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Movie_rating.jpg (1221 bytes)3.5 outta 5
Video_rating.jpg (1233 bytes)2 outta 5
Audio_rating.jpg (1197 bytes)2.5 outta 5
Xtras_rating.jpg (1285 bytes)0 outta 5
Overall_rating.jpg (1475 bytes)2.5 outta 5

Dario Argento's World Of Horror
Directed by Michele Soavi ; Starring Dario Argento
Synapse Films ; Region 0 ; NTSC ; Full-Frame ; Mono ; Extras : None, Nada, Zip, Sweet FA

Dario Argento's World Of Horror would have made a great extra feature on say, a [very] special edition of Suspiria. It's a pretty good documentary with loads of rare production footage of such movies as Suspiria, Phenomena and Inferno as well as some great interview moments with the man himself. But it seems, particularly towards the end, that Soavi has just gone and added loads of footage from Argento's movies in order to pad it to feature length.

This is an essential part of any diehard Argento fan's collection, but anyone more interested in the filmmaking process itself would probably be better off getting something like Document Of The Dead (also available from Synapse).

There's a blurb on the back of the case explaining how this documentary was originally intended for TV and is thus in the full frame format. This is fair enough, but the transfer still tends to leave you underwhelmed. There's quite a lot of compression artifacting going on here, and combined with the lower resolution of NTSC and the grainy, and occasionally blurred footage, it winds up looking not a whole lot better than the ex-rental Beta tape that I've had since the late eighties. The mono sound is functional, and that's really all it needs to be. Sure, it'd be nice to hear the snippets of Goblin's main theme from Suspiria in crisp digital stereo, but that's what DRG's fantastic 'Classic Italian Soundtracks' CDs are for. Given that this is a documentary (and one intended for TV, at that), video and audio quality simply doesn't have the importance that it does in a feature film.

Like I said, this would have made a great supplementary feature, but as a standalone presentation, and at the cost of over $20US (including the standard 30% discount), Dario Argento's World Of Horror does not really represent the best value for money.