ENTER THE DEN OF SIN: THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT ARGENTO

After a short break and some comments regarding our new entrance carpet (it’s bright blue and has movie reels and popcorn all over it, very late ’80’s multiplex), it was on to the main attraction. Considering all of the hype surrounding “Suspiria” it seemed almost impossible for it to live up to its reputation. Was it really going to be the scariest movie I’d ever seen? Would the revolutionary soundtrack by Goblin hold up? Was the restoration really that stunning? Well, for a quick answer: yes and no. Was it scary? Much to everyone’s surprise, there were some good scares and those of us on the sofa did need to cuddle up a couple of times. The gore, while graphic, was quite effective (even if it didn’t add much to the “plot”) and the overall atmosphere was one of hyper-real creepiness. But, was it the scariest thing ever? No. Especially not just after seeing Mae West caterwaul her way through “Hard to Handle” in Myra Breckinridge last week.

The Anchor Bay DVD we were watching was quite gorgeous, preserving all of the Technicolor majesty and the sound restoration did a good job of bouncing around our little suite from our five speakers. I was probably most surprised by the soundtrack, which for some reason I was expecting to be massively cheesy, especially considering how often it’s been imitated. Or maybe it’s just ’cause I have a hard time taking a band called “Goblin” seriously. Probably the best indicator of the peanut gallery’s reaction was the fact that they were silent through most of the movie, with the exception of the periodic exclamation of “awesome”. This exclamation applied to the soundtrack, the amazing use of shadows, the razor-wire scene, and about a half dozen other things that currently slip my mind. Considering all but one of us were “Suspiria” virgins, a very good time was had by all.

Rumblings from the peanut gallery: Well it should come as no surprise, but by the end of the night we were all Argento converts. I’m a little nervous because I hear that most of his later work is crap, but I’m sure with a little guidance I can avoid the real turds. Even the newbie who “just started watching movies” (!) was impressed. However, probably the best thing to come out of the night was being forgiven for last week’s head fuck double bill. Which just goes to show: when in doubt, go for scary.

Next Week, more atmosphere, RKO style: “The Seventh Victim” and “I Walked With A Zombie.”

Mariko McDonald and her boyfriend host a weekly film night in their apartment, affectionately known as the Den of Sin. It’s kinda like evil film school. Monthly screening schedules are available at http:filmgurlland.blogspot.com and if you happen to live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in catching a screening please drop her a line at filmgurl79@hotmail dot com. Suggestions, hate mail and cute pictures of cats also accepted.

And of course you can always offer up some juicy Back Talk>>>




Posted on April 22, 2004 in Features by
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