DARIO ARGENTO’S WORLD OF HORROR (1985), a feature-length documentary

“Dario Argento’s films are like stained glass windows ready to shatter and slice the unsuspecting spectator. He’s a master auteur known for letting characters squirm within the confines of his fragile mise en scène. His violence is quick, intoxicating and unbearably beautiful.” – Ed Gonzalez, Dario Argento’s Dreams

Written and directed by Michele Soavi of Cemetery Man (1994) and The Church (1989) fame, this documentary from 1985 takes an in-depth look at Dario Argento, the master Italian director most well known for his “giallo” horror films. Employing stylized touches reminiscent of Argento’s own work, Soavi crafts Dario Argento’s World Of Horror as a reverent exploration of the filmmaker’s pre-1986 life and oeuvre through interviews with the man himself (as well as various cast and crew), behind-the-scenes production footage, and numerous scenes from many of his movies. As Wikipedia notes, “because most of Argento’s films were only available at the time in heavily edited form, [the documentary] was sought after by many fans of the director’s work because it contained numerous clips of footage removed from the released films…”.

One of the copious highlights found here is an explanation of the cinematographic processes that Argento and his director of photography utilized for the 1977 classic Suspiria, including the use of three-strip Technicolor technology to achieve an aesthetic of highly expressionistic lighting and color.

And on this note, while you’re thinking about all things Argento, be sure to revisit (or discover for the first time) Slant magazine’s career retrospective feature Dario Argento’s Dreams — and why not read through that while listening to this?

About the Author

Spencer Everhart curates the Worth Viewing video blog for The Seventh Art. He joined the team after his first video essay ("Malick's Lyrical Branches - The Tree of Life") was published in our seventh issue. He currently resides in Michigan and holds a cinema studies degree from Grand Valley State University.