View Full Version : DVD of the Week - Week 3 - The Stendhal Syndrome (Troma)

01-03-2001, 06:38 PM
Well now we're talkin. I respect Fulci, but his movies don't do much for me. Argento on the other hand...

Anyway, I love this movie and I'm glad we have it in any form. But with that said, I don't like that this was done by Troma. Luckily it looks like Dario prefers dealing with Anchor Bay (who didn't press for a commentary track like I heard Troma did), so maybe all future Argento releases will be through AB

My beefs about Troma and this disc are many. First of all, I counted, and the word "Troma" is on the cover of the disc more than "Argento", and there's TWO people named Argento involved with this movie!! Next there's the annoying and self-serving Lloyd Kaufman intro to the movie, that should at least be a separate feature, not automatic when you press play. (And how bout when he says Argento is an obvious influence on many Troma films, and says it with a straight face?). And like Jason mentioned, the transfer is less than ideal. I still contend that the boom mike makes an appearance more than once, which means it's matted improperly. Plus there's the annoying "whisper" dubbing, which reminds me of the English overdub of Mad Max, in that it's completely unneccessary. I've never seen the Japanese laserdisc, but I've heard everything's pretty much the same. Thus, I believe the Troma release is a direct port of the Japanese LD minus the subtitles. This one can and should be redone in the future.

On the movie itself, I think it's fantastic. It really concludes the idea of art influencing a person's behavior (as in The Bird With the Crystal Plumage and Deep Red). I've mentioned all the subleties that I've noticed in another thread. I won't re-hash them here, unless everyone wants me to.

It definitely takes a second (and third) viewing to see everything Argento put on the screen. I've seen some very negative reviews of this movie by supposed Argento fans, yet I feel it's one of his best. The music and visual nature, while definitely there, are not as prevalent in this as in most of his films. Maybe that's what turns some viewers off. But Argento has always delved deep into the psyche of his main characters, and this may be his best job of that ever.

One of the 10 best horror movies of the 90s.

DVD Connoisseur
01-03-2001, 07:21 PM
I agree with all the above comments. As I've said in another thread, I feel the movie is not being given the respect it deserves partly because of its "newness." 20 years from now, this movie will be hailed as a classic and the current critics of this movie will be curiously silent with their scathing words. It seems trendy to knock Stendhal Syndrome and I've not seen many critics who are brave enough to disagree with this trend. (Going off track somewhat, look at the critics' opinions on Bladerunner. Nobody admits to disliking this movie now but when it was released, it was heavily mauled by the critics.)

01-04-2001, 05:33 AM
Thought I'd take a different direction here and go with an Argento film after 2 weeks of Fulci films.

Definitely some vintage Argento here. I liked this movie very much so, especially after watching it a couple of times.

My biggest complaint about the disc is that Troma released it. I realize that they are a small company, however, after many delays I was expecting at least what I would call a C range transfer. I can't help but feel more than a little cheated. I think this disk looks quite bad, especially after repeated viewings.

Would love to hear other opinions on this.

Great movie though which has me very excited about Argento's new project, I Can't Sleep.

01-06-2001, 04:36 PM
I saw Stendhal Syndrome in the cinema and thought it fell apart half way through. I think it's his worst movie, didn't mind Trauma at all but he's not done anything outstanding since Opera if you ask me. I love many fulci films but Argento is a hundred times better and, let's face it, a proper filmmaker as oppossed to just an 'exploitation' movie maker.


[Note: This message has been edited by Admin]

01-06-2001, 06:09 PM
No no no this isn't 'flamebait'... in fact I've said this in my own fanzine! By 'exploitation filmmaker' I mean that his films were never aimed at anyone outside of the grindhouse cinemas. I'm NOT slagging Fulci off. In fact, I've spent way too much money buying his stuff to slag him off!!! If you could take a look at my video and DVd collection you'd know what I mean. I've spent God knows how much getting a hold of such oldies as Sette Note In Nero, Lizard in a Woman's Skin and Don't Torture a Duckling (way before Anchor Bay was invented!). I bought the tin box set edition of The Beyond and have attended festivals just so I could see such films as Lizard, The Beyond and Zombie on the big screen. I LOVE these films (well, maybe not Lizard which is fairly OK). All I'm saying is that the man's success, I think, had everything to do with who was BEHIND the camera (because I don't think he's done anything worthwhile since House by the Cemetery). As a director I think the dury will always be out because hwen he lost his regualr cinematic team his films were just awful. This says alot if you ask me. Argento has always aimed somewhat higher with his films and they can be enjoyed outside of a purely blood and gore level. His films are undeniably technically superior and offer far more stimulation and astounishing visulas than anything Fulci ever did. I love Fulci, but I think he is an 'exploitation filmmaker' and I hope this makes it clear as to why I said this. And, yes, I'll still buy Manhatten Baby when it is released this month because I'm hopelessly addicted to his stuff, ditto for Jess Franco. Kick me off for basic opinion? Man, you need to get your head screwed on. So now I can't say what I think? Stendhal Syndrome fell apart as soon as Asia Argento became the killer - a ridiculous plot twist not helped by Mrs. Argneto's crap acitng. I jsut didn't want to spoil this 'twist' for anyone. Hope you're happy now and thnaks for not letting me have an opinion.


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DVD Connoisseur
01-07-2001, 05:03 AM
C.R. I'd start ducking those mortar shells now! Describing Fulci as an "exploitation" director may be just too much for some people! Fulci does linger on the occasional graphic shot but I wouldn't call him an exploitation director. Sure, he directed a few porn movies, but I'm sure you'll agree that he redeemed himself with The Beyond and City of the Living Dead.

01-07-2001, 05:20 AM

FYI, you're right on the edge of being banned here.

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting, and if anyone (besides C.R.) thinks I am please chime in, but it seems to me you are once again trying to purposely start a flame war.

Calling Fulci nothing but an "exploitation movie maker" is pure bullshit. If you want to claim some of his movies are exploitation that's one thing. But you're implying that every movie he's made is exploitation, which may be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

Stendhal Syndrome in the cinema and thought it fell apart half way through

I don't really consider that comment to be flame bait, but if you want people to take your post with any seriousness you should try explaining why you think it fell apart half way through.

David W. Anderson - dave@horrordvds.com
Webmaster - www.horrordvds.com (http://www.horrordvds.com)

[This message has been edited by Dave (edited 01-06-2001).]

The Chaostar
01-07-2001, 11:16 PM
Got to agree with C.R. on that one.
Argento is an "auteur:.
Fulci just wanted to capture the most possible quantity of mangled flesh in a shot.

Possible exceptions:
One On Top Of The Other, Duckling, City