goblin but I found it to be noisy and irritating, particularly so when the murders were taking place. Actually, it became a nuisance and something to be avoided at all costs. The main point of the movie was the identity of the mysterious killer and many red herrings were thrown in the way, enough for a barrow load of fish for the market. Was it the drunken friend, the policeman or even his girlfriend? Some of the candidates were removed when they in turn became victims themselves.

There is a conclusion, one which was a bit unexpected. Saying any more would spoil the movie for the viewer, suffice to say it is quite an exciting end and one which after plenty of deliberation is welcome. Maybe a bit too much protracted, it was entertaining nonetheless.

Plenty of extras on the Blu-ray, they included an audio commentary by Argento expert Thomas Rostock, a couple of pieces about the director and quite a lot on the music. In addition, you get sound options, including the Italian without sub-titles, with sub-titles and a soundtrack as well. Although not included with the reviewed disc, the one on sale contains three discs and plenty of other material. The Blu-ray is available in a one disc version for about £20 while the more lavish presentation costs over £40.

I would not buy this myself because I don’t think it’s value for money. Additionally, while the particular genre is okay, I’m not over-enthusiastic about it. Maybe it’s dated just a little too much? However, it does have an audience out there and many people appreciate this particular type of movie. For the latter, it’s one to add to their collection. It’s also a movie to show off the acting talents of David Hemmings, who does indeed make a mark in his portrayal of the musician caught up in the spiral of death. For this reason, it’s got to be recommended.

Rod MacDonald

February 2016

(region B: pub: Arrow Films. 1 blu-ray disk 127 minute film with extras. Price: £14.99 (UK). Cat No: FCD1320)

Language: Italian

Subtitles: English/English SDH

cast: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi and Gabriele Lavia

check out website:

released: 02 May 2016


Category: Films, Horror

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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