Inferno is...

Discussion in 'Site Polls' started by rhett, May 9, 2011.

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Dario Argento's Inferno is...

Poll closed Jun 8, 2011.
  1. A Masterpiece!

    19 vote(s)
    17.0%
  2. The best of the Three Mothers trilogy but not Argento's best

    5 vote(s)
    4.5%
  3. Better than most of his movies

    27 vote(s)
    24.1%
  4. Good but with its share of problems

    40 vote(s)
    35.7%
  5. One of Argento's weaker efforts

    7 vote(s)
    6.3%
  6. Bad. Worse than Phantom of the Opera bad.

    3 vote(s)
    2.7%
  7. A movie I still haven't seen. For shame.

    11 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    Inferno is a masterpiece for these eyes.
    The narrative is... quite unlike anything I've ever seen, including Argento's own films. It stands right between being awake and asleep, like being in limbo to be precise. The pauses, the almost expression-less eyes of everyone involved (only when they fear they react like dramatic actors - again not like real characters, just like in a dream), the timing, it creates a world unique and impenetrable. That's what a great director is supposed to do. It surpasses everything he has ever done. I'm with Alan Jones on that one.
     
  2. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    I'm not trying to bicker with this but, after hearing the argument that this may be the finest work of dream-horror ever created, I would say it's no incredible feat that Argento bested anything Fulci has done with this film. Not by Argento's standards.

    And Alan Jones was horrendously unfair to Phenomena, so - consider the source.
     
  3. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    For shame over here. I love Suspiria, Tenebre, Phenomena, Deep Red, Bird With the Crystal Plumage and Opera, but I've never given this one a shot. The blu-ray is certainly tempting, and I want to indulge, but I don't wanna be let down.

    What is it about this movie that makes it so mediocre compared to the rest of his work?

    ~Matt
     
  4. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Well, right now, the majority of voters here would disagree that it is mediocre. But, there is something, as a matter of fact... Keith Emerson's score. It's way too classical for Argento. Sort of makes the whole film feel long-winded and in some scenes, shoddy as hell. Especially during the rat / vendor / lunar eclipse scene- probably the single worst moment in Argento's filmography from the early 70's to the late 80's.

    Other than that, I would say it's mainly aesthetic differences that I don't care for. Like Alida Valli's awful frizzy hair and frumpy appearence. She actually looks a bit like one of those cook-maids from Suspiria, or like some woman always doing laundry (house dress). Daria Nicolodi gets the reverse- here's she's flattened in every way from her other, more lively performances. Her hair looks terrible straight and she plays a dainty little "nervous wreck," a rich, semi-agorophobic wife of a rich man who's never home. None of these elements do very much. They just use her as "look, I found blood" everywhere. Then, there are moments in the cinematography that I flat out don't like. Whites look awful gray here, actually. Especially during the classroom scene. I could be recalling the effect they had on me. It's plenty moody enough though.
     
  5. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    It's definitely worth seeing, but I would say keep those lowered expectations. That way, you'll probably end up finding several things to like about it. If you go into it because somebody told you its a fucking wall-to-wall masterpiece, the only thing that will stand out is the shortcomings, and you'll probably be disappointed. I mean come on, it's pre-90's Argento* - you know it'll have some value.



    * I'd actually say that up until 1998's Phantom of the Opera, pretty much everything he did had something going for it, but some may disagree.
     
  6. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    That's exactly how I feel.

    Actually, before Phantom, I would say Cat o' Nine Tails is his weakest horror film / giallo (I haven't seen Two Evil Eyes in full yet).
     
  7. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    i need to rewatch the animal trilogy. all his other early films i've seen at least twice, most more than that. however, i've only watched each of the animal trilogy once, after buying them a few years ago. based on fuzzy memories, i would say that i liked it better than four flies on grey velvet. but i should really revisit.
     
  8. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Most people do as well. But the way I look at it is, I liked Mimsy Farmer and the detective characters in Four Flies way better than I liked ... well, anyone in Cat. Except for the little girl. The murders were weak in both films, but Four Flies had the wall scene (I'll just put it that way). And, Cat may have that awesome car racing scene but Four Flies has the crashing scene and that just seals it right there.
     
  9. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    Inferno better than The Beyond? :rolleyes:
    Not in a million years.
     
  10. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I may be in the large minority on this but I think every film he has ever made has had something that I could take away from it and enjoy. Including Phantom of the Opera.
     
  11. pdw

    pdw New Member

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    I'm ashamed to admit not seeing it yet. And I love Suspiria.
    Oh, well, the re-release will make a good excuse as any to rectify that.
     
  12. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    The only thing Beyond has over Inferno is Fabio Frizzi's score.

    That's it.
     
  13. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    Ha...
    Cold day in hell!
    Frizzi's score is certainly superior... as is it the ambience, gore & cinematography in The Beyond.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  14. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    I wish I could agree but I have to stick with Dave13 and say that everything UP UNTIL Phantom of the Opera had something going for it. Afterwards, Mother of Tears & Do You Like Hitchcock are decent but most everything else is painfully bad.
     
  15. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Hey, the score is one of my favorite parts of Inferno, but I'm biased as an old ELP fan. I remember back around '81 I was listening to them a lot, and always felt that their music would be good for a horror film. Yet I didn't know about Inferno. If I did, I probably would have gone crazy trying to see the damn thing (there were no DVD players and Amazon.com in 1981....fans today still don't quite realize how lucky they are)

    Can we agree on one thing though? That the Blue Underground Blu-Ray is a friggin thing of beauty? Can't wait till Deep Red arrives on my doorstep next week!
     
  16. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    Agree on both points. Stoked for Deep Red next week!
    And I DO like the Keith Emerson score. I also have a soft spot in my heart for ELP as my dad had a great vinyl collection & I believe we listed to ELP, Trilogy, BSS (especially BSS) & Pictures quite a few times when I was young.
    I just think Frizzi's score for The Beyond is unbeatable.
     
  17. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    you know, there's an old crude joke that is similar to why I enjoy Inferno.

    A man was in a bar, bragging about how large his penis was, but complaining that no woman could take the whole thing. One woman overheard this, and complained that there was no man in the world big enough to satisfy her. Naturally, they immediately went home together.

    As they began to have sex, the man only went partially in, as most women wouldn't be able to handle it. He asked if she was ok, and she said she didn't know he'd even started! Thinking he'd finally met a woman who could take him, he went all the way in. "How's that, baby?" he asked, and she replied "how's what? Are you even inside?". Now he got angry, and instead of using his penis, he inserted his foot into her. He thought she's freak out, but again, she wasn't able to feel it. So then he puts his entire lower leg inside. Still nothing.

    So now he puts his OTHER leg in as well. And again, no comments from his partner. So he wiggles around until his entire lower body is engulfed in her vagina. She says, "I think I feel....nope, that's not it". So he plunges even deeper, until just his head is outside. "You'd better be able to feel that now!", and she says "feel what?". At which point, he falls inside.

    It's totally dark, and he realizes he's in big trouble, so he looks for his pocket knife to maybe cut a hole and escape. He takes out the knife, but drops it before he can cut an escape path. So he falls to his hands and knees, and begins crawling around trying to find the knife. When suddenly, he bumps his head into another guy! "What the hell are you doing here?", he asks, and the other man responds, "Trying to find my car keys". The first man says "Well, I'm trying to find my knife. If I find it, we can cut our way out of here."

    To which the second man says "If I find my car keys, we can drive out"

    Now, what makes that joke work (if it even does) is the slow buildup into an impossible situation. Had it been just told "There was a woman with two guys and a car inside her vagina", it would have made a bit of sense.

    Inferno does this same trick, not once but twice in the course of the film. Notice how the underwater ballroom reveal begins with a simple trickle of water, until Rose loses her keys, and her attempt to retrieve them gets crazier and crazier. To the point where the viewer forgets that a ballroom completely flooded inside the basement of a NYC apartment building is almost utterly impossible. The slow build up of it almost makes sense.

    A similar thing happens at the end of the film.

    And what you get, much like the woman in my junior-high-level joke is an inner space that is actually LARGER than the space which contains it. Argento actually pulls this off, not once but twice.

    Why didn't I say "masterpiece" then? Cause in between those two scenes is a lot of shit that doesn't even make THAT much sense!
     
  18. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    "He need heart medicine!" ;)
     
  19. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    The gore in Beyond was cheap shit. Inferno's may have been weak, but at least Argento wasn't so stupid that he let the camera linger on bad FX for 2 entire minutes!! At best... okay, Emily's death was 50/50-quality because the dog looked fake. Jill's head-shot was maybe 70/30 and the only thing that saved it was cutting it unbelievably brief (I honestly thought my Diamond DVD edition might have been edited until I got the Grindhouse disc). That spider scene is still, by far, one of the dumbest things I've seen in the history of horror. Inferno's rat scene? Merely one of Argento's weakest moments. The win here clearly goes to Inferno.

    Sorry, Chaostar- this time, calling something Fulci did part of an artform is sillier and requires greater suspension of disbelief than reducing these films to scores. (Though, I've got love for Zombie- I admit it, I liked most of that film and even then Inferno kicks the ass of anything Fulci put his hands on.)

    Ambience? Don't push it.

    Cinematography? Okay, maybe a few drops in the bucket ahead of Argento's. I'll give that to you, but it's the single most shallow victory between the two.

    But then, there's a little matter of how much the film's flaws drag it down. Name Inferno's greatest weakness. It's nothing compared to how asinine, oafish, clunky, and radically underwhelming The Beyond's story, characters, and dialogue are. Inferno's absurd and hard to follow. But even then, I'm still interested. With The Beyond? I make fun of it. It's a MST3K episode waiting to happen! "I was lookin' for keeeeeys." Or, how about again, how Fulci sets up creepy characters as villains (Martha being the best example) suggesting they will actually do something ominous beside standing around looking disheveled, and instead- turns them into victims because he thought of a new flashy way to kill someone? Or that moment with the oscillator. When Al Cliver argues that they should use it on a corpse. I'm not even talking about how obvious it is made that it's only being used for a cheap shock. I'm talking about his argument for why they should use it. "Why not?" If that isn't the dumbest line of dialogue (recognizing its' context) in all of cinema... the next one is- "Okay." Forget moments like "Do Not Entry." That's a simple language barrier. This is a writing logic issue! Whether it's translated into Italian or English, an American doctor actually gives an approval for his insane colleague to use this machine ON A CORPSE! This is stupid. And it's not funny-stupid unless you're drunk or watching it with a REALLY funny person. There probably isn't a moment in Argento's filmography as braindead as this. And what about Fulci's cameo as a librarian in The Great Lunch Debate? Is there any way to explain that? And here's why I bring it up... it's not just a bad incident with one person spouting off about something pointless. The Martin character INDULGES him and continues to comment on it after he's gone! If any scene in Inferno is comparable to this, it's Mark talking to Kazanian about the lunar eclipse. And then... both of them have brains in their heads. So, at least, if the eclipse itself has little relevance in the story- it's not the characters' faults! They remain untouched and unchanged by the incident.

    There are other examples, I'm sure ("I'm gonna call the FBI", Liza's hysterical shrieks...AT EVERYTHING- even "I'm a doctor and I won't accept irrational explainations" John, the Disappearing-Arthur, the lack of ANY explaination for the opening scene). But Inferno is not a movie for which it hurts trying to process it. The Beyond is an onslaught of pure stupidity. In every regard. And, the cinematography and music BARELY make it watchable during the few intriguing moments we get (Emily's dialogue, mostly). Inferno is better BY A MILE!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  20. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    All I am going to say to you, because we've had this discussion before... over & over again... is that I feel your taste in film is exceptionally poor for someone who professes to be a horror fan & I think its clear from your repeated disagreements with just about everyone on the board in just about every topic about quality of classic films is indicative of that fact. I don't suggest that you should jump off a bridge because everyone else does, but I think its clear that your opinions are very outspoken here.
     

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