Monday, 25 January 2016

Deep Red / Profondo Rosso (1975)

One of the best horror films ever made gets its best quality Blu-ray release ever in this stunning 4k restoration limited edition three disc set.
When jazz composer Marc Daly (David Hemmings) witnesses the brutal murder of a medium (Macha Meril) he gets catapulted into Dario Argento land, where it turns out he’s seen something terribly important but doesn’t know what it is, has a black-gloved killer after him who could be male or female, and is followed everywhere by a prog rock Goblin score. Eventually Marc realises what he saw and discovers the identity of the killer, but not before being enmeshed in one of the most delirious and revolutionary pieces of cinema ever constructed.

PROFONDO ROSSO (it just sounds better than DEEP RED doesn’t it)? is a masterpiece and if you’ve never seen it I envy you, because you are in for a treat. You don’t need to know anything about Italian or genre cinema before or after to be surprised and delighted by its plot twists and turns, its daring camerawork and its outrageously stylish murders. 
You don’t need to know anything about director Dario Argento, either. One of the most influential and stylish directors ever, PROFONDO ROSSO is the film that, more than any other, made him a force to be reckoned with. Just put the disc in the player and allow yourself to be overwhelmed with stylish visuals.

For everyone else who has already seen PROFONDO ROSSO a thousand times, you still need to get this release because it really is the best looking this film has ever been. Direct comparison reveals the image to be clearer, richer, and with far less grain than the previous Blue Underground Region A Locked release, which itself was better than Arrow’s previous Region B release. Previous speckles and scratches on those versions have been cleared up, but the real difference is in the colour. Instead of just looking as if they’ve turned up the brightness too much, Arrow’s new PROFONDO ROSSO positively glows - you’d swear you could warm your hands on the screen during the theatre scene at the beginning.

Extras on Disc One (which contains the full director’s cut 4k restoration) include a brief introduction by composer Claudio Simonetti, a commentary track by Thomas Rostock and a brand new visual essay by Michael Mackenzie. Mackenzie’s essays are always good value and this one doesn’t disappoint, providing plenty of useful information for the newcomer while pointing out a few things even seasoned old hacks might have missed.
Other extras are archival and include Dario Argento on DEEP RED, Daria Nicolodi reminiscing, Simonetti on the score, the trailer, and a look round Dario’s shop with Luigi Cozzi. 

           Disc Two contains the shortened 105 minute version of PROFONDO ROSSO in a new 4k restoration, along with the US trailer. Finally, Disc Three is a 28-track CD featuring the entire movie score by Goblin and Giorgio Gaslini. This is a fantastic package and highly recommended, which is why it’s all the more disappointing to point out that as of the release date of 25th January this release is already sold out. Good news for Arrow, I guess but bad news for anyone who didn’t get their pre-order in. Let’s hope Arrow does a no-frills release of the 4k restoration soon. Even if you’ve got all the other versions of PROFONDO ROSSO that are out there this is the one you need. 

Arrow Films are releasing their limited edition three disc set of Dario Argento's DEEP RED aka PROFONDO ROSSO on 25th January 2016

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